For some it's a pint of soy ice cream while for others it's a freshly baked, dairy-free pastry, but when I seek comfort from a plate, it's one piled high with fluffy, golden potatoes. I love my spuds baked, fried, sliced, diced, and mashed—you could say that I'm quite partial to the potato.
With the popularity of low-carb diets and the disdain for the high starch content of our beloved spuds, the poor potato has gotten a bit of a bad rap. But while we begrudgingly admit that it may not be in our health's best interest to enjoy french fries every day (despite the fact that it absolutely is in our palate's best interest), potatoes do have plenty of nutritional value and benefits.
A good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, and phosphorus, potatoes are also rich in vitamin B6. B6 is necessary for your body to build new cells and aids in maintaining the nervous system. Studies have even shown that diets high in vitamin B6 offer cardiovascular protection and cancer prevention. Plus, potatoes are really high in fiber, so enjoy a spud or two to keep things moving.
Now of course, we know the nutritional value of potatoes (and pretty much all foods) can be negated by what we choose to top, pair, or cook it with, so if a low-calorie, high-fiber potato dish is more to your liking, than a simple, plain baked potato topped with raw chives is just as tasty and satisfying (or try our simple Garlic-Spinach Baked Potato)! Don't forget to eat the skin, because most of a potato's fiber offerings is in the peel. Give your potato a good scrubbing before cooking, and reap all the nutritional benefits of the tuber.
Oh, by the way, if you'd like to indulge with a decadent potato dish or two, we won't tell and have just the thing for you. Here's a collection of 5 of our richest, most savory potato recipes for those rainy days when all you need is a little comfort on your plate.