Have you ever had purple potatoes? Maybe I am one of the few, but I had never had them before last week. I was attending our annual Extension conference in Stillwater and during a luncheon they brought out our plates with purple potatoes. I have to admit that at first I thought they were just burned white potatoes, and then I cut into them. How pretty do these look?
I’m an Oklahoma girl and just like the rest of us I grew up on the “Oklahoma Diet” which consists of corn, green beans, white potatoes, and beef (doesn’t exactly fit MyPlate). These new colorful potatoes really intrigued me so when I got back I decided to look into them a little more.
According to the USDA these purple potatoes have been around South America for many years but have just made their debut in the United States within the last decade. (A co-worker told me they have been popular on the West Coast for a while, but have just recently started appearing in Oklahoma.) While these colored potatoes are high in potassium and carbohydrates, just like white ones, they are also higher in antioxidants. As you probably already know research is showing that antioxidants can play a big role in preventing some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
Any dietitian will tell you the more color you have on your plate the better, because the more color you have the more variety of vitamins and minerals you are consuming. I think the purple potatoes would be a great addition to our often colorless “Oklahoma Diet”. We can still have our tasty potatoes but with a little more nutritional value.
I have never seen purple potatoes in the store before but I am definitely going to start looking. I have heard there are a couple of markets in OKC that carry them but they often sell out fast. Have you tried purple potatoes or seen them at your store? Let us know if you have! If you haven’t I encourage you to try them and see what you think.