The spud family is full of various shapes, sizes and colors. In addition to the sweet potato, russet potato and other common types of potato, baby potatoes are a root vegetable worth adding to your grocery list. An easy way to incorporate them into your diet is to microwave baby potatoes.
Baby potatoes are also referred to as mini potatoes, immature potatoes, small potatoes and sometimes fingerling potatoes. Whatever you call them, these starch-based foods complement a variety of main dishes and can be prepared in several ways. While roasting and baking are popular cooking methods, you can also steam or microwave mini potatoes.
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Potatoes Nutrition Facts and Benefits
The different types of potatoes offer unique flavors and nutrition profiles, though the healthiest potatoes tend to be deep in color. For this reason, opt for red or purple mini potatoes if possible. The most common mini potatoes are yellow and red.
According to the USDA, a ¾ cup serving of baby red potatoes contains the following nutrients:
- 131 calories
- 3 grams of protein
- 31 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of fiber
- 0 grams of fat
- 56 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin C
- 7 percent DV of iron
Since baby potatoes are low in fat and naturally free of dietary cholesterol, they are often recommended as part of heart-healthy eating plans. For example, the DASH diet allows for multiple servings of potatoes per day.
According to a December 2016 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, potatoes have antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity, anticancer and antidiabetic effects. Reseachers urge for a long-term study on the health effects of potatoes while controlling for fat intake.
Read more: The Benefits of Eating Potato Skins
How to Microwave Baby Potatoes
To microwave mini potatoes, you will need a fork, microwave-safe container, the desired amount of baby potatoes and optional herbs.
According to the American Heart Association, here is how to microwave mini potatoes:
- Rinse the baby potatoes thoroughly.
- Pierce each potato with a fork.
- Transfer to a microwave-safe container.
- Microwave mini potatoes on high for approximately 10 minutes or until tender.
- Toss the potatoes halfway.
The time needed to microwave baby potatoes varies depending on the amount of potatoes and power of the microwave. Cutting the potatoes into smaller sizes, such as potato cubes, can also encourage them to cook faster.
Cooking smaller batches of potatoes in the microwave can also encourage faster cooking. For a quick snack or side dish, spread the potatoes out in a glass baking dish.
Some people worry about the safety of microwaves, but they are a preferred cooking method for potatoes. According to a November 2018 study published in Nutrients, microwaved potatoes contain 50% more vitamin C compared to boiling and baking. Microwaving potatoes also retains more resistant starch than boiling.
Baby Potatoes Recipes
You can use baby potatoes in place of other types of potatoes in many recipes. To incorporate mini potatoes into your diet, use them to make mashed potatoes, baked potatoes and potato casseroles.
The easiest and most convenient method is to microwave baby potatoes, but you can also roast or boil them. The Mayo Clinic offers a roasted baby potato recipe with garlic and herbs. The Cleveland Clinic recommends boiling Peruvian baby potatoes with various vegetables.
Try baby potatoes using these LIVESTRONG.com recipes:
- USDA: “Baby Red Potatoes”
- Mayo Clinic: “Roasted Potatoes With Garlic and Herbs”
- Cleveland Clinic: “Recipe: Peruvian Blue Potato Salad”
- American Heart Association: “Rustic Stuffed Potatoes — Delicious Decisions”
- Nutrients: “Starchy Carbohydrates in a Healthy Diet: The Role of the Humble Potato”
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: “Health-Beneficial Properties of Potato and Compounds of Interest”