“Mom, why would you do that?”
“Do what?” I said.
“Color the potatoes purple?”
Then, later that evening, a call from my brother, brought a similar inquisition:
“Do you have anything good cooking tonight?”
I said, “Yes, I am making purple potatoes.”
“You mean they are purple?”
“Well, I don’t know yet, but I’ll let you know,” I replied.
I admit, I have never cooked a purple potato but I heard recently of their health benefits and thought why not try them? I planned to mash them exactly like I would Russet potatoes. Yes, they are beautifully purple inside.
Purple potatoes contain antioxidants that strengthen your immune system and can help prevent certain heart diseases and cancers. Purple potatoes have a delicate skin which contains many of the beneficial nutrients. Therefore, I left the nutrient-rich skin on when I cooked and mashed them.
Purple potatoes are similar to the popular Russet potatoes in nutritional value. One-half cup of purple potatoes contains 70 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein and no fat. One-half cup of Russet potatoes contains 66 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein and no fat. The one significant difference between purple potatoes and Russet potatoes is the antioxidant content; purple potatoes contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes. Anthocyanin is a pigment that creates the purple color in the potatoes and also acts as an antioxidant. (Source: SF Gate). To read more on their effects on lowering blood pressure, click here.
I must admit they were the prettiest mashed potatoes I have ever made. In fact, I am going to make them for Mardi Gras because purple is one of the traditional colors of the festivities. Purple potatoes have a nutty flavor and hold up to baking, mashing, or putting in soups. I think they would add a pop of color to potato salad. The possibilities are endless (and nutritious).
The reaction at my dinner table?
My husband said to our son, “If I have to eat purple potatoes, so do you!”