Spuds that we all like

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Hobson’s Choice -

Jan­uary is a hard month to love. The cof­fers are bare, win­ter is in full swing and calorific treats are off the menu as the na­tion tries to com­bat the tra­di­tional post- fes­tive bloat.

Thank­fully, the hum­ble potato goes some way to ad­dress­ing th­ese con­cerns. Not only is it a cheap cup­board sta­ple that’s easy to cook, it has the starch­i­ness we crave on cold nights and ex­perts say it’s good for our health, too.

De­spite pop­u­lar opin­ion steer­ing us away from car­bo­hy­drates, spuds are nat­u­rally fat- free, low in calo­ries and a good source of fi­bre, vi­ta­min C, potas­sium and vi­ta­min B6.

In fact, a re­cent study found eat­ing a por­tion of pota­toes twice a day can lower blood pres­sure, and a sep­a­rate study claimed pota­toes pro­vide more health ben­e­fits than so- called ‘ su­per­foods’ like ba­nana, broc­coli, beet­root, nuts and av­o­cado.

Sian Porter, con­sul­tant di­eti­cian to the Potato Coun­cil, said: “It is im­por­tant to have a wide va­ri­ety of foods in your diet and to in­clude at least five dif­fer­ent por­tions of fruit and veg a day, but some­times our heads are turned by new things and we un­der­es­ti­mate old favourites like pota­toes and how they com­pare to other, of­ten more ex­pen­sive, ‘ su­per­foods’.”

So whether you’re mash­ing, bak­ing or boil­ing, it’s high time to fall back in love with the trusty spud.

Ever won­dered which of the many va­ri­eties of potato are best for dif­fer­ent dishes? Here’s a guide to the new potato clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem by many­face­sof­potato. co. uk

Typ­i­cal va­ri­eties are Maris Piper or King Ed­ward. When cooked it has a fluffy mid­dle, but don’t boil them for long as they don’t hold to­gether well. Use them for mak­ing fam­ily favourites such as roasties, jack­ets or chips.

Typ­i­cal va­ri­eties in­clude De­siree. When cooked this tatty has a smooth tex­ture. Try as mash, wedges or boiled - or cooked in a sauce, such as dauphi­noise or a hot pot.

Typ­i­cal va­ri­eties are Char­lotte or Maris Peer. When cooked it feels firm to the bite and they taste great sim­ply pre­pared in their skin. Try them in sal­ads or served as an ac­com­pa­ni­ment boiled, steamed or roasted whole.

Now perk up your Jan­uary with th­ese cheap, pota­to­based meals...

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