Brits are turning their backs on this national staple in favour of ‘healthier’ alternatives, but are they really so bad for our waistlines?

 
Potatoes have been at the heart of our cuisine for centuries and, in our view, they certainly deserve their pole position in the starchy carb stakes. So we’re saddened to hear that figures published yesterday reveal we’re consuming 20% fewer potatoes than this time 10 years ago.

Why they’re healthy
As well as a naturally low-fat supply of energy, they also deliver fibre for good digestion, along with potassium needed for fluid control in our bodies and surprisingly useful amounts of vitamin C.

And with just 113 calories per hearty 150g portion of delicious, steaming new potatoes, they don’t need to be a problem on the energy front, either.

Worth the swap?
Our love affair with the good old spud seems to be under pressure due to the popularity of alternatives such as spiralized courgettes and carrots among the health conscious. We’re not knocking these – in fact, we’re featuring these and other useful ‘fake carbs’ in the May issue of Healthy Food Guide. If you’re looking for new ways to trim calories, they have their place in our meal plans.

We also have recipes that use some tasty potato alternatives such as pea mash, ricotta gnocchi and creamy polenta – check them out, whip them up and let us know what you think

But we hate to think it’s curtains for the lovely spud: remember, there’s no such thing as Sunday roast without roast potatoes – if you know how to make them the healthy way!
 

5 potato swap recipes to try

 
Ricotta ‘gnocchi’ with tomatoes and sage
Avoid the heaviness of gnocchi with these potato-free ricotta versions.

gnocchi

Beef and mushrooms on creamy polenta
Swap a classic mash accompaniment to meat for this creamy, cheesy polenta.

polenta

Pea, mint and spinach mash
Turn mash into one of your five-a-day with this minted pea version, which is great with grilled lamb or fish.

peamash

Tuna steaks with sweet potato wedges and spring greens
For a healthier take on fish and chips swap normal potatoes for sweet potato wedges.

wedges

Bean, garlic and rosemary mash
Turn tinned beans into an interesting side dish with this hearty bean and garlic mash.

bean-mash