Potato Peel

Health & Nutrition - - NUTRITION UPDATE - Uma S, Mum­bai

Q AAre potato skins nu­tri­tious? What if they have green spots? If the first thing you do be­fore cook­ing a potato is peel off the skin, you’re not the only one. Al­though many peo­ple choose to peel the skin away from the potato be­fore cook­ing it, leav­ing the skin on (af­ter thor­ough clean­ing) could be a health­ier choice. Potato skin not only adds fi­bre and nu­tri­ents, but also helps the flesh of the potato re­tain its nu­tri­ents. It is also a rich source of potas­sium and vi­ta­min C. How­ever, one has to be cau­tious of the green spots/ skin and sprouts on the potato skin. Pota­toes that are dis­eased with blight or that have sprouted have a larger than usual amount of sola­nine – a com­pound that is nor­mally present in very small amounts but can be toxic in large amounts. Sprout­ing pota­toes con­tain greater amounts of sola­nine, have a bit­ter taste and of­ten a green dis­col­oration. Such pota­toes should be avoided. The green ar­eas can be cut off, but it’s prob­a­bly best to dis­card the whole thing. Deep fry­ing potato in oil that’s hot­ter than 180C will ren­der the sola­nine harm­less. One of the trig­gers for sola­nine to de­velop in a potato is ex­po­sure to light, es­pe­cially flu­o­res­cent light. There­fore, it’s al­ways best to store pota­toes in a dark place. If pota­toes must be stored in a lit place, it’s best to keep them in a closed brown pa­per bag to al­low air cir­cu­la­tion.

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