Russet potatoes are medium to large sized potatoes with a thin, rough brown skin and a starchy white flesh that becomes velvety when cooked. They belong to the solanaceous family of nightshade vegetables. Russets are the most common potato crop in America and were first found in Massachusetts. Famously, they are known for making French fries, but they are also delicious roasted in the oven, cooked then sautéed with greens, and blended into soups.
Cooking and cooling Russet potatoes turns them into a resistant starch, an indigestible fiber/prebiotic. Resistant starches are associated with positive glycemic control.
- Fiber important for digestive health and keeps you feeling full
- Vitamin C important for the immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Potassium helps lower blood pressure and helps muscles contract
- Manganese contributes to healthy bones
How to Shop
Similar to onions, Russet potatoes should be firm to touch with no soft, green, dark, wet, or moldy spots. You can also tell that they are old when they have started to sprout.
How to Grow
When: In cool weather, 6-8 weeks before the last frost date
Where: An area with full sun and cool, well-drained, soil.
How: In a trench that tapers from 6 to 3 inches wide and is 8 inches deep. Plant potatoes in rows 3 feet apart. In each row, plant seeds every 12-14 inches and underneath 3-4 inches of soil. In two weeks, carefully fill the trench with 3-4 more inches of soil leaving the plant still visible and repeat every few weeks until soil is 4 in. above ground level.
Harvest: 2-3 weeks after the plants’ greenery has died. Cut the browning plant off and wait another 10-14 days for the plant to mature.
How to Store
Freshly dug potatoes need to cure uncleaned in a cool, dry space for 2 weeks. When they are cured, they will last another month in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.