Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and potassium. They are moderately rich in Vitamin C (if not boiled), calcium, and folate (folic acid). When potatoes are compared with other vegetables, they are higher in calories (133 calories per medium potato) than others (excluding sweet corn) due to their starch composition, but they are naturally low in fat and sodium. Care needs to be taken, however, when adding high fat condiments to a baked potato (such as sour cream, butter, or margarine) because these items are the culprits that add excessive calories to the finished product.
Planting and Harvesting Potatoes
The ideal time to plant seed potatoes in Central Texas in the spring is February to March; therefore, harvesting would occur May to June. In the fall, planting should occur August to September and harvest would then occur November to December.
|Plant Potatoes||Harvest Potatoes|
|February to March||May to June|
|August to September||November to December|
Storing Harvested Potatoes
Store in a cool, humid (but not wet), dark place. Do not wash before storing. Do not refrigerate.
Choosing and Freezing Potatoes
Choose firm, and fairly smooth potatoes that are free from blemishes and sunburn (a green discoloration under the skin). Avoid potatoes that have sprouted or have wilted or wrinkled skin, green or dark areas, and ones with the presence of decay. To prepare potatoes for freezing, peel or scrape and wash. If frozen, diced potatoes are desired, dice the washed potatoes and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool before placing in the appropriate freezer bags or containers; freeze, leaving 1/2″ head-space.
Steps for Freezing Diced Potatoes
- Peel, scrape, and wash potatoes.
- Dice the potatoes to the desired size.
- Blanch for 2-3 minutes.
- Drain and cool before placing in freezer bags; freeze, leaving 1/2″ head-space.
If frozen French-fried potatoes are desired, peel mature potatoes and slice into 1/3″ X 3/8″ strips. Rinse in cold water and keep covered with water until ready to fry. Dry the potato strips. Fry small amounts of the potato strips in deep hot fat (360°F about 5 minutes until tender but not brown. Drain, cool, package in freezer bags, and freeze.
Steps for Freezing French-fried Potatoes
- Peel the mature potatoes.
- Slice into 1/3″ X 3/8″ strips.
- Rinse in cold water and keep covered with water until ready to fry.
- Dry right before frying.
- Fry small amounts in deep hot fat (360°F for about 5 minutes until tender but not brown.
- Drain, cool, package, and freeze.
The following recipe is given for your enjoyment.
Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
- 5 potatoes, sliced thinly
- 2 cups ham, cooked and cubed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. prepared mustard
- 1 1/2 cups lowfat (2%) milk
- Pepper to taste
- Place potatoes, ham, and onion in a casserole dish
- Combine flour, mustard, milk, and pepper. Mix well. Pour over potatoes. Dot with butter.
- Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving): Calories:266; Protein:15.5 gm; Carbohydrates:33.2 gm; Total Fat:7.9 gm; Cholesterol:28.9 gm; Vitamin A:81.8 RE; Folate:20.7 mg; Vitamin C:14.8 mg; Potassium:729 mg; Sodium:802 mg;
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Bread, 1 Lean Meat, 1/4 Vegetable, 1/4 Milk, 1/4 Fat
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Publication Revised January 2009