Mashed, baked, scalloped, fried: With so many ways to prepare and enjoy it, the potato is one of the world's most versatile foods—and perhaps one of the most underrated. In honor of Potato Lover's Month, brought to us by the Idaho Potato Commission, let's give this hardworking vegetable the attention it deserves.
The potato—along with the tomato, eggplant and pepper—is part of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. If left unharvested, the buds will eventually grow into branches. Potatoes are grown in all 50 states and in 125 countries.
The potato has gotten a bit of a rotten rep in the wake of the recent low-carb craze, but its high nutrient and mineral content actually makes it a surprisingly healthy addition to any meal. When prepared in a sensible way, the starchy spud doesn't have to supersize your calorie intake: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an undressed potato has just 110 calories, 0 grams of fat and 1 gram of sugar.
In Favor of the Tater
How can potatoes improve your health? Let us count the ways:
Read on for some more fun facts from the Idaho Potato Museum.
Looking for delicious and nutritious ways to include more taters in your diet? Check out some of our favorite ways to prepare the mighty potato.
Baked Potato Soup
Get all the great taste of a loaded baked potato in a hot and hearty soup.
Celery and Potato Soup
When you're looking for a warm, hearty comfort food, this low-calorie yet savory soup doesn't disappoint.
Oven-Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
Try this crispy and tender alternative to traditional baked potatoes.
Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes
What do you get when you stuff a baked potato with seasoned cottage cheese? A lavish,low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sodium treat.
Skinny Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Sharp cheddar, lemony coriander and smoky cumin blend nicely in this low-cal version of a timeless classic.
Sweet Potato Chips
Prepare these in bulk and store in airtight bags, so you'll have a healthy option on hand next time you're craving a crispy snack.
Ground Beef and Potato Casserole
Potatoes, lean beef and cream of mushroom soup are the stars of this easy, yet fortifying dish.
Sweet and Spicy Potato Oven Fries
This healthy version of French fries offers all the crispy flavor, without the fat and grease.
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Try this easy-breezy way to prepare delicious mashers for a large group.
Lite Fried Potatoes
Brighten up any meal with this sweet yet simple recipe that's high on flavor, yet low on fat and calories.
Head to SparkRecipes for more delicious potato dishes.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy potatoes?
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