Physician Outlook

Purple Potatoes are the New Blueberry

Purple potatoes look good and taste even better! They are high in nutrients and can be made several ways for anyone who enjoys potatoes.

Wait… What?!?! Perhaps you read in the FACHT July Newsletter about the nutrition value of purple potatoes, but if you didn’t, let me catch you up. Purple potatoes, which for the purpose of this article I’m talking about potatoes in the solanum tuberosum family, are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Their vibrant dark purple skin and stunningly brilliant purple interior contain some of the same nutrients that we see in purple-skinned fruit like blueberries and blackberries. They even come with awesome names like Purple Majesty, Congo, Adirondack Blue, Purple Fiesta, Vitelotte, and Purple Peruvian. So, why purple potatoes instead of blueberries? Why not!

Purple potatoes have roughly 87 calories from a 3.5 oz serving with 2 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbs. Don’t forget the 3.3 grams of fiber and vitamins like manganese, copper, iron, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. If that isn’t enough to convince you to try these spuds, how about a glycemic index lower than that of their white and yellow counterparts. This doesn’t mean that they are perfect for every person, but it may open opportunities for those who thought they could never again eat a potato due to the high carb count.

The rich polyphenol antioxidants called anthocyanins in those purple spuds are what bring it up to the level of a blueberry. Research studies show a possible link to benefits from anthocyanin to include improved vision and eye health, healthier cholesterol levels, and even a positive effect on cancer. With all these possible benefits, it’s worth adding them to your shopping list. If you can’t find them at your local store, consider talking to a small farm near you. Most are open to trying to grow new things, especially if they know there is a customer ready and waiting to shop.

Now that purple potatoes are on your menu, how should you prepare them? Well, you can prepare them just like any other potato. They really are a one-to-one exchange in any recipe you already have. That said, I have found a few fun ways of preparing them that bring on the WOW factor. The two biggest crowd hits have been purple potato chips and lavender-colored mashed potatoes.

A female friend was having a princess party for her daughter. The daughter insisted on a “royal meal” in golds and purples. The mom reached out to me and asked what I thought might work well. Enter oven-roasted chicken legs and purple mashed potatoes for the win! That mom also rocked the meal by adding a little edible glitter to the mashed potatoes and a healthy helping to the icing on the cake, but we will talk about edible glitter sometime in the future.

My second favorite purple potato recipe, I tried out on a friend who adored potato chips, but they were completely off of his “can eat” list due to his blood sugar levels increasing. I took 1 small potato and cut it paper-thin. Fried it in canola oil at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until crisp. I then removed them from the oil and placed them on a rack to drain. To really make them hit home with flavor, I dusted them with an extra-fine mix of garlic powder and sea salt. One small potato when fried and crispy fit heaping in a 1.5 cup bowl. My friend was thrilled that he got to enjoy potatoes again.

Thank you for spending a few moments with me enjoying these beautiful spuds. I look forward to joining you again next time and talking to you a little more about some of the wonderful things that are happening at farms. My specialty is marketing, and my thesis focused on small farms and how they work with various online platforms to reach customers. Farming and food have been in my life since I was a child and I love sharing the knowledge of farm-fresh foods with everyone. I can honestly say that farm goodies are the one thing that unites all industries. Everyone needs to eat and drink!

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