Fire Up Your Grill for Super Summer Spuds!
Summer signals the peak of grilling season. Zucchini, yellow squash, and corn are among the more popular veggies prepared for a summer meal, but if you’re getting tired of this standard grilled veggie trifecta, consider jazzing up your menu. You may be surprised to know that you can take your next BBQ to new culinary heights with…grilled potatoes! Not traditional, I know, but super tasty, and good for you too.
Confused about the health benefits of potatoes? Allow me to set the record straight. First, not all white foods are bad for you (think cauliflower), and recent research published in the journal, Advances in Nutrition, found that white vegetables, especially potatoes, are just as important as the more colorful veggies when it comes to good nutrition. Ready for the kicker? In addition to being an all-around healthy veggie, potatoes also pack a huge punch of heart-healthy potassium—even more than a banana! Comparable in carbohydrates to a medium apple, this is definitely a food your body can feel good about.
One medium potato also supplies 45% of our daily value of vitamin C, which is more than one medium tomato, helping to support our immune system, protect our skin against harmful UV rays (great news for those prone to sunburns, like myself), and prevent against cancer—not too shabby for a little spud! And don’t discard the potato skin. The thick outer coating is rich in dietary fiber, which not only helps us to feel fuller for longer, but also aids in lowering cholesterol levels. And, if you follow a vegetarian diet, you’ll be pleased to know that potatoes are a great source of iron, a key nutrient responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood.
If you’re still leery about throwing spuds on the grill, I promise these Flame-Licked Fingerling Potatoes with Spud Rub will win you over. Simply toss your spuds with a delicious blend of seasonings, fire up the grill, and you have a unique and easy twist on ordinary fingerlings. As an added bonus, this spud rub can be used to season anything else you have going on the grill, making for a delicious meal…and an easy clean-up. If you’re looking for something a bit more seasonal, I highly recommend taking advantage of fresh summer basil and incorporating it into this Roasted Red Potatoes with Pesto. The addition of white balsamic kicks it up a notch, while optional pine nuts give the dish some extra crunch. Give it a try!
All potato varieties, from Russets to reds, whites, yellows, purples, petites, and fingerlings, work well on the grill, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavorings and spices. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds this summer, try making the potato your starchy side dish, which will make it easy to practice proper portion control. Unlike rice and pasta, which can be easy to overindulge in, one-medium potato is just 110 calories, and is free of all the bad guys—fat, sodium, and cholesterol. So go ahead, get creative and grill up some yummy spuds …I promise you won’t be disappointed!