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Top Fall Vegetables to Keep in Your Kitchen (Page 6)

Potatoes

5. Potatoes

Endlessly versatile, potatoes come in all sizes and textures. Stuff baked russets with vegetables and cheese for an easy crowd-pleasing supper or mash them with nonfat milk and garlic for a simple side. Turn boiled red-skinned potatoes into a creamy potato salad. Small, long, flavorful potatoes called fingerlings make an elegant side when simply steamed and tossed with fresh herbs.

Health Benefits: Rich in carbohydrate, the potato often gets a bad rap. However, potatoes boast healthy doses of vitamin C, potassium and some fiber, especially when eaten with the skin on. And recent research has found that compounds that give purple potatoes their colorful hue (anythocyanins) may help lower blood pressure.

Shopping Tips: Potatoes are classified by the texture of their flesh:

  • Waxy potatoes, such as red skins and fingerlings, have moist, dense flesh and keep their shape when cooked, so choose them for salads and soups.
  • Floury potatoes (also called baking potatoes), such as russets, have drier, starchier flesh, perfect for baking and mashing.
  • All-purpose potatoes, such as white and Yukon Gold potatoes, are in between waxy and floury potatoes, so they function well in most applications.
  • Look for firm potatoes that are free of soft spots. Avoid potatoes that have begun to sprout—they have been stored too long.

Storage Tips:

  • Potatoes should never be refrigerated. Store them in a cool, dark place with good air circulation, to discourage softening, sprouting and spoiling.
  • If potatoes begin to sprout during storage but are still firm, remove the sprouts and any eyes that are beginning to sprout before eating.
  • Potatoes turn green when exposed to light—peel and discard the green skin before eating.
  • Properly stored, potatoes will keep 10 to 12 weeks.
  • Small, thin-skinned potatoes and new potatoes should be used within a few days.

Next: 6. Squash »


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