Potatoes are so common in our everyday lives that I think many of us take for granted how great they are. Most of us eat something with this humble tuber in it at least once a week, and I’m here to tell you to keep doing that– they have some pretty amazing health benefits. Today, I’m partnering with the passionate people at Potatoes USA to share with everyone the awesomeness of US potatoes.
Currently, Potatoes USA represents over 2,500 potato growers and handlers across the USA. Their mission? To promote the health benefits of eating US potatoes across the globe, and there are a lot of them!
The US is a world leader in producing the very best potatoes thanks to their state-of-the-art processing. Not to mention, the USDA consistently makes sure the potatoes are the very best quality.
When you hear the words “US Potatoes”, you can be sure that they refer to high quality and variety. Maybe you’re never really taken note of it before, but the potatoes you’ve been buying are probably a part of the US potato family. On the packaging there will be a label that says it was “Made with real US potatoes” or “Grown in the USA”.
Here in the Philippines, you can actually find three main kinds of US potatoes in supermarkets and certain stores. Let me walk you through them briefly.
FRESH US POTATOES
These US potatoes are carefully grown by family farmers, following strict guidelines set by the USDA to ensure maximum quality. They actually use highly scientific techniques for this; monitoring everything from the soil to the water content in order to meet the nutritional needs of the US potatoes. Obviously, everything starts with the use of seed potatoes that have undergone strict US seed certification systems.
Once the US potatoes are harvested, they are meticulously stored in facilities designed to preserve their optimal quality. Ideal temperature, lighting, humidity, and ventilation come into play at this stage. Thanks to the hard work of the farmers, we here in the Philippines also get to enjoy some really amazing fresh US potatoes.
Since only the “cream of the crop” end up being chosen for sale, we can all be confident about the dishes we produce using these fresh US potatoes.
Where to buy: Rustan’s Supermarket, SM Supermarket, Robinson’s Supermarket
FROZEN US POTATOES
These frozen options are made using the premium fresh US potatoes I discussed above. The fresh potatoes undergo a quick-freezing process to lock in all their flavor and nutrients. And then they have to pass the inspection of the USDA and the FDA before being allowed to go into the stores. The US is the only country with mandatory grading standards for potatoes, so this is another thing that can put our minds at ease.
Frozen US potatoes are usually made using Premium Russet Potatoes to get the right size and length, especially when it comes to fries. Frozen US potatoes are practical because they can provide us with potato-based meals all-year round, plus they come in a wide array. Here are the most commonly found in local supermarkets:
US potatoes that are meant-to-be frozen must contain high solids and low sugar, since these two criteria are what will maintain the desirable appearance of the US potatoes even after being frozen. They also give the frozen potatoes superior taste and texture once cooked.
Where to buy: Cherry Foodarama, S&R, Rustan’s Supermarket, SM Supermarket, Robinson’s Supermarket
Some recipes to try: Potatoes and Eggs Breakfast Casserole; Easy cheesy potatoes; Potato, Red Pepper, and Cheese Frittata; also watch out for my next post featuring an awesome recipe using frozen fries!
DEHYDRATED US POTATOES
The most uncommonly used of the three, dehydrated US potatoes are real US potatoes minus the water. They contain all the flavor, nutrition, and versatility of fresh potatoes, but since they are dehydrated, they come in a smaller and more convenient package.
The main benefit of using dehydrated potatoes is that they remove the time you need to spend washing, peeling, and boiling the potatoes before use. Also, they are really easy to store. These types of potatoes are used right out of the package and then rehydrated to use in soups, salads, side dishes, and even desserts.
Here in the Philippines, dehydrated potatoes are more of a specialty ingredient, but the most common among them are the US standard potato flakes and mashed potato mixes. These are great for adding into baked breads to make them fluffier, as well as for making instant mashed potatoes.
Where to buy: Gourdo’s, S&R, All About Baking, The Baker’s Company, Best Value Factory Outlet
Before I got this opportunity to collaborate with Potatoes USA Philippines, I wasn’t entirely aware of the superpowers of this fantastic tuber. However I have loved them all my life, so learning about the health benefits of these US potatoes just makes me love them more! Also, knowing about how these US potatoes are grown with its end users like us in mind, I feel pretty good recommending them to everyone.
Learn more about the health benefits of US Potatoes on their Facebook page. This post was brought to you by Potatoes USA, but all opinions stated above are my own.