Healthy Eating: Potato Month

February is Sweet Potato Month and according to some sources, it’s regular potato month too. Others celebrate the terrific tuber in September, but we think this versatile vegetable is worth honoring twice. Potatoes have received a bit of a bad rap in recent years, but these family meal favorites really are good for you, too.

Potatoes provide vitamin C, more potassium than a banana and are good sources of vitamin B6. Sweet potatoes owe their sunny hue to beta- carotene, a powerful antioxidant. All potato varieties also provide dietary fiber. As with most foods, paying attention to preparation methods is key to packing the most nutritional punch. Pick baking or broiling over frying.

Plan a spud-tastic potato month meal with Sweet Potato Mac + Cheese, Green Beans with Pinenuts and Strawberry Licuados. Keep the celebration going with Pumpkin Potato Leek Soup, Sweet Potato Salad, Keilbasa with Sauerkraut and Potatoes and Curried Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and Chickpeas.

“Family Meals Matter” features registered dietitian–approved recipes with foods from all the food groups to reflect Dairy Council of California’s nutrition philosophy to elevate the health of children and parents. For more information, nutrition tools and additional family meal recipes, please visit our website, HealthyEating.org. Healthy Eating Made Easier™

Sweet Potato Mac + Cheese. EatingWell. Photo by Peter Ardito.

HEALTHY EATING SHOPPING LIST

(Includes ingredients to make at least four servings of each Featured Family Meal recipe)

SWEET POTATO MAC + CHEESE
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow Noodles (2 cups)
1 medium sweet Potato (about 12 ounces)
2 cups fat-free Milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
1 small clove Garlic, minced
1¼ cups shredded sharp cheddar Cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
½ cup frozen Peas, thawed
3 tablespoons coarse dry whole-wheat Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive Oil

GREEN BEANS WITH PINENUTS
1 pound of green Beans, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons of pine Nuts
1 pat Butter
Dash of sea Salt and fresh black Pepper

STRAWBERRY LICUADOS
2 cups cold, low-fat Milk
1 cup (8 or 10) Ice cubes
3 cups (~24 ounces) stemmed fresh California Strawberries
2 tablespoons Sugar
4 Strawberries to garnish