If the last potato you’ve had came in the form of a french fry, it’s time to give your spud an instant makeover. Despite the bad reputation they get for being starchy, and found in abundance in fried and buttered forms, a potato can actually be a very delicious and nutritious part of your diet. Most of the nutritional value is lost when potatoes are deep fried and served skinless as a french fry, but when baked and served without the grease a potato actually has a lot to offer.
Potatoes are naturally packed with potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Before butters, oils, or salts are added, a potato is fat-free, very low in sodium, and a good source of fiber (4g per 173g “medium” sized serving).
Try it at home: Instant Potato Makeover
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Wash potato and vent by poking holes around outside with a fork. Place on baking sheet with just a few drops of olive (or canola) oil. (Less than a teaspoon needed).
2. Once oven has pre-heated, put potato in and set your timer for 1 hour.
3. When there are about 10 minutes left on your timer, begin to prepare toppings. Start by cutting garlic into very fine, small pieces and and crushing to release flavor. Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan and add garlic. Stir regularly. Meanwhile, rinse the green onion, chives, and parsley and cut into small pieces then add to saute pan. You can leave your potato in the oven for longer than an hour just check on it and turn the oven off but leave the potato in to stay warm.
4. Take potato out of oven, slice open and generously add your toppings. Finish off with spoonfuls of non-fat European style yogurt, fresh Parmesan (optional), and garnish with some of your remaining fresh parsley.
Instead of: Try:
Sour Cream Non-fat plain European (or Greek) Yogurt — saves you 33 calories, 4g fat and 2g sat. fat /2 tbsp
Lots of salt Lots of flavorful garlic and green onion — slashes sodium, adds antioxidants and flavor
Butter Olive oil (& dash of turmeric and cayenne pepper)–replaces sat. fat with monounsaturated fat
Bacon A few slices of deli turkey cut into thin strips–lowers calories & fat and boosts protein