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 180C 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.