We love the humble spud…and what’s not to love? Potatoes are versatile, tasty and full of potassium and vitamin C. We’ve collected some potato-making tricks and factoids over the years. Fact one: Don’t store your beautiful tubers in the refrigerator. Here’s why…
Cold temps in the refrigerator can make starches in potatoes turn into sugars, which creates an unpleasant taste. Keep them in a dry, cool area (preferably 45 to 55 degrees), away from onions and apples—both emit gases that will make the potatoes go bad faster. Here are some more super potato tips…
Better storing: Put a knob of ginger in your potato bag. Ginger has antibacterial properties that will keep the mold off your spuds. The ginger will eventually shrivel, but the potatoes will keep their shape for an extra month or so (properly stored potatoes can last two to four months).
Easier peeling: Here’s an easy way to get those skins off while instilling more flavor into those tasty tubers. Keep the skins on the potatoes while you boil them. The skins help hold in the flavor and the nutrients. But do this trick first—make a thin circle around the circumference of the potato with a sharp knife, cutting just through the surface of the skin. After you boil your potatoes, let them sit for a minute until cool enough to handle. The skins will slip right off! Delicious potato salad is moments away.
Better microwaved potatoes: It can take close to an hour to bake potatoes, and microwaving a naked potato can shrivel parts, while other sections remain raw. Try adding a little water when you microwave for easy, more evenly cooked “steamed” potatoes. To steam, poke a few holes in a well-cleaned potato with a fork, place in a dish with one to two tablespoons of water to add moisture, cover to prevent the potato from drying out and microwave about six minutes for a small potato…10 to 12 minutes for average and larger ones.
Healthier potato chips: If you have a weakness for potato chips but can’t stomach the fake ingredients in store-bought brands, do we have a tip for you. Make potato chips in your microwave! First, thinly slice a baking potato (a mandoline does a good job), and toss lightly with oil (any oil is fine, even olive oil). Lightly coat a microwavable plate with cooking spray, and lay the slices in one layer. Microwave for four minutes (you might need to experiment with the timing…you don’t want the slices too brown), then turn the chips and microwave for one to two minutes more. The chips will crisp up as they sit for just a minute or two—if you can wait that long!
Thanks to RodalesOrganicLife.com, Food.com, MakeSushi.com and Lona Sandon, RD, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, for help with these tips.