Potatoes...the options are endless when it comes to adding the common spud to your dinner menu. Potatoes…one of the few foods that can easily make an appearance at any meal or snack. Potatoes… plentiful vegetable that often gets a bad rap when it comes to health. We’d like to celebrate National Potato Day with a little information on why potatoes serve as such a staple in our diets, the best potatoes for every cooking method (including Instant Pot!) and why potatoes don’t need to be totally shunned if you’re following a healthy nutritional plan. And of course, we’ve got some great new signature recipes for you to try!
Potatoes are the fourth largest crop grown in the world (behind corn, wheat and rice). While we in the U.S. may think that Idaho is the biggest producer, it may surprise you to know that 37% of the world’s supply of potatoes comes from China and India! There are over 5,000 varieties (WOW!) but those most familiar to us are white, russet, yellow, red and sweet. Because they are relatively inexpensive, they serve as important part of diets all over the world.
TYPES OF POTATOES TO USE IN VARIOUS COOKING METHODS
In the U.S., we’re used to seeing white and red-skinned potatoes in the grocery store. Did you know that each potato performs differently depending on the cooking method? Not all potatoes cook alike!
White potatoes are really an all-purpose potato that work well for a lot of different cooking methods, although boiling and frying are most common.
Red-skinned potatoes (which are still white on the inside) are great for boiling.
Russet, which are typically bigger and longer than round whites, are thicker-skinned which makes them suitable for baking. These are also commonly used in french fries.
Yellow potatoes have a slightly buttery taste and are great for boiling and frying.
New potatoes, those that haven’t been stored, typically are smaller and of the red-skinned variety. Boil or roast these for best results.
Sweet potatoes, which aren’t closely related to potatoes, are firm and sweeter tasting, working well boiled, roasted or fried.
Pressure cooking potatoes results in faster cooking times, and a great-textured potato for use in many recipes. In the Instant Pot, feel free to experiment with the types of potato used. For the Instant Pot recipes below, I used white and russet.
BUT POTATOES ARE UNHEALTHY!
Potatoes get such a bad rap - they are high in carbs, high on the glycemic index, etc etc. While they aren’t something that we should eat every day, potatoes actually carry some decent nutrition in a small package and can be incorporated into a healthy diet without worry. A medium white potato weighs in at about 160 calories, 4 grams of fiber and pack a potassium punch with about 20% of the recommended potassium for a healthy adult.
Feel free to try these healthy recipes, guilt-free. Our signature recipe designer lightened them up a bit to make them healthier than traditional recipes. Remember, everything in moderation in a healthy diet!
Stuffed Baked Potato Recipe
There’s lots of baked potato recipes and instructions on the website, so we went a step further and did our version of a ‘stuffed spud’ in the Instant Pot. Fill your potato with your favorite toppings!
- 16 oz water (make sure potatoes don’t touch water)
- 4-6 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- Fillings: bacon bits, chopped jalapeno, shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt, etc
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, parsley, red pepper flakes, etc
- Prick potatoes several times with a fork.
- Place in steamer basket, and place basket in inner liner of Instant Pot.
- Set to ‘manual’ and ‘high pressure’ for 20 minutes (time will need to be adjusted depending on size of potato - bigger potatoes will need more time).
- Use natural pressure release for 8 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure.
- Slice potatoes in half. Scoop a little out, fill with your choice of filling, fold the potato back together and wrap with foil)
- Set to ‘manual’ and ‘high pressure’ for 5 minutes
- Use quick release
- Remove foil and season as desired.
Scalloped Potato Recipe
Rich scalloped potatoes make for a great side dish. In this recipe, we’ve lightened it up a bit and added ham and broccoli so you can serve this as a main dish alongside a salad for a delicious evening meal. You can easily adjust this by changing out the meat, or exchanging broccoli for other vegetables like asparagus. You can peel the potatoes if you like, but we prefer to leave them on for extra nutrition.
- 2 lbs white or red-skinned potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick (use a mandoline slicer for best results)
- 1 lb cubed ham (substitute with chopped chicken or turkey for lighter fare)
- 1.5 cup chopped fresh broccoli
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tbsp plain Greek fat free yogurt
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp thyme
- Pinch red pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired
- 2 oz sharp cheddar, shredded for topping
- Pour chicken stock into Instant Pot inner liner. Place sliced potatoes and broccoli into steamer basket and lower into Instant Pot. Set to manual pressure for 5 minutes on high.
- Use quick release to release pressure.
- Set your oven to ‘broil.’
