Background Info:

  • A starchy tuber that grows underground
  • 1 pound of potatoes equals:
    • 3 medium-sized
    • 3 cups peeled and sliced
    • 2 ¼ cups peeled and diced
    • 2 cups mashed
    • 2 cups French fries

Health Benefits:

  • Concentrated source of vitamin C and potassium, both are nutrients of concern in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Contains phytochemicals, many of which function as antioxidants
  • Variety, cooking method, and type of storage affect how much of a micronutrient is present
    • Boiling causes leaching of water-soluble vitamins & minerals
    • Boiling in skins can help prevent some loss
    • Microwaving, baking, and sauteing prevents as much loss

Nutrition Information:

1 medium baked potato, peel eaten

  • Calories: 265
  • Total Fat, Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 11 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 60 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: 6 grams
    • Sugars: 3 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Potassium: 1520 mg
  • Niacin: 4 mg
  • Thiamin 0.18 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.88 mg
  • Vitamin C: 27 mg
  • Copper: 0.3 mg
  • Phosphorus: 200 mg
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  • Red-skinned
    • Provides an attractive contrast to meat and other vegetables
    • Lower starch content
    • Waxy texture
    • May taste sweet after cold storage
    • Round
    • White, yellow, or red flesh
  • White-skinned
    • Those with high starch have a mealy texture
    • Those with low starch have a waxy texture
    • White or yellow flesh
  • Russet-skinned
    • Brown, netted skin
    • Oblong to long


Fall and winter


  • Available fresh, frozen, and canned
  • Fresh
    • Look for firm texture with smooth skin
    • Avoid those with wrinkled skin
    • Avoid those with soft areas that are decayed, cut, green, or bruised


  • Cool, dry place for best quality and longest shelf-life
  • Don’t wash before storing as moisture will speed up spoilage
  • Will retain best quality for 1 week at room temperature but can keep up to 5 weeks
  • Avoid storing in the fridge because the starch can change to sugar resulting in excess browning during cooking, especially frying
  • Do not store near fruit which will produce ethylene and encourage potatoes to sprout prematurely
  • Do not store exposed to light which will cause them to green


  • Wash thoroughly under cold water
  • Use a clean vegetable brush if needed to scrub them
  • Don’t use soap as it can leave residue
  • Leave skin on when possible
  • Remove deep eyes, sprouts, or green spots


  • Red-skinned
    • Boil, roast, salads, soups, stews
  • High starch white-skinned
    • Chips or fried
  • Low starch white-skinned
    • Boil or roast
  • Russet-skinned
    • Frozen processed products such as French fries or tater tots
  • Blue/purple
    • Boil, steam, bake, microwave
  • Loaded baked potato topped with:
    • Cheese, green onions, and sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
    • Chili & beans
    • Taco meat, salsa, cheese
    • BBQ meat
  • Grate to make hash browns, a great breakfast accompaniment
  • Cut and roast in the oven with your choice of herbs and vegetables like sliced peppers and onions
  • Make into tater tots as a fun side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  • Create a variety of styles of fries from steak, shoestring, waffle, and more
  • Mash, smash, or au gratin make a classic steak and potatoes meal


4 thoughts on “Potatoes

  1. Pingback: Vitamin C | Michelle Smith, RD

  2. …your articles are always filled with such interesting facts. I especially appreciate your hints regarding storage of potatoes.


  3. All this information is great especially the storage and prep information for potatoes. Enjoyed reading about the different types of potatoes as well.
    Thank you for sharing!


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