Advice + Info - Vegetables

Everything You Need to Know: The Potato

If there is one vegetable that is so indelibly linked to Irish history, it has to be the potato.

Potato blight contributed to the tragic Great Famine of the mid 19th century, resulting in mass starvation and disease across the whole island and into Europe. Prior to that, however, and the spud (which the Spanish introduced from The Americas) was an Irish staple. Indeed, it played an important role in sustaining much of the population, most especially during harsh winters. 

In contemporary Ireland, the spud has resumed its rightful status as a much-loved staple and is the world’s third most important food crop. 

In what season are potatoes best? 

Here in Ireland there are four main growing types:

1.0 Early potatoes 

  • Harvested in June
  • Typically in market until September 

2.0 Main crop potatoes 

  • In market year-round 
  • Most prevalent variety is the Rooster 

3.0 Seed potatoes

  • These grow so as to supply the source of the majority of the following year’s crop 

4.0 Salad potatoes 

  • Typically in market from August to December 

What are all the ways to cook a spud? 

This has to be one of the most versatile vegetables that exists! This humble root vegetable transforms into the most delicious dishes when cooked. Just some of the favourite ways to cook it include:

  1. In its skin baked as the classic jacket potato 
  2. Roasted 
  3. Boiled 
  4. Mashed 
  5. Barbequed 
  6. Stewed 
  7. Steamed 
  8. In soup 
  9. Crisps
  10. Chips

Here at Kylestone Nursery one of our favourite ways to enjoy them is boiled then mashed with fresh cream, butter and pepper. Yum, yum, yum!

What are the health benefits of potato? 

They are an excellent healthy food, not least of all because they are low in fat and calories. Health benefits include: 

  • High in antioxidants – helps the body to neutralise potentially damaging toxins 
  • The resistant starch in spuds is linked to improved blood sugar control
  • May improve digestion  
  • The are rich in minerals and vitamins 
  • They are really filling, so great for helping to curve hunger and fuelling the body substantially 

What vitamins are in potatoes? 

They are a nutritional and wellness powerhouse! They include: 

  • Fibre 
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Manganese 
  • Phosphorous 
  • Niacin 
  • Folate 

Do potatoes contain gluten? 

Good news for those who are celiac or gluten intolerant – there is no gluten in spuds! 

For how long do they keep? 

If raw, they can last for several months when stored correctly. This includes leaving them in a dry, cool and dark place. 

Can you eat sprouted potatoes? 

Provided they are without any wrinkling and remain firm, then sprouted spuds are not harmful to eat. The sprouts themselves, however, contain toxins, so be sure to remove them completely before use. 

Can you freeze them? 

You can freeze them when they are raw, or when cooked. 

Can you eat raw potatoes? 

Although they contain higher levels of Vitamin C than they do when cooked, raw spuds nonetheless also contain solanine, which is a poison linked to a range of ailments including headaches, vomiting, cramping, eczema and inflammation. 

Can you eat green potatoes? 

Such colouring may indicate solanine (see above) levels and as such, you should not eat them,  

Feeling peckish for your favourite vege? Contact us here at Kylestone Nurseries to find out what spuds we have in store, along with all our other fresh produce.  Buy direct from our Farm Shop today – delivery in our local area is free!