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In season late spring: Potatoes

Potatoes are the most popular vegetable in New Zealand, with most of us eating them regularly.

Buying

Choose potatoes that are free from cuts, bruises, green patches and shoots. There are three main varieties of potatoes, all suited to different cooking methods.

  • Waxy: Great for boiling, salads, casseroles, and soups. Most early or new season potatoes are waxy. Try Draga, Nadine or Frisia.
  • General purpose: Between waxy and floury, these potatoes are suitable for most cooking. Look for Rua, Desiree, Karaka or Moonlight.
  • Floury: Ideal for mashing, wedges, chips, roasting and baking. Choose Ilam Hardy, Red Rascal, Laura, Agria or Fianna.

Storing

Store in a ventilated cool dark place (not in a plastic bag). Dust and natural dirt on potatoes can help to keep them fresher, so don’t wash potatoes until you cook them.

Nutrition

Along with vitamin C potatoes contain B vitamins, minerals (including potassium, iron and magnesium), antioxidants and fibre. Most of the fibre and antioxidants are in or just under the skin so where possible, don’t peel your potatoes. Remember: potatoes are not fattening, although some preparation methods and added ingredients are.

Using

The options with potato are endless but everybody loves potato wedges so here’s the secret to getting them perfect.

Choose a floury potato and parboil for 10 minutes. Slice in wedges, spray lightly with oil and coat with the seasoning blend of your choice. Bake at 200°C until golden, turning once.

Try these seasoning blends:

  • Chilli (tomato purée, chilli powder, water)
  • Indian (ground cumin, turmeric, coriander)
  • Garlic and herb (minced garlic, dried rosemary, oregano, thyme, paprika)
  • Lemon and rosemary (lemon juice, fresh rosemary)

Did you know? Potato has a higher satiety index than white rice, pasta and bread, so it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

First published: Nov 2013



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