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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

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Description: These tubers come in three main types: baking potatoes, the most starchy, which become dry and fluffy when cooked; boiling potatoes, the least starchy; and all-purpose potatoes. Any variety harvested before it develops its full amount of starch is considered a new potato.

Selection: Choose smooth, firm potatoes with no mold, soft spots, sprouting, or green color.

Storage and handling: Store in a well-ventilated place away from apples or onions. New potatoes keep for only a week, but other types keep several weeks. Avoid sunlight, which causes potatoes to turn green. Before cooking, scrub potatoes with a brush in cold water or peel with a vegetable peeler and rinse.

Preparation: Boil chopped potatoes about 15 minutes. If desired, mash potatoes after draining well. Bake whole starchy potatoes at 400-450F / 200-230C, 45 minutes or longer. Microwave new or boiling potatoes in covered dish with 1⁄4 cup water, 8-12 minutes. Microwave<> whole baking potatoes, pierced with a fork, 4-6 minutes for 1 potato.

Serving suggestions: Mix leftover mashed potatoes with a beaten egg and fry for potato pancakes. Try oven-roasted fries instead of french fries (SIS, p. 255). Use in soups (SIS, p. 236).

Nutrients (when baked with skin): Vitamins B6 and C, thiamin, niacin, folate; iron, potassium; fiber.

1 lb raw = 3 cups sliced or chopped
1 lb cooked = 2 1⁄4 cups sliced or chopped (1 3⁄4 cups mashed)

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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