Quarterly Mash-Up: Better Snacking with Potatoes
Consumers’ food preferences are ever-changing, and an increasing percent of the population has placed a larger emphasis on eating more plant-based foods. As more restaurant patrons are looking for lighter, “feel-good” dishes, vegetables are finding themselves on more plates and menus.
69% of consumers are making a conscious effort to eat more veggies as they look to reduce their meat intake and move toward a plant-based diet. As America’s favorite vegetable², potatoes are an easy and tasty way to incorporate more vegetables onto menus. All potatoes, when consumed with the skin on, are a nutrient-dense vegetable that are a good source of potassium and excellent source of Vitamin C, all while containing no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
In addition to being a nutritional powerhouse, potatoes are a great vessel for other veggies. Consider these loaded potato half-shells, filled with quinoa, corn, cabbage, red pepper and black-eyed peas for a delicious plant-based snack.
Looking for snacking inspiration for your menu? Look no further than these potato “not wings.” Crispy potato wedges that can be tossed with any fan-favorite sauce – honey mustard, lemon-pepper seasoning, BBQ, buffalo sauce – to create a delicious, plant-based shareable appetizer. Pair with extra sauce for dipping and you’ve got yourself a buzz-worthy starter!
Smaller potatoes are an easy choice to feature as appetizer or side dish. Petites, marbles, fingerlings, young, and new all offer delicious taste in a snack-size bite with the added benefit of minimal preparation. At Lolinda, an Argentinean Steakhouse in San Francisco, a side of petite potatoes are roasted and tossed in a chimichurri butter. The Chimichurri gives these potatoes a lighter, herb-forward flavor profile, perfect to pair with a protein or enjoy on their own.
Did You Know?
As you think about crafting better-for-you, plant-based menu items, consider these potato nutrition facts:
- One medium size (5.3 oz) potato with skin contains more potassium than a banana and is an excellent source of Vitamin C!
- Potatoes have the complex carbohydrates needed to fuel your patrons’ daily demands ─ potatoes are more energy-packed than any other popular vegetable!
- Potatoes are gluten-free, vegetarian, and provide a source of natural protein – 3 grams per one medium size (5.3 oz) potato. As a whole, unprocessed food, potatoes can easily play across the menu and appeal to a wide range of eaters.
 Datassential, Plant + Cellular Report, 2017, page 12.
² Potatoes USA. “2019 Consumer A&U Quantitative Report.” March 2018, slide 10