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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Are potatoes a wonder food?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (23821points) February 2nd, 2016

I was given a bag of potatoes for Christmas, and I am starting to cook them for 10 minutes in the microwave. I cook them with margarine, and salt and pepper. They are $5 for a 10lbs bag are easy to cook and taste great.

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26 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Potatoes are pretty great. And as you say, the price is incredible. I’ve had to cut way back on carbohydrates and I miss the potatoes most.

About once a month I make some. My favorite is simply boiled potatoes with salt and pepper, especially the little red ones.

jca's avatar

You could also bake them and then cut the baked ones into little pieces and saute them in a pan with some onions and peppers to make hash browns.

Cruiser's avatar

@jaytkay I am in the same boat with regards to keeping spuds off the menu and like you I will treat myself to some boiled reds, quartered, sea salt, pepper, mustard powder and tossed with olive oil and dill seeds…to die for!

Still trying to wrap my head around getting a bag of potatoes for Xmas…I get the coal part…but potatoes??

jaytkay's avatar

RE: Still trying to wrap my head around getting a bag of potatoes for Xmas

@RedDeerGuy1 has been looking for food that is cheap and easy to cook so I think it’s a very smart gift

zenvelo's avatar

A wonder food? No, because if that is all you eat, you’ll miss out on a lot of necessary nutrition.

But it is an efficient way to get calories cheap and tasty and not processed.

A long time ago, when some of the guys at work would spend a semi monthly paycheck in about four days, one man I knew was down to his last ten bucks with a week to go until payday. So he bought a twenty lb bag of russets and a lb of butter. Boring and repetitious, but he didn’t go hungry.

johnpowell's avatar

I love them. Fried, baked, hash browns, they are the best.

But this is very easy and my favorite. Hasselback Potatoes. That is a bit more fancy than I get. I omit the breadcrumbs and just sprinkle on some cheddar for the last few minutes in the oven. Dip that shit in ketsup and you are golden.

jca's avatar

I saw on some cooking show they had a potato bar for parties. You bake a bunch of potatoes and then have bowls of condiments – sour cream, chives, broccoli, bacon, various cheeses, maybe some chili, and then people can make their potato how they want it.

Seek's avatar

Yes! Now get yourself a head of cabbage and a bit of sausage or ham and make bubble and squeak!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

They were a godsend to Europe in the 1500’s. They are very high in vitamin C and the shelf life of a potato is the longest of all C sources. In Northern Europe and Russia, the only source for C in the winter was pickled cabbage, i.e. sauerkraut. In Sweden alone, with a population of around 1 million in 1500 ce, 70,000 people died per year of scurvy and just about everybody else was sick by springtime. With the import of seed potatoes from the New World, that figure became negligible in just a few years. They keep extremely well in cellars, for up to three years, which means a good supply can get you through a winter or two after a couple of bad growing seasons in the days when that meant certain starvation.

It’s also an excellent source of sustained-release carbohydrate, meaning that one helping of potatoes the night before, would keep a field worker sustained throughout the next day in the days when peasants were forced to work from dawn to dusk. The energy that is not used, is easily stored as fat, which was extremely important as an insulator in the bitter winters of Northern Europe and Russia.

It was a wonder food to those people, for sure.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m pretty sure a good part of my ancestors arrived here in the states because they could no longer grow potatos in ireland.

jca's avatar

I just googled nutrition content of a potato and it is 70% of your day’s Vitamin C.

I was skeptical when @Espiritus_Corvus wrote it but I am a true believer now.

filmfann's avatar

Diabetics need to avoid potatoes, because they are loaded with carbs, but for some odd reason if you cook them, the cool them (like for a potato salad) they lower the amount of carbs.

jca's avatar

@filmfann: I think it may lower the amount of carbs, but not to the extent that diabetics can eat them in abundance.

LostInParadise's avatar

A good general rule for nutrition is to eat a variety of non-processed foods. All of these have advantages in moderation and disadvantages if taken in excess. Potatoes are fine, but don’t overdo them. They are high in carbs and low in protein.

Coloma's avatar

I wouldn’t go so far as to call them a “wonder food” but they are inexpensive and a nice side dish for many entrees. I too am watching my carbs but man…my favorite, a baked potato with butter and ranch dressing drizzled on. OMG…to die for. You could make some home made potato salad and add chopped hard boiled egg to add some extra protein.

flutherother's avatar

I cook mine with the skins on and have them with butter. I can also recommend that old favourite, beans on toast.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@flutherother Thanks. When I go shopping again I will buy a can of beans and a bag of bread and make toast though my toaster oven.

filmfann's avatar

@jca A single baked potato is 100 carbs, which is too much for a diabetic (I was told to keep each meal at 60). Same amount in potato salad, and you have a manageable number (28 carbs per cup).

jca's avatar

@filmfann: This is what I got when I googled it. Nowhere near 100 carbs. Amount Per 1 Potato medium (2–¼” to 3–¼” dia) (213 g)
Calories 163
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 13 mg 0%
Potassium 897 mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 37 g 12%
Dietary fiber 4.7 g 18%
Sugar 1.7 g
Protein 4.3 g 8%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 70%
Calcium 2% Iron 9%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 30%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 12%

Potato salad has way more sodium and other bad stuff. No comparison.

That’s not saying that if you take a potato and add all kinds of crap to it, it’s not awful for you. It stands to reason that a cup of plain potato vs. a cup of plain potato added with mayo and all the other crap in potato salad, the potato by itself is better for you.

jca's avatar

Potato salad nutrition: Amount Per 1 cup (250 g)
Calories 357
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20 g 30%
Saturated fat 3.6 g 18%
Polyunsaturated fat 9 g
Monounsaturated fat 6 g
Cholesterol 170 mg 56%
Sodium 1,323 mg 55%
Potassium 635 mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 28 g 9%
Dietary fiber 3.2 g 12%
Protein 7 g 14%
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 41%
Calcium 4% Iron 8%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 20%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 9%

jaytkay's avatar

I just recalled – if you had to colonize Mars for a while, what food would be the first choice for farming?


Fathdris's avatar

If you are not limiting the amount of carbs you consume (Potatoes are very high in those), are not diabetic etc (potatoes reck havoc on my diabetic mother), and you remember to eat other foods, then yes… they can be.

The important thing to remember is to eat a “balanced” diet. Remember to eat your greens, eat your proteins, etc.

And remember to use more energy than you consume, due to potatoes being high in carbs… But if you live an active lifestyle, that should be fine.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Make sure you eat reasonable portions. I used to figure 250 grams was a good meal . ~½ pound At that rate your bag should last you 20 days!
Don’t eat them all in one sitting!

si3tech's avatar

I love a baked potato, sliced in half with butter and 1% cottage cheese. A complete meal. Yum.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Thanks for sharing your discovery of the potato. Yes, it is a delicious food.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I would classify a sweet potato as a “super food”

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