Cooking with Potatoes

Cooking with Potatoes

Cooking with Potatoes

Cooking with Potatoes

The Many Varieties of Potatoes.

Hundreds of varieties of potatoes are available in markets. When cooking a potato, it is good to consider to the best type of potato to use for the recipe.  Some potatoes have more dry matter while others have more water.  The 2 main types of starch in potatoes are amylose and amylopectin.  Potatoes that have more amylose will produce that are more floury after cooking.  Potatoes that have more amylopectin will keep them more firm.  Moisture content of the potato will also affect the texture. The higher a potato’s solid to water ratio the drier the texture will be.  Looking at the water content and starch content of a potatoes places potatoes into different categories.

Starchy Potatoes

Starchy potatoes are lower in moisture, high in solids and more amylose starch.  During the cooking process the cells in the starchy potatoes separate from each other. Starchy potatoes produce a more fluffy and floury. Starchy potatoes will fall apart easily when cooked.  Starchy potatoes can become sticky if overmixed.  The most popular starchy potato is the Russet. The russet potato is good for baked potatoes, French fries, hash browns, and latkes.

Waxy Potatoes

Waxy Potatoes are high in moisture content and have a higher proportion content of amylopectin starch. Waxy potatoes typically have thinner skin. When cooking with waxy potatoes, the cells come together and the potato retain their shape.  Waxy potatoes are more dense and moist.  Waxy potatoes are good for potato salads, au gratins, and soups.  New potatoes, French fingerling, Red Bliss, baby potatoes, creamers, Red Adirondack and Russian bananas are a  waxy varieties.

All-purpose potatoes

All-purpose potatoes have medium levels of starch.  The all purpose potatoes fall somewhere between starchy and waxy.  Yukon Gold, white potatoes and purple potatoes are good all-purpose potatoes. Yukon Gold potatoes are a great choice for mashed potatoes but there are chef who say russet potatoes are best for mashed potatoes. It is a matter of personal preference. For a rich creamy mashed potato use Yukon Gold.  For a fluffy mashed choose Russet.

There are a variety of ways to green leafy vegetable in the diet. Arugula, Butter (also known as Boston or Bibb), Collards, Dandelion, Endive, Iceberg, Kale, Mustard Greens, Radicchio, Red Leaf, Green Leaf, Romaine, Spinach, Swiss Chard are popular greens. Green Leafy vegetables can be prepared in a salad, added to smoothies, added to soups, used as a wrap, or added to pasta dishes. To encourage more fruits and vegetables in the diet, during meal planning emphasis can be placed on getting more nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. Many people start with planning the main entrée or protein source of the meal. By choosing the fruits and vegetables first, emphasis can be on add more fruits and vegetables into the diet.

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Jacqueline Larson M.S., R.D.N. and Associates