A stack of potatoes; various colors.

The mighty spud!

Potatoes are often overlooked as a healthy food but this mighty vegetable packs a punch when eaten with the skin on. Potatoes are harvested year-round but main crops are usually harvested in the fall for winter storage and eating. These tubers are versatile, easily accessible, and low-cost. Just one medium potato (1 cup) with its skin is a good source of vitamin C and potassium as well as folate and vitamin B6.

Buying and storing

Look for potatoes that are free from cuts and blemishes. Avoid buying potatoes that have green on them and avoid badly sprouted or shriveled potatoes.

Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Do not keep potatoes in light for long periods of time. Light will turn the outer skins green and cause a bitter flavor. Do not wash before storing.


Rinse potatoes well and scrub to remove dirt. If a potato has begun to grow sprouts, cut them off. Cut off any skin that has started to turn green. Leave the rest of the skin on. 


Scrub, clean, and poke with a fork 3 to 4 times to allow steam to escape. A medium potato bakes in 45 minutes at 400°F. 

Use a small amount of water and cover the pan so vitamins are not lost when cooking. Whole potatoes cook in 30 to 40 minutes. Cut up potatoes cook in 20 to 30 minutes.

A medium potato cooks in 4 to 6 minutes on HIGH in the microwave. Poke with a fork in multiple areas to prevent bursting. Turn over once for best results. 

Ways to enjoy

  • Hash- Fry cubes of roast beed, potatoes, and onion in a little oil.
  • Potato Pancake- Grate raw potatoes, mix with a little flour and an egg and brown over medium heat in a pan. Flip once to brown both sides.
  • Baked Potatoes- Top baked potatoes with low-fat cheese or plain yogurt and lightly cooked vegetables like broccoli, onions, and mushrooms.
  • Mashed Potatoes- A few tips for the best mashed potatoes: Use higher starch potatoes (like Russets or Yukon Golds); add salt after mashing rather than to the cooking water; if you are using butter, let it come to room temperature before adding to the potatoes; avoid over-mashing - this can make the potatoes 'gluey' and unappetizing.

Featured Recipes

Baked Potatoes

Wash, scrub, and pierce potatoes on all sides with a fork.Bake at 425°F for 40 to 60 minutes.

baked potatoes

Microwaved Potatoes

Coat a 9-inch microwave-safe plate with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange potato and onion slices on plate, sprinkle with seasonings.Sprinkle with cheese and cook for 2 minutes or until potatoes are tender.