This easy recipe is definitely worth putting at the top of the favorites list for family and friends. Just about everyone loves stuffed potatoes, as they are tastfully yummy and extremely easy to prepare. Not only are potatoes delicious, they and also healthy, and it is important for health conscious individuals to know that potatoes, when prepared in a healthful way, are an all-star addition to a balanced, healthy diet.
Healthy cooking methods for potatoes include baking and boiling. To make baked potatoes, scrub them clean, then use a fork to make several holes in the skin. Rub the skins with olive oil, and place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet. Cook for 60 to 70 minutes at 400°F until tender, rotating every 30 minutes. For boiled potatoes, add a pound of baby potatoes to a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until tender. To make mashed potatoes, drain the boiled potatoes and mash them in the pot with a dash of milk and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Chefs regularly include mashed or baked potatoes as a base for a nutritious meal, topped with ground turkey, bean chili, and other lean proteins. Instead of sour cream, many will add a dollop of Greek yogurt or chunks of avocado. And let's not forget to eat the skins, as they are an excellent source of added fiber and nutrients.
Types and Benefits
There are many varieties of potatoes. Some of the most common include Russet, Yukon Gold, and baby red potatoes, while fingerling and purple potatoes are not as well known.
All potatoes provide energizing carbohydrates, mostly from starch, in addition to insoluble fiber concentrated in their peels. They are excellent sources of potassium, an essential mineral that’s important for healthy blood pressure, and also provide vitamin C and folate.
Furthermore, potatoes are rich in compounds known as polyphenols that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage that is associated with disease development. Red and purple potatoes get their color from anthocyanins, which may help fight inflammation in the body and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
Cheese Stuffed Pototoes
6 large potatoes
1 large egg yolk
½ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped bell pepper, red or yellow
½ cup crispy chopped bacon
½ cup fat-free ranch-style dressing
Bake potatoes at 400F for 60 to 70 minutes or until tender.
Slice off the top ½ inch of each potato and carefully scoop out the insides of the potato into a large mixing bowl.
To the potato, add dressing and cheeses, reserving a little of each to sprinkle over tops. Blend with an electric mixer.
Mound mixture into potato shells and sprinkle with reserved cheese, chopped onion, bell pepper, and bacon.
Return to oven for 10 minutes or until heated through. If desired, broil for the last minute of cooking time to brown cheese slightly.