The Importance of Potato Skins
Potatoes have been found to contain plenty of valuable nutrition to contribute to a healthy diet (also, have we mentioned they’re delicious?) But do you know about the importance of the potato skins? Some popular ways to prepare potatoes involves peeling them before cooking, but some of the goodness from potato can be lost if the skin is removed.
Eating the potato skin will provide more fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals than eating just the flesh. So next time you want to cook up some taters, don’t diminish that goodness by removing the skins!
Now, while we’re talking about the importance of the nutrition in the potato skins, let’s not forget that the flesh of the potato also contains plenty of those important nutrients. It is a myth that “all” of the nutrients of a potato are contained in the skin.
Breaking it down into percentages shows that the protein levels in the flesh and the skin are about even, whereas the skin contributes to around one-third of the fibre content of the potato, and around 30-40% of the potassium, vitamin B and vitamin C.
You’ve had the breakdown about the importance of the potato skins in terms of nutrition, but how about in terms of taste?
Many agree that the potato skins contain a lot of the delicious flavour of potatoes. Loaded potato skins are a dish sometimes served as an appetizer or finger food.
There are some delicious recipes out there for roasted potato skins, some of which scoop out the flesh, mix it together with some delicious ingredients and put it back in, and others that discard the flesh and only use the skins. Both are worth trying but do note that in terms of health benefits, potato skin recipes can often have loads of not so healthy ingredients that can diminish the health benefits of the potato skins.
So, we’ve told you about the importance of not throwing away those potato skins. Some people may be opposed to finding bits of potato skin in amongst a steaming bowl of fluffy mashed potato, but perhaps don’t knock it until you try it! The skins in mashed potato can add a nice texture, a rustic aesthetic, and contribute to the overall flavour. But, if you really can’t abide by bits of potato skin in your mash, then at least try boiling your potatoes with the skin still on, and then removing the skins before mashing.
The reasons for this? The potatoes will absorb less water (if they’re also still whole and uncut during the boiling) while being boiled, which helps to preserve the starch within the potato. Less water means the potatoes will be extra fluffy and will be more ready to absorb the dairy elements added later. Also, removing the skins after the potatoes are already cooked is easier!
They basically fall away from the flesh after they’re boiled. But, do be careful of the heat in the freshly boiled potatoes when peeling.
We’ve found some healthy potato skin recipes for you to try out:
This recipe uses sweet potatoes, but you can easily swap them out for white potatoes:
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