I’m hardly crazy. In fact, I was diagnosed with hypertension, and for several years I was asked to track my blood pressure and take medication. It was the lowly potato that set me on the path to being free of hypertension.
Of course, I realize it wasn’t just a potato that made the difference. A trip to a naturopath, a change in diet, vitamin supplements, and moderate physical exercise all helped too. Still, don’t discount the addition of potatoes to my diet.
Those of us watching our calories want to eliminate potatoes because we think they are too starchy – starchy means fattening. While it’s true that potatoes are starchy by nature, they also contain a significant amount of potassium – just the mineral we need to help balance blood pressure and improve heart health!
Keep the skin on those potatoes and according to the Washington State Potato Commission you’ll get a whopping 620 mg of potassium! Remember, the key is keeping that skin on your potato, and why wouldn’t you? It’s the best part of the potato!
Potatoes also contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients provide antioxidant activity that protect our hearts from cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and some cancers.
Lesson learned: potatoes aren’t the diet-wrecking villains we thought they were. Skip the fattening, deep-fried versions and roast them, instead. Don’t forget to keep your toppings light and fresh, and your blood pressure and heart will surely approve.
I’ve adapted this recipe for roasted potatoes from Recipe4Living to include a little heart-healthy avocado in the dip. Who couldn’t use a little more heart-healthy fat along with their potassium-loaded potato!
Roasted Potatoes with Chipotle Avocado Dip
• 4 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
• 1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup light sour cream
• 1/2 medium Avocado, seeded and chopped.
• 4 tsp. fresh lime juice
• 4 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
Servings: Makes 4 main dish servings.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
- Place potatoes cut side down. Roast for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on how thick you’ve cut your potatoes, until the cut side is nicely browned. Turn to potatoes so the other cut side is down, and roast another 5 – 10 minutes.
- Turn potatoes skin side down and then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Roast 5 minutes longer until potatoes are tender.
- While potatoes are cooking combine sour cream, lime juice, avocado, and remaining 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder in blender. Blend until avocado is incorporated.
- Sprinkle potatoes with cilantro and serve with dip.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259, Total Fat: 3.61g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 92mg, Total Carbs: 51.38g, Dietary Fiber: 4.98g, Sugars: 2.57g, Protein: 7.33g
Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com. I am not a licensed nutritionist. I am currently a student at ACHS, working on a nutrition certification. Any advice in this column is strictly my opinion. Consult a licensed professional if you have health concerns.
It’s important to me that people have the ability to make good food choices, so Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right provides nutrition information and Weight Watchers points for every recipes. I hope you’ll take the time to see what I’m cooking now. -Kristi Rimkus