Potatoes are a versatile, hearty source of carbohydrates and a variety of nutrients. They are related to tomatoes and eggplants. Potatoes are actually tubers, meaning they grow below ground and put off flowering plants above ground. Potatoes are found in many varieties—White, Red, Yukon Gold, and Russet to name a few. At your local market you might even find purple and pink potatoes!
BEST STORAGE PRACTICES:
Store at room temperature or slightly cooler. Do not store in refrigerator, but instead in paper bag in a dark pantry corner or cabinet away from light and other foods. Potatoes should last between three weeks and up to a few months depending on maturity.
FUN WAYS TO EAT AND COOK:
Potatoes can be cooked in a wide variety of ways—boiled, mashed, baked, fried, and much more.
When selecting potatoes, be sure to look for discoloration, tenderness, or spots. All of these signal rottenness. Potatoes should be firm and crisp with a healthy outer skin.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO EAT:
- Great source of complex carbohydrates.
- Good source of vitamin C, vitamin B3, potassium, and fiber.
WHEN IT’S IN SEASON:
Harvesting season begins in late spring and continues through early fall, but often potatoes are found yearlong due to their resilient nature and storage capabilities.
HOW IT’S HARVESTED:
Nearly 100 days after planting, potatoes are mature enough for harvesting. Usually tractors specifically designed for pulling potatoes are used, but in smaller farms and communities potatoes can be dug with shovels and harvested by hands.
Homemade Smashed Potatoes – Cover cubed potatoes with water and boil. When potatoes are tender, drain water; stir in milk/butter or Greek yogurt for a healthy option. Whip and mash until thick and creamy. Season with garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to taste!
Homemade Potato Chips – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice potatoes. Spread on pan and drizzle with oil, salt, garlic. Bake until crispy.