The potato is a starchy tuber that grows underground. It is native to South America. The potato has been consumed in Belgium ever since the 16th century and is now an important food staple in Europe. Potatoes always take about five months to grow, but this period can start at different times in winter and spring. The harvest can be early, mid-season or later, depending on the variety of potato and the area in which it is grown. This means that new potatoes are harvested throughout the season.
Potatoes are often said to be fattening, but this is incorrect. Potatoes are full of beneficial nutrients and largely consist of water. Boiled potatoes contain 70 to 85 kcal per 100 grams. New potatoes contain slightly more calories than the older varieties.
Potatoes are also a good choice in terms of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, which makes them the perfect meal for anyone who is conscious of their heart health. A serving of potatoes provides dietary fibre and is an important source of potassium and vitamins B6 and C. Regular consumption of these delicious, nutritious tubers is therefore an excellent choice.
Potatoes are available all year round.
How to choose?
Potatoes must be firm when you buy them. Their skin should be smooth without any sprouts or green areas.
How to prepare?
Wash the potatoes under running water or peel them. Then cut the potatoes in equal size pieces to ensure they cook evenly. Always keep peeled potatoes submerged in water.
There are three main groups of potatoes: waxy potatoes, all-rounders and floury potatoes. Every type of potato has a way in which to best prepare them.
Waxy potatoes retain their shape and remain firm after boiling. They are ideal for salads and casseroles, but are also suitable for frying or to use in tortillas.
All-rounders also remain whole during boiling, but they do become a little floury on the outside. This type of potato has a somewhat looser structure and will fall apart when boiled for a long time. If you shake the pan after you have boiled and drained the potatoes, they become nice and fluffy. These potatoes work very well with stews, gravies and sauces. They are also very suitable for roasting, a potato gratin or chips. Fry your chips in cooking oil for the best taste.
Floury potatoes may look firm as they boil but, at any given moment, their outer layer will give way. If you boil these potatoes for too long, they will disintegrate. Floury potatoes absorb a lot of moisture as they cook and are therefore susceptible to burning.
Drain your floury potatoes well, allow the moisture to evaporate and carefully shake the pan for a fluffy texture. This type of potato is suitable for hotchpotch and works well with stews. If you want to make a delicious mash, this is the type of potato you are looking for. Make your mash extra smooth by adding a spoonful of Flora.
Eigenheimer, Doré and Irene potatoes are very floury potato varieties. They disintegrate even faster than other floury potatoes when boiled. If you fluff up these potatoes too vigorously, they will fall apart. These varieties are very suitable for soup and hotchpotch and are delicious in mash. They are also the perfect ingredient for a potato soufflé.
If you want to mash your potatoes, boil them until tender. If you want to roast or fry your potatoes, boil them for 10 to15 minutes in water and allow them to cool down first.
- Boiling: 15 to 20 minutes;
- Frying: approx. 20 minutes (parboiled);
- Deep-frying: first fry at 140 °C for four to five minutes, then fry again at 180 °C for two to three minutes;
- Oven: approx. 30 minutes at 220 °C (parboiled);
- Steaming: 35 to 40 minutes.
How to store?
Store potatoes in a cool, dark place (8 to 10 °C), but not in the refrigerator. Keeping a potato in the cold temperature of your refrigerator will turn its starch into sugar more quickly, so it will end up being too sweet. In the right conditions, potatoes can be stored for about three weeks. You can keep boiled potatoes for up to two days in the refrigerator and for about three months in the freezer.
Use about 200 to250 grams of potatoes per person for optimal nutritional value.
- 88 kcal,
- 2 g protein,
- 0 g fat,
- 19 g carbohydrate, and
- 1.8 g dietary fibre
If you’re looking for tasty recipes that have your heart health in mind, be sure to take a look at Flora’s selection of healthy recipes.