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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Spice Up Your Mashed Potatoes

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Mashed potatoesMashed potatoes are a dinner favorite at my house and you don’t have to twist my arm too hard for me to make them! Potatoes often get a reputation for being a “bad food” but potatoes are actually a really nutrient rich food!

It’s a surprise for many people to discover that one medium potato (5.3 oz) with the skin contains:

  • 45% of the daily value for vitamin C
  • 18% of the daily value for potassium (as much or more than either bananas, spinach or broccoli)
  • 10% of the daily value of B6
  • Surprisingly, they are also high in antioxidants (yes, white potatoes!)

And they are also:

  • Fat free
  • Cholesterol free 
  • Very, very low in sodium

A common misconception among the general public is that all of the potato’s nutrients are found in the skin. The skin does contain half of the fiber, but actually the majority (>50%) of the nutrients are found within the potato itself! More incentive to make mashed potatoes tonight (with the skin of course for some extra fiber)!

So how can you spice up your boring old mashed potatoes tonight? Everyone seems to have their own personal favorite recipe when it comes to mashed potatoes. Some people use Russets, some use Yukon Golds, some use Reds. Whatever you use, all seven potato varieties are great! My favorite happens to be Yukon Golds! So after you make your basic mashed potato recipe, try adding some of these extra ingredients to spice your recipe up a little bit and still reap the nutritional benefits of good old potatoes!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Add garlic to your mashed potatoes for an added kick. Garlic contains a compound known as Allicin, which acts as an antioxidant.

Spicy Mashed Potatoes: Add 2 tsp canned chipotle in adobo sauce (or more if you like really spicy) for some extra spice in your life. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chipotle that gives it heat, has been shown to help with inflammation and may be heart healthy!

Herbed Mashed Potatoes: Have some extra parsley or chives growing in your backyard? Add them to mashed potatoes for an herbal twist. Parsley not only helps freshen breath but is also another rich source of antioxidants!  I personally love rosemary in mine.

Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes: Fold in ¾ cup blue cheese crumbles for a little kick. Blue cheese may look unusual but it actually has contains a blue/green mold called Penicillium roqueforti, which is related to penicillin and helps fight harmful bacteria in the body.

Bacon Onion Mashed Potatoes: Mix a few chopped, cooked slices of turkey bacon and chopped scallions into your finished potatoes for a mashed potato recipe you don’t want to miss. Turkey bacon is lower in fat and sodium than regular bacon but still tastes great and is more heart healthy!

Extra Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Craving extra creamy tonight? No problem. Light sour cream or whipped cream cheese into your mashed potatoes tonight. If you’re feeling extra cheesy, add some reduced fat shredded cheese, too!

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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