This is a meal we like to make on lazy weekend mornings to fuel us through an afternoon hike. It’s quick, simple, delicious and filling. Getting the potatoes just right-crispy brown on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside-takes practice…or the right technique.
Pan-frying potatoes can be a challenge because they tend to stick to the pan and turn to mush, but have no fear, when we’re through you’ll be a potato frying genius. Seriously, your friends and loved ones will be impressed.
Wait. Aren’t potatoes bad for you?
I know what you’re thinking, this is a healthy lifestyle blog after all: Don’t potatoes spike your blood sugar? Well your right, russet potatoes are right up there with white bread on the glycemic index. Potatoes are approximately two-thirds starchy carbohydrate and about 10 percent protein.
High glycemic foods send a flood of glucose into the blood stream causing a release of insulin as the body attempts to shuttle (or shove) as much glucose into the cells as possible. What happens next is a drop in glucose levels in the blood and a spike in adrenaline.
Soon you’re on a roller coaster of cravings, energy highs and lows, weight gain and serious cranky-pants.
Long story short, high glycemic foods should be avoided (even potatoes), BUT I have good news for lovers of the humble potato. Combined with proteins and fats, digestion of higher glycemic foods are slowed, thus decreasing the surge of glucose into the blood stream. Serving with a dash of hot sauce and vinegar can improve digestion and stabilize blood sugar even more.
It also helps to pick the right variety of potato.
Potatoes in general contain reasonable amounts of vitamin C and B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc.
Purple potatoes in particular (we’re talking flesh and skins) are packed with phytonutrients, specifically anthocyanins. In fact the Purple Peruvian, which has been cultivated for several thousand years, is not only lower in rapidly digested starch, it also has 28 times the bionutrients of the ever popular Russett Burbank and 166 times more than the Kennebec white.
Purple Majesty are said to have at least 235 milligrams of anthocyanins per serving and have been shown to reduce blood pressure in those who have hypertention, reduce the risk of stroke by 34 percent and the risk of a heart attack by 21 percent.
Since potatoes are grown in the ground and susceptible to pests, conventionally grown spuds have been found to have high levels of pesticide residue. It’s best to choose organic potatoes whenever possible.
Oh yeah, and make sure you don’t toss the skins, nearly 50 percent of the antioxidant activity, as well as much of the fiber and protein is in the skins – sometimes it pays to be lazy. This is another reason to choose organic, otherwise the peels, and all the nutrition, end up in the trash.
 Haas, Elson M., and Buck Levin. Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. 21st-century ed. Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 2006. 315. Print.
 Robinson, Jo. Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health. New York: Little, Brown, 2013. 100. Print.