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Cara Harbstreet Food and Nutrition Expert

Cara Harbstreet Food and Nutrition Expert

February 08, 2023
It's the New Year, which means many of us are trying to eat better, save money and find more time in our day. Cara Harbstreet, registered dietitian and intuitive eating expert, recommends a kitchen hero that's a solution for it all: the potato!

Cara Harbstreet:
"Potatoes are America's favorite vegetable, but they're more than just delicious. They're an affordable, nutritional powerhouse with a long shelf life and faster cook times than you think!"
Providing nearly a third of the recommended daily vitamin C, potatoes also have the most potassium of the 20 most popular fruits and vegetables.

They also have 3 grams of plant protein, which is more than any commonly eaten vegetable besides dried beans, plus 2 g of fiber to help you feel fuller longer. Potatoes are affordable and have a long shelf life, allowing families to stretch their dollars.

Cara Harbstreet:
"I know I hate it when I buy vegetables at the store, and they go bad before I have a chance to cook them. With potatoes, you’ve got fresh produce that lasts for weeks! They’re a great combo of nutrition, value and deliciousness."
When it comes to carbohydrates, quality matters, and potatoes are a great choice! Carbohydrates are our brain’s primary fuel and a key source of muscle energy. Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, providing vitamins and minerals. In fact, most of the carbohydrates we eat should be complex carbohydrates such as potatoes.

So how can families enjoy this incredible vegetable without being in the kitchen all day? Harbstreet has some hacks to share that will make cooking potatoes a breeze.

Cara Harbstreet:
"My first tip is to cut potatoes into smaller pieces to roast for quicker cooking – or even to heat in the air fryer. Roasted potatoes are so simple to make and can then be used throughout the week to make dishes like bowls and burritos more filling and nutritious."

"You can use all kinds of fun seasonings to mix it up, from classics like garlic powder to Za’atar if you’re looking for an adventure. Furthermore, cooked and cooled potatoes have a more resistant starch to the intestines."
A great example is the roast turkey and herb potato dish. One skillet gives you a complete meal, and by adding a few extra potatoes, you can start cooking right away for the next few days! And you can make it with multiple combinations of proteins, potatoes, and other veggies you />
Cara Harbstreet:
"My next hack is to put your pressure cooker or slow cooker working. You can start cooking potatoes in these appliances and then pop them in the fridge for lightning-fast preparation or choose your own adventurous meals. Once they start in the pressure cooker or slow cooker, it will take minutes to finish them in the oven, microwave or air fryer."
Families can make it with baked, mashed, or roasted potatoes, or make it a full meal like green chili, corn chowder, and potatoes. The soup can be whipped together in minutes on the stove after starting the potatoes in the slow cooker.

Cara Harbstreet:
"Finally, the freezer is your friend. Make a big batch of freezer-safe potato soup, like this Tuscan Cabbage and Potato Soup, also known as Zupa Toscana, that you can freeze to reheat and enjoy when you’re ready."

"I always recommend freezing soups in smaller portions so you can scoop out exactly what you need. One tip on this recipe: Wait to add the cream until it’s heated through for that just-cooked taste."