- Transfer potatoes and broccoli, along with cubed ham, to a pie plate or oven-safe dish. Reserve liquid in Instant Pot.
- Add Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, cheese and seasoning to remaining liquid in Instant Pot. Set to ‘saute’ and stir until cheese is melted and contents are smoothly blended together.
- Pour contents evenly over potatoes, broccoli and ham
- Top with additional cheese if desired. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes until bubbly and browned.
Hash Brown Egg Bite Recipe
When it comes to a speedy breakfast, the Instant Pot definitely delivers. I love hashbrowns in my egg casseroles (replacing bread) so thought I’d give them a try in egg bites. This version is vegetarian, but you could easily add a bit of bacon or sausage. Experiment with this recipe using different veggies and cheese!
- 5 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- ¾ cup chopped fresh spinach
- ¾ cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
- 7 heavy tsp frozen hash brown potatoes (I used Country style, with onions and peppers)
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Whisk eggs together with milk. Add chopped spinach, cheese and pepper.
- Spray egg bite mold with cooking spray. Spoon one heavy tsp of hashbrowns into each cup.
- Divide egg mixture evenly between cups. Cover securely with foil.
- Pour 1 ½ cups water into Instant Pot inner pot.
- Lower egg bite mold onto trivet into inner pot.
- Close lead, ensuring steam valve is set to ‘sealing’, select ‘pressure cook’ for 12 minutes.
- When Instant Pot beeps, use natural pressure release for about 10 minutes, then quick release for remaining pressure. Remove from inner pot.
- Cool for a few minutes in the mold, then turn and gently remove egg bites.
- Serve immediately.
Weird Use for a Potato - Dessert Recipe
Idahoan® Molten Lava Cake
Yep, you read that right, a cake made with potatoes. I cut the recipe down as I only have four ramekins, and I used Pyure sweetener instead of sugar. Make sure you don’t underbeat the batter - the more air incorporated the better! Serves: 6
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes, dry
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Add 12 oz. water to inner liner of Instant Pot
- Liberally spray six 6 oz ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter.
- Alternative: Use a medium size stainless bowl that sits on top of a small saucepan (with water in saucepan) if you do not have a double boiler. Do not let any water get into the melting chocolate!
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl beat eggs with hand mixer for several minutes.
- Add sugar, dry mashed potatoes, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, espresso powder and salt. Beat a couple of minutes to mix.
- Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat for five minutes. This recipe works best if lots of air is incorporated into the mixture.
- Pour into ramekins. Place ramekins on trivet (it’s ok to stack them) in Instant Pot.
- Set to manual and high pressure for 10 minutes. Use quick release.
- Cool slightly
- Run a thin knife around the inside edge to help release the cakes.
- Top with powdered sugar and whip cream. (we omitted as it’s plenty sweet on its own!)
Bonus Recipe (also, this one is not healthy but a fun treat)
Shout out to my dad on this one. As kids, we rarely had evenings where our mom wasn’t around, but on those occasions when we were home alone with Dad, we always made potato candy. And the important part was that it had to stay a secret from Mom. Of course, looking back, I’m sure she knew about it, but at the time it felt like a super special secret between us kids and our father, and I fondly look back on the memory of it now.
This recipe replicates the candy. Now, it IS easier to make this in the microwave, so I’d only recommend making this if you already have your Instant Pot out (which, in my house, when I cook with the Instant Pot, I typically do two or three recipes in one afternoon, so for me, doing this recipe in the IP makes sense!).
Instant Pot Potato Candy
- 1 very small white potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 6-8 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup peanut or other nut butter
- ½ tsp vanilla (if you’re feeling fancy! Optional if you want to omit)
- Place potato cubes in steamer basket.
- Pour 1 cup water into Instant Pot liner. Lower basket into liner.
- Close lid, making sure it’s set to ‘sealing’ and set to ‘Manual’, ‘High Pressure’ for 5 minutes.
- Use quick release.
- Transfer cubes to large bowl and mash until smooth - no one likes lumpy candy!
- Add four cups powdered sugar and mix well. Mix in vanilla.
- Continue adding more sugar, one cup at a time, until mixture is very thick.
- Cover your counter with a sheet of wax paper, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Transfer candy ‘dough’ to wax paper, add additional powdered sugar to top and roll out to about ¼ inch thick.
- Spread peanut butter evenly over the dough. Start rolling candy tightly, jelly roll style. Wrap roll in wax paper and place in resealable bag.
- Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Unwrap and slice into 24 pieces.