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Monte Vista, CO (Profitable.com) Boiled, mashed, roasted or scalloped, potatoes are a perennial favorite at dinner tables everywhere, especially during the holiday season. Most of us hold cherished memories of family dinners at holiday time, and those joyous, sumptuous meals almost certainly featured Mom’s fluffy mashed potatoes or crispy potato latkes.
But potatoes are much more than a holiday staple and comfort food. Colorado-grown potatoes pack a solid nutritional punch that makes them a year-round part of a healthy diet. For instance, a medium potato (about the size of a computer mouse) has:
- Just 110 calories
- Nearly half the recommended daily serving vitamin C
- More potassium than a banana for a healthy heart and muscles
- Vitamin B6 to boost mind and metabolism
- Dietary fiber and essential antioxidants
- ZERO fat
- ZERO sodium
- ZERO cholesterol
- ZERO gluten
Colorado-grown potatoes deliver all that and more. Because of the unique high-altitude growing environment in the San Luis Valley, Colorado’s potato central, the valley’s spring and summer are filled with warm, sunny days and cool nights, the ideal combination for perfect growing conditions.
“You can really taste the difference in a Colorado potato,” says Jim Ehrlich, executive director of Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC). “Our cooler weather and isolated growing conditions eliminate pests and disease and create a smoother skin, richer color, and deeper flavor.”
For those who think carbohydrates must be avoided to manage body weight, think again: mainstream science advises that excess calories are to blame for weight gain, regardless of what foods they come from. Calories come from three sources: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Fats contain the most — 9 calories per gram; protein and carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram. So avoiding carbohydrate from potatoes and other vegetables deprives your body of essential nutrients. And those who must be gluten-free can enjoy potatoes in abundance.
Rachael Flatt, the 2010 U.S. National Figure Skating Champion and now CPAC spokesperson, is an enthusiastic potato promoter. “I love potatoes for their nutritional value and their taste,” Rachael says. “Colorado potatoes, with their extensive varieties, are the perfect complement to any meal, especially at holiday time.”
The Colorado Potato Administrative Committee is a consortium of 22 major potato warehouses that pack and ship potatoes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Using ultra-modern equipment, shippers can take potatoes from storage to warehouse to truck any day during the shipping season without exposure to the outdoors. About 95 percent of the crop is shipped to the nation’s fresh market, making Colorado the #2 fresh potato shipper in the U.S. CPAC is headquartered in Monte Vista, Colorado, at 1305 Park Ave., PO Box 348, Monte Vista, CO 81144. Contact CPAC at 719-852-3322 or www.coloradopotato.org.