Spuds and Buds

One of the my favorite, and yet under appreciated meals to eat is the baked potato. Few things can compare to the heartiness that a fully loaded baked potato offers. Also, because of how versatile the potato is, so many different and great flavors can be combined to make it your own unique meal! 

Not only do potatoes have great flavor, but they also have great nutritional value as well! The potato is mostly easily digested carbohydrates and starch which are great sources of energy for the active lifestyle. In addition to the health benefits, potatoes are also cheap filling meals! The prices usually vary from store to store but you can expect to get potatoes for a mere 35-75 cents a pound, which leaves you extra scrill to pick up your favorite toppings to load on top of the potato! Now I’m sure you’re used to wrapping it up with some tin foil before you toss it in the oven which gives you a softer mushy skin and potato. I like to cook it without the foil and smother it with olive or grape seed oil to give it that nice crunchy outer skin with a slightly firmer potato. My usual favorites are warm butter, sour cream, chives, and bacon bits! When feeling crazy I’ll throw in some cilantro and make it a fiesta spud or some chili and ground beef and have the Midwest potato.

The best part of the potato is that it is so easy to make, and so easy to change into a completely different meal every time. The steps are simple:

Steps:

1. With a stiff brush, scrub and wash the potatoes under warm water

2. Using a fork, thoroughly perforate the outer skin of the potato. Then coat the potato with olive oil or for a healthier option use grape seed oil. End by sprinkling coarse grained kosher salt on top.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the racks in top and bottom thirds.

4. Place potato, or potatoes, directly on the rack in the middle of the oven, then place a baking sheet or foil on the rack below to catch the drippings.

5. Let bake for about an hour or until the skin is nice and crispy and the inside feels soft.

6. When removing be careful because it will be super hot. When serving, perforate a line hotdog style across the potato then squeeze the potato in from he ends and it will pop right open and release some steam.

It’s super easy to throw a few of these in the oven and hang out with your friends for an hour while the potatoes cook. And for those who don’t have an oven or cannot wait long enough for it to bake in the oven, here’s a link for a microwave recipe that works really well too!  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/microwave-baked-potato/detail.aspx

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