New or baby potatoes, but not “fingerlings”, are another attraction in the farmer’s market. These potatoes are an early summer derivative of the potato family that tides through until the fingerlings sprout in. But what is really interesting is that these baby potatoes, apart from being delicious, provide a wholesome range of benefits that otherwise malign the character of a potato as a vegetable when consumed in large quantities owing to the health risks.
Baby potatoes are relatively immature potatoes that subsided early to give the rest of the potatoes space to grow and flourish. They are not scientifically a different variety altogether but are the teeny-weeny version of the giant-sized potatoes. The potatoes being sold as baby potatoes are nothing different from the new potatoes that are slightly more mature.
Baby potatoes vs regular potatoes
New potatoes can vary in size from round to oblong, ranging from a walnut to a Ping-Pong ball. Since these are harvested before the time of their complete maturity, the skin is tender and thin, with peels feathering off at places. Hence, these potatoes are not needed to be peeled off before cooking; instead, they can simply be roasted or boiled and have a delicate, mildly sweet flavour with a creamy texture.
Another advantage that these potatoes carry due to their tender skin is that since their skin is not hardened like the other regular potatoes, their longevity is more than regular potatoes. These baby potatoes can be easily stored in a paper bag in a cool place but must be eaten as soon as possible to ensure that the nutrients are well intact.
How to differentiate between fingerlings and baby potatoes
Fingerlings are often confused with new or baby potatoes, but they are entirely different. Their size is small, but they are fully matured and harvested after their green upper portion has died. They are comparatively elongated in size, replicating a human finger almost. They, too, have delicate skin and are not required to be peeled before cooking. Their taste and aroma are somewhat closer to regular potatoes. The texture is also firm that holds itself up well during cooking. Boiled or roasted, they too taste great!!
The draw between the new or baby and fingerling potatoes is their unique shape and size. They look fantastic in their tiny body when used in a salad or consumed as a boiled or roasted side dish. It has often been seen that children, especially, run away from vegetables. However, reports reveal that baby potatoes are a favourite amongst most children. An all-rounder in a year and economical at a price, baby potatoes are vegetables that almost every household consumes daily.
Now, for those health-conscious who think that potatoes are a sweet poison for health, let’s clear the myth about baby potatoes. “Potatoes make you fat…” is now an obsolete idea. Yes, we know what we are saying!! So researchers have studied and proved the health benefits associated with the consumption of baby potatoes. The reason is that these are rich in nutrients and all types of amino acids. In fact, it should not be a surprise at all, if we say that on the contrary, potatoes can help you lose weight!! Surprised? Yes, you will be.
So let’s see, what are the reasons to include baby potatoes in your daily diet. Although, the main reason would be anytime their yum taste!!
Health benefits of consuming baby potatoes
- The juice of the potato helps in healing rheumatism. It is advised that 2 teaspoons of raw juice of a baby potato taken every day before a meal can prevent the attack of rheumatism. The pain and discomfort will be subsided and healed completely if the routine is maintained.
- Controls blood pressure. Medical research has revealed that a potato consumed on a daily basis can keep blood pressure levels under check. The potassium present in the potato does this magic.
- Prevents cancer. One of the highest benefits of eating baby potatoes. Lectins present in the bar the growth of free radicals that lead to cancer over some time. So, having a baby potato will create a protective shield in your body that will fight these free radicals.
- Strengthen the bones. Baby potatoes are rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron, which are essential for the growth and healthy maintenance of bones and teeth. For anyone who is at risk of osteoporosis must consume potatoes daily.
- Takes care of the heart’s health. As a rich source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and B6, baby potatoes significantly reduce cardiovascular diseases. Another reason to eat potatoes!!
- Keeps the cholesterol levels under control. The dietary fibres present in the baby potatoes lower the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body and maintain an equilibrium between the good (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Takes care of the nervous system. This is one of the most essential and crucial reasons to eat baby potatoes. Vitamin B supports the adrenal functionality of the brain, thus maintaining a healthy nervous system. Vitamin 6 produces the neurotransmitters that establish good correspondence between the brain and the nerve cells.
- Healthifies your skin. The vitamin C component is good for the skin, as we all know. The vitamin C present in the baby potatoes boosts collagen production, which results in supple skin with a wrinkle-free texture. So, untimely ageing can be stopped by eating baby potatoes.
In short, potatoes are not always bad, as we read above. But it is also true that too much of something is neither good too!!