Potatoes are staples in most homes for all the delicious ways to prepare them and nutritional value. After all, they are plentiful in vitamin C with 30 percent of what you need in a day, protein with three grams, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and protein. Something else to admire about the humble potato is that it has no cholesterol, trans fat, sodium while having only about 110 calories per medium potato. Yet, potatoes often get a bad rap for being fattening. The potato is not to blame only what we put on them that pile on the calories. However, there are some tricks that you can do to lessen that calorie count on some of the same potato dishes without distracting from the taste with a low calorie version. Though it may seem unlikely, you just may be surprised that you can still enjoy healthy potato recipes without packing on the pounds just by making a few small changes.
How to Enjoy a Baked Potato without the Guilt
Take baked potatoes for instance and consider how you normally eat them. Some may top them with butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives, onions, bacon bits or crumbled bacon or a combination of a few. As a result, that potato just with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and onions soared to a whooping 450 calories with 22 grams of fat.
As disheartening as that may sound, you don’t have to give baked potatoes up, only swap out some ingredients for low calorie potato dishes. For example, avoid eating the butter and sour cream together on the potato. If you want the butter, then reserve one tablespoon for the entire baked potato for 210 calories.
Another suggestion is switching sour cream with 23 calories per tablespoon to save on those calories along with chives. Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt has slightly fewer calories with 20 per tablespoon, but delivers three grams of protein compared to 0.4 grams in the allotted sour cream. You can even add two tablespoons of cheddar cheese for an additional 113 calories and still have a low calorie substitution.
Still, you can serve a baked potato with salsa for a delicious, low calorie switch is another of these healthy potato recipes. For example, two tablespoons of homemade salsa are about nine calories to calculate toward that 110-calorie medium baked potato. Even if you used the same amount of a commercial salsa, it would only be 50 calories more.
Potato Salad with a Healthy Twist
Classic potato salad uses a lot of mayonnaise or salad dressing to give it that luscious creaminess. Depending on how many potatoes, eggs, onion, and celery that you use for the potato salad, the amount of mayo needed for the dish can vary from one-half cup to a cup in most cases. One cup of mayo can amount to 1,495 calories, which can come to about 358 calories per one cup serving.
Instead, you can experiment with oil and vinegar dressing or reduce the amount of mayo in your recipe and substitute half nonfat plain yogurt or use one cup of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt in place of the mayo.
Furthermore, you can also incorporate cooked beans such as from a homemade bean dip into the potato salad and eliminate half of the mayo. If the mixture is too dry, then add a bit of milk to moisten it up.
How to Make Crispy Oven Fries with Less Oil
French fries, as well as practically anything deep-fried is delicious. Unfortunately, they are loaded with unhealthy fat and tons of calories. This does not mean French fries should be banned from your life.
Instead of depending on a deep-fried version, you can still enjoy them in a healthier way as oven fried French fries. Peel the potatoes, cut both ends and then slice into thin strips like French fries. I usually peel about four to six to fill a three-quart mixing bowl. Add three tablespoons of olive oil and mix the sliced strips of potatoes until well coated before transferring and salting to a cookie sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about thirty minutes, turning them half way through.
You can also make a herb season batch of oven French fries that can help satisfy that taste for French fries without risking health and your figure.
These are just a few ideas of how to transform several of our favorite ways to eat healthy potato with some slight alterations to recipes for low calorie potato dishes.