Bord Bia is encouraging all Irish people to celebrate one of Ireland’s national treasures and iconic vegetables, the champion potato.
Designated National Potato Day, this Friday (October 6), the people of Ireland are being urged to experiment with new ways of cooking our most popular carbohydrate food encouraged by the fact that, according to the experts, they offer some major health benefits. The theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Potatoes: what’s under the skin’ will explore the nutritional profile of the popular tuber and offer hundreds of recipe ideas, tips and cooking advice via www.potato.ie. The website features over 120 recipes, inspired by international cuisine, which are quick to prepare in under 25 minutes and healthy containing between 300 and 500 calories.
National Potato Day ambassador and registered dietician, radio and TV broadcaster, Aoife Hearne said: “It may be a surprise to some, but potatoes are the long-standing hero of mine when it comes to carbohydrates. Not only are they unprocessed, but eating them with the skin on makes them a good source of fibre in the Irish diet. They’re fat-free, but also gluten-free, meaning they’re a great carbohydrate choice for people with coeliac disease but best of all, they’re delicious! Potatoes are part of the carbohydrate family – an essential nutrient for energy and the only energy source readily available for the brain to use. They are a valued part of a balanced and varied diet and just like other macronutrients – protein and fat – it is the quality and quantity of all these nutrients that is important.”
According to Aoife, as with all foods, how we cook potatoes is key to harnessing their health benefits and she advocates boiling, steaming, roasting or even making homemade wedges to enjoy potatoes at their best.
With potatoes remaining Ireland’s most popular carbohydrate food, the household spend on potatoes from March 2016 to March 2017 was estimated at €195m, while the farm-gate value of fresh potatoes produced in Ireland in 2016 was €86m (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine).