Healthy Recipe: 20-Minute Baked Potato By February 10
Spuds totally get a bad wrap. Sure, a potato piled with butter, salt, cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream doesn’t exactly make for a balanced meal…I’ll give you that. But with a little creativity, we can turn this lowly tuber into a quick and easy dinner that packs a nutritional punch!
I haven’t always had a pro-potato stance (It’s true). In health-nut circles, potatoes have often been slandered as high-carb, vitamin-lacking vessels for the fattiest toppings on earth. So when I started doing my own research, I was surprised to discover how much potatoes actually have to offer (when you’re not slicing it up for French fries or deep-frying it for potato skins, that is).
The key to turning a potato into a healthy meal is portion control. These days, an average sized potato runs about 7 oz. Consider cutting it in half (for a 3.5 oz portion) and saving the other half for tomorrow’s lunch. Your 3.5 oz baked potato with the skin has about 4 grams of fiber, plus decent amounts of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Niacin, plus more potassium than a glass of orange juice! Not bad, right?
Not to mention, they’re so easy to make that you can whip up a baked potato dinner for the whole fam in almost no time at all. The best part? Each person gets to choose their own toppings, so everyone gets exactly what they want.
Convinced yet? Good. Now let’s talk toppings.
High calorie toppings can turn this otherwise healthful meal into a nutritional nightmare. So be smart with what you sprinkle on your spud. Use the not-too-healthy toppings sparingly, and focus on toppings from the very-healthy list.
Extra health tip: Aim to add at least one protein (chicken, turkey bacon, beans, etc.) to make it an even more well-rounded dinner.
Unhealthy baked potato toppings:
Healthy baked potato toppings:
Now that you’ve got the facts, let’s move this into the kitchen.
Recipe: 20-minute Healthy Baked Potatoes
There are countless ways to prepare big starchy potatoes (like russets), but I’m going to share my favorite method to get that fluffy baked potato texture in only 20 minutes. But if you’d like to try a more traditional method using only the oven, check out this baked potato recipe.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Scrub your potato clean, and make sure you get off all the dirt. Remember, these things grow underground!
Step 2: Poke your potato with a fork on all sides. And poke it really well, since the last thing you want is for it to explode in the microwave.
Step 3: Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the skin and rub it around until its evenly coated. Then sprinkle your spud with a pinch of salt.
Step 4: Put your potato on a plate, and microwave it on high for five minutes. Use tongs to flip your potato over (it’s hot!) and then microwave for another five minutes.
Step 5: Use the tongs to put your potato directly on the rack of your oven. Bake it for another five minutes, or until it’s soft when you poke it with a fork.
Step 6: Load it up with your choice of healthy toppings and enjoy!
What toppings do you like on your baked potato?
Find out how to eat healthy without boring your taste buds