Purple potatoes: Recipes and why you need to eat more purple

Lana Bandoim's picture

Have you considered adding more purple potatoes to your diet to get the health benefits?

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Purple potatoes have nothing to do with artificial food colors. Instead, they are naturally grown and have a dark violet skin and interior. These vegetables can be found in many grocery stores and may be called purple Peruvian potatoes. Several studies have found multiple health benefits to eating more purple foods, so you may want to experiment with the recipes.

What are purple potatoes?

Often called purple Peruvian potatoes, they are popular throughout South America. They have a characteristic bold, purple color on the outside and inside, so they are easy to recognize. Many people compare their taste to Russet potatoes, and others share that they have a nutty or earthy flavor.

One of the main benefits of adding purple potatoes to your diet is the high antioxidant amount that can fight free radical damage in the cells. The purple color indicates that they have polyphenol antioxidants, and these Peruvian potatoes have four times more of these compounds than regular potatoes. In addition, they have potassium, vitamin C and other nutrients that are essential for the body.

Why you need to eat more purple potatoes

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A recent study found that eating more purple potatoes may lower blood pressure in adults without causing weight gain. This is a crucial point since regular potatoes are often blamed for adding extra pounds. Researchers followed study participants who ate six to eight small purple potatoes two times a day and noticed they reduced their blood pressure. Researchers suggest that you should avoid frying the potatoes since this eliminates some of the health benefits. Instead, you want to mash, boil, roast, bake or microwave them.

Purple potato recipes and cooking tips

Purple potatoes need to be stored in a similar way to their regular counterparts, so you want to keep them in dark, cool and dry areas before you cook. Likewise, you want to select firm potatoes that show no signs of sprouting or damage. You can find purple Peruvian potatoes at some farmers’ markets, grocery stores and specialty shops. Many regular potato recipes can be reused with the purple versions.

Purple potato salad. This purple potato salad recipe is easy to make and preserves the health benefits of this vegetable without adding a large amount of oil or fat. You simply boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, cut them and add your seasoning.

Mashed purple potatoes. This mashed potato recipe preserves the rich, purple color of the potatoes. It relies on roasted garlic and thyme in olive oil for additional flavor.

Roasted purple potatoes. Roasting your purple potatoes is a healthy alternative, and this purple potato recipe uses lemon, thyme, mustard and other seasonings to add flavor.

Purple potatoes will not fall apart after baking or roasting. However, they are still easy to mash and break apart for other recipes. Their skin is thin and fragile, so you should be aware of this as you prepare them. If you want to add more purple to your diet, then purple Peruvian potatoes are an easy way to start. They are healthy and delicious, so you may not miss the regular, white versions.

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