Do you love potatoes? They often represent guilty pleasures, golden and oil-kissed. We see them crispy, crunchy, delectably salty, or sitting in their own skin under a creamy mess of sour cream, bacon and chives.
If you do this to a potato — fry it or add unnecessary fats — it does more than add a lot of empty calories. You’re tipping the scales from naturally healthy to unnaturally unhealthy.
So let’s look deeper into the eyes of this humble spud. A naked potato (meaning baked with nothing on top) has a lot of good things to offer your body.
Many people don’t realize that these tasty tubers are 100 percent whole grain. Or that one medium-sized russet potato baked with skin offers:
Potatoes are often drowning in butter, cheese and fat, but they can stand on their own as a fat-free, nutritious vegetable.
They are so accommodating to added flavors that you can experiment with toppings. Try salsa, hot peppers, a dab of ketchup, fat-free yogurt or other flavorful seasonings that don’t weigh your poor potato down.
These delicious potato and zucchini pancakes are topped with walnuts. They’ll break easily under your fork and satisfy your comfort-food cravings — yet they are tempered by healthier ingredients.
Stuff these baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese. They make an easy side dish or a light meal with a cup of soup. Use skim milk and light cheddar cheese to keep fats low without sacrificing flavor.
Try this protein-packed vegetarian meal for days when you don’t have time to cook. Bake the potato in the microwave, serve with frozen steamed vegetables, and you will have a meal ready in 10 minutes or less.
These twice-baked potatoes are so delicious – don’t tell anyone that they are healthy. The trick is using low-fat cream cheese, skim milk, and cheddar with a dash or two of horseradish. Make ahead a day or two, and bake when ready.