A recent Potatoes USA survey investigated different regions’ preferred, nutritious ways to eat the mighty spud. And the results just might surprise you.
“As a dietitian I know the nutritional power the potato packs,” said Bonnie Johnson, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition and industry relations, Potatoes USA. “I also know there are as many favorite potato dishes as there are Americans, and we loved seeing how people put the versatile potato to work in nutritious ways.”
When Americans were asked their favorite nutritious way to eat potatoes, baked came in on top (41%), followed by mashed potatoes (17%). But take a closer look at the data, and you’ll see some regional trends emerge.
NEW ENGLAND: Move over, chowder, New England's got mashed potato power (loved by 31% of residents - the most of any region). Want to up your mashed potato game? Learn how to make the perfect bowl of mashed potatoes.
DEEP SOUTH, MID-ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC: People by the coast love boiling and steaming potatoes the most (a favorite of 14% of people in all three regions). You can also cut your prep time by steaming potatoes before using them in dishes like this Traditional Potato Salad.
OUTER SOUTH: Pass the fixins, y’all! In the Outer South, it was all about toppings for 32% of respondents. Folks there know that the toppings on these Bang Bang Chili Potatoes pack quite a punch.
GREAT LAKES: Great Lakes residents are no duds – they love their air fried spuds (7%).
FARM BELT: Roasted potatoes are grand in America’s heartland (7%).
MOUNTAIN: Outdoor adventures are a go when fueled by a potatoes/protein/veggie combo (13% of residents love this mix, like our Sheet Pan Roasted Turkey and Herbed Potatoes).
The good news
No matter how you – or your neighbor – chooses to enjoy potatoes, you can rest assured that you’ll get a nutritious, filling bite that won’t break the bank.
Potatoes are a nutrient-dense vegetable. A medium skin-on potato provides nearly one-third of the daily value of vitamin C, 15% DV of potassium and 10% DV of vitamin B6. Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free.
Research published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that potatoes have the highest score per dollar on eight important nutrients including potassium, fiber, protein, Vitamins C and E, calcium, iron and magnesium. Potatoes also have a longer shelf life than many fresh vegetables.
“Potatoes are nutritious, delicious and affordable – and that’s something we can all agree on,” Johnson added.