Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Case for the Potato

Potatoes.  The poor vegetable has taken a beating in the last few years.  The potato is the US's number one vegetable (Thank you, McDonalds) and the number 4 crop in the world.  During the low fat days it was hailed a wonder food.  Then it was demonized when the diet trend twisted to low carb.  Today no one knows what to think.  The other day I heard someone putting down the potato.  I had to know, are they really that bad?  I decided to look into it.  Is the potato healthy or just fluff?Here is what I learned:
  • Potatoes are high in Vitamin C, even higher than tomatoes. (I know, I was shocked too!)
  • Potatoes are high in potassium, even higher than bananas.
  • Potatoes are high in Vitamin B6, even higher than bell peppers or broccoli.
  • A Potato (with the skin) has 2.9 grams of fiber.  A slice of whole wheat bread has 1.9 grams.
After a little fact finding potatoes don't look so bad, but let's face it, the potato is cooked in a lot of unhealthy ways.  A bag of Ruffles or an order of fries does not count as a veggie.  Potatoes are good; processed potatoes are not.  No surprise there!

Personally I am relieved that potatoes are not as evil as some think.  I like potatoes. No scratch that, I love potatoes. They are not particularly expensive (even if you upgrade to organic), and they are filling. Potatoes are a comfort food and can be cooked in some very tasty ways.  When cooked correctly potatoes are part of a healthy diet.  PART.  For some kids this is the only vegetable that they eat.  That isn't healthy.  As with most things in life, balance is key! 

In honor of the potato I am leaving one of our favorite soups: Baked Potato.  I have already left the recipe for mashed potatoes with ranch and will soon add a cheesey potato and broccoli recipe.  Yum!

Baked Potato Soup
6 large baking potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (optional)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
3 Tbs butter
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
4 oz cream cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
cheese, for sprinkling


Combine first 9 ingredients in a large crock pot; cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender).  Hand mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is thickened. Stir in cream cheese and chives. Top with bacon and more cheese.

This recipe is linked at,, and


  1. I just got a pretty good load of potatoes from my hubby's aunts huge garden, the problem is that 2 of my 3 kids do not like potatoes, weird I know!!
    Would this recipe (or others you might have) freeze? I have read a bit about freezing potatoes and they all say they are good frozen, but must be cooked first, so this qualifies just wondering about the other ingredients? This would make a wonderful lunch or dinner for those of us in the family who love potatoes.

    1. I would think that you could freeze this, but I have never tried. I freeze mashed potatoes all the time with success! Hooray for free garden potatoes for you!

  2. I agree. We LOVE potatoes and sweet potatoes! Its a great way not to eat so much gluten in my house (not that I am against gluten) just try to limit it. I would like to know though, how you make these recipes dairy free. Am I wrong in the fact that I thought you had dairy issues in your house. I have a son who is allergic and have given up on recipes with cheese and cream cheese. I have a great cream cheese potato soup recipe but don't serve it as he cannot join. Please let me know! I would love to broccoli and potato soup again!!!

    1. We limit grain more than most of Americans but are not gluten free either. You are right that I mostly cook diary free, but my d-free kids do not like potatoes so when I make this I full some chili leftovers out of the freezer. I have not tried to do much with d-free cheese because they usually contain caisen and that is the problem for my kiddos!

  3. We love potatoes as well, in fact I'm making potato salad to have with dinner tonight. A mixed potato/sweet potato mash rocks, as does potato & leek soup & baked potato with sour cream.

    1. I love sweet potatoes too. I have never tried mixing them though. I would love to try tough!

    2. I made plain mashed potato once & my daughter wanted to know what was wrong with wrong with it! She was so used to mixed mashed

  4. We just love Potato Soup and your recipe looks awesome, we would really enjoy it. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen