January 25, 2024

Recipe: Healthier Twice-Baked Potatoes

An easy side you can make ahead of time

several twice-baked potatoes

Twice-baked potatoes are a family favorite. This version is so delicious that you don’t have to tell anyone that it’s healthy! Make ahead a day or two, and bake when ready. It makes an easy side dish.

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Ingredients

  • 8 large baking potatoes, scrubbed with skin on, and holes poked with fork for baking
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, brought to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1–3 tablespoons horseradish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Directions

  1. Bake potatoes in regular oven 45 to 60 minutes, or until fork-tender (microwave baking doesn’t leave the skin “crisp” enough for twice-baked potatoes).
  2. Remove potatoes from oven and let cool slightly, just so you can handle them comfortably.
  3. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove part of the flesh, leaving a little of it on the skin for stability.
  4. Place all potato flesh in a microwave-safe bowl. Add cream cheese, skim milk, horseradish to taste, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 ounces of cheddar cheese. Heat so all ingredients are warm (potatoes mash better when warm).
  5. Whip warm potato mixture with electric mixer, in food processor or by hand if needed.
  6. Using a spoon, stuff cheese-potato mixture into potato shells, using the entire mixture.
  7. Lay stuffed potato shells on a cookie sheet or in a 9 x 12 cake pan lined with foil, close together so they support each other and stand up.
  8. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the surface.
  9. Bake 30 minutes at 350 F or until cheese bubbles.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Potatoes: Don’t let the label of “starchy vegetable” fool you; in moderation, potatoes are a delicious way to get some essential vitamins into your meal. They’re a good source of potassium, which plays an important role in lowering your blood pressure. And they have vitamin C and vitamin B6 for a healthy immune system and a happy brain. Cook your potatoes with the skin on for maximum nutrition.
  • Skim milk: Even if you’re well past your childhood years, milk still has benefits to offer. The protein in milk contains all the amino acids your body needs that it can’t produce on its own, making it a complete protein. Milk also has vitamin A for your eyes and vision, and notable minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Skim milk is a fat-free, low-calorie option.
  • Horseradish: Cruciferous vegetables like horseradish are a great addition to any dish. They’re full of soluble and insoluble fiber, the two types of fiber your body uses to help your gut run smoothly. And they have vitamin K, which helps build strong bones and promotes healthy blood, and vitamin B9 (folate), a crucial vitamin for many aspects of your health and well-being.
  • Pepper: More research is needed, but black pepper might have a few perks to contribute to this recipe, as well. An antioxidant found in pepper, called piperine, fights free radicals and may ease chronic inflammation. Piperine also helps your body more readily take in nutrients from the foods you eat, enhancing both the flavor and the benefits!
  • Cheese: Another dairy product worth keeping in your kitchen for a variety of reasons. Cheese is rich in omega-3s, a crucial nutrient for your cells that may also promote a healthy heart and raise your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels. Selenium is an antioxidant found in cheese that helps your thyroid work properly and supports your reproductive health. And some cheeses, including cheddar, have probiotics, gut-friendly bacteria that keep your digestive tract in tip-top shape.

Nutrition information (per serving)

One serving = 1 potato half
Servings = 16

Calories: 142
Fat: 5.2 g
Saturated fat: 3.2 g
Protein: 7.1 g
Carbohydrates: 7.11 g
Fiber: 1.5 g
Sodium: 161 mg

Recipe developed and copyrighted by Kristine Napier, MPH, RD, LD;
Reprinted with permission from Nutrio.com.

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