Smashed Potatoes (Paleo)

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I am all about easy recipes these days. One dish, under 30 minutes and Instant Pot recipes have all been saving my tushy in this busy life season. Since food is my love language and one of the most important ways I take care of myself I make sure to have a delicious form of protein, carbohydrates and veggies prepared each week to grab from when I have less time to cook.

This week I’m all about POTATOES! Since I am a Rebel (take this quiz to find out your tendency) and can’t stand being held to a plan, I love having the option to choose whatever I’m feeling like in a given week! Plantains on sale? Cool, stocking up on those! Fresh yuca just come in? Yes, please! Having the freedom to rotate carbohydrate sources means I’ll never get bored of what I’m eating and also means I’ll get a variety of nutrients.

Let’s talk potatoes, especially white potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams are typically more accepted) for a sec… because at least in the Paleo community they have certainly had their fair share of conflicting nutrition advice. Are they healthy, are they not healthy? Potatoes have had a reputation for being calorically empty, spiking insulin and thanks to new low carb diets, has been deemed a high carbohydrate food.

While it is true that potatoes (especially white potatoes) are higher in carbohydrates, they are also chock full of micronutrients! 28% recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B6, 27% RDA of potassium, 26% RDA of calcium and manganese are just some of the nutrients you’ll find in a single baked potato. Pretty cool if you ask me! Especially if you are following a dairy-free diet, calcium can become pretty important! Other forms of dietary calcium can come from leafy greens, canned fish with bones, nuts and many more foods! Not sure about you but a potato seems like a really tasty way to get calcium!

Switching gears to glycemic index, this is a measure of how much of an effect food has on our blood sugar after consuming it. While this is contextual and varies on the method of preparation, I certainly think there are times when higher glycemic index foods are beneficial: post-workout, during times of high stress and breastfeeding stages just to name a few examples.

There are easy ways to reduce the glycemic index of potatoes by simply changing the preparation method – cooking and cooling a potato before consuming allows resistant starch to form. Resistant starch is a highly-fermentable insoluable fiber. This just means it doesn’t fully break down during the digestive process and instead becomes a slow-burning source of carbohydrates and have positive effects on the gut microbiome.

Basically, potatoes are your friend! Sure there are more beneficial times to consume them like after a workout or during dinner to help prepare for sleep and recovery but they certainly don’t deserve to be demonized! I love eating freshly baked or cooked potatoes and always make extras for leftovers so I can get that beneficial resistant starch! Don’t over think it.

Now, on to this recipe! This is one of those recipes that I’ve made hundreds of time and have just never put it down on paper. Crispy edges, soft centers, these potatoes are so dreamy! In my opinion, if your potatoes aren’t crispy, you’re doing it wrong! My number one trick to getting crispy potatoes every time is to broil them for a few minutes at the end of cooking. Criiiiissspppy perfection.

Smashed Potatoes (Paleo)

(PALEO, WHOLE30, 21DSD, GRAIN FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE)
SERVES 4
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

Ingredients:

2 lbs. red potatoes

1-3 c. water depending on cooking method (see below)

1 tbs. olive oil or ghee

1/2 tsp. sea salt or mushroom powder

Method:

  1. Start by placing the potatoes and 1 c. water into the Instant Pot. Seal the lid.
  1. Select “steam” on the Instant Pot and set timer to 8 minutes.
  1. After the cooking cycle has finished, manually release the pressure by turning the knob sideways.
  2. Alternatively, use a steamer basket and a saucepan on the stovetop and steam potatoes for ~20 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Turn oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Toss potatoes with olive oil or ghee, sea salt or mushroom powder and mix until coated evenly.
  2. Place potatoes on the baking sheet and carefully take either a fork or bottom of a plate/cup and press down lightly on each potato, smashing it open gently.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and turn oven on broil (500°) the last few minutes to ensure a nice crispy crunch!
  4. Top with cilantro if desired and devour!

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