Potatoes are a real comfort food and what better way to enjoy them in the summertime but in a rich, creamy potato salad? There’s just something about a cool dish of potato salad that makes a summer meal a true delight.
At the same time, though, I used to shy away from eating potato salad. I used to think something this tasty couldn’t be good for me. After all, it’s potatoes and mayonnaise. We all know what potatoes do to our waistline, right? And commercially prepared mayo is processed with all kinds of ingredients that we really don’t want to eat.
Fear not! This summer, potato salad can make a return to our picnic tables. In today’s post, I’m excited to share 3 tips for making a healthier potato salad.
First, if we’re healthy and active, we shouldn’t fear potatoes. They’re actually a very healthy choice. Though they’re not packed with micronutrients like kale, they do have some important nutrients. These include vitamins A & C, iron, calcium, fiber, and protein.
The white potato nutrient composition is very close to their cousin the sweet potato. If potato salad is prepared properly, it can give your gut microbiota a big boost.
Of course, if you’re concerned with your weight or have a metabolic disorder like diabetes, you may want to limit your carb intake.
However, potato salad can be made in a certain way where the potato’s glycemic index, (GI) which measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose, can actually be significantly reduced. That should come as good news to all diabetics and pre-diabetics.
Here are the 3 simple tips:
Tip #1. Use Organic Red Potatoes
There are so many different types of potatoes, but not all of them are created equal. The best potatoes to use for potato salad are red potatoes. Red potatoes are lower in carbohydrates compared to other white potatoes like the russet. They also hold their shape when you boil them and won’t crumble when you cut them up.
Since potatoes are listed as one of the dirty dozen, they’re frequently found to be contaminated with toxic insecticides. I recommend using organic potatoes for a healthier choice. Read more here.
Tip #2. Cook and cool your red potatoes for 24 hours
Prepare your potato salad a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. Here’s why. A fascinating study showed that boiling potatoes and then storing them cold for 24 hours lowered their glycemic index (GI) to a moderate level (56). That’s pretty good considering the GI of baked white potatoes is about 85. See here and here.
People who are concerned with their GI, especially diabetics and pre-diabetics or anyone who wants to keep their GI low, could potentially eat potato salad that’s been cooked and cooled in the fridge for 24 hours without any issue.
The addition of vinegar, which is just one of the nutritious ingredients in potato salad, also lowers the GI.
Now here’s an added benefit of boiling the potatoes and keeping them cold for 24 hours. This process seems to increase the resistant starch (RS) content of the potato.
Remember our gut microbiota have to eat too. And they love to eat resistant starch. Eating boiled and cooled potatoes will keep those guys healthy and happy.
(Of course, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before adding foods to your diet if you have health issues.)
Tip #3. The Secret Ingredient: Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
It’s important to choose a healthy mayo since it’s such a key ingredient in the potato salad. I use nutritious sugar-free avocado oil mayonnaise from Primal Kitchen. As stated on the label, there are just five real-food ingredients: pure avocado oil, organic eggs, organic vinegar, sea salt and rosemary extract.
You’re going to love the taste. Refined avocado oil is highly nutritious and loaded with antioxidants. Read all about its health benefits here.
Here’s my super easy way to make a classic potato salad with healthy ingredients:
First, place your potatoes in a pot of cold water so that they will cook evenly. Add salt and bring the water to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a simmer for twenty-five to thirty minutes until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork.
Let the potatoes cool for at least 30 minutes. They’ll be easy to peel now. I always remove potato skins since reading that potentially toxic glycoalkaloids which repel pests are concentrated in the skin of the potato.
Then cut your potatoes into bite-sized pieces and toss with about a cup of avocado mayo. Cover and chill in the fridge for twenty-four hours.
The next day, I like to toss in salt, pepper, and fresh chopped sweet-tasting dill. Primal Kitchen’s mayo has organic vinegar as one of its ingredients. I only add a tiny bit, one-half of a teaspoon, of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar as well. It has a powerful taste so don’t overdo it. Seriously, I added way too much vinegar one time and I had to throw the whole batch out. Bleh. So just a little bit to taste.
You may want to sprinkle some paprika on top or add onions, celery, shredded carrots, diced bacon, or even chopped up hard boiled eggs. Whatever you like to add, you’ll be starting with a potato salad that has a moderate glycemic index. This is a huge health benefit.
Bring this healthy and delicious potato salad to your next cookout for everyone to enjoy!
If you found this post helpful, please leave a comment below and share with a friend. Have a wonderful week!
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- Start with your potatoes in a pot of cold water so that your potatoes will cook evenly.
- Add salt and bring the water to a boil. Then turn down the heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them up into bite-sized pieces. Toss with avocado mayonnaise.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for twenty-four hours.
- The next day, toss with fresh chopped dill, salt, and pepper. I only add one-half of a teaspoon of Bragg's apple cider vinegar. It has a powerful taste so don't over do it.
- Serve cold.
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