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Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes 101 – The Basics

You may already be familiar with Yukon Gold potatoes, but relatively speaking, they’re fairly new on the market. They were released for sale in 1980, which is really not that long ago. Their color, flavor and texture are a bit different that than of a standard white potato, so you may be wondering what to do with them. Below is a lot of information that will hopefully answer all your questions about these beauties in the potato arena. If you haven’t tried a Yukon Gold, let me urge you to go for it! They’re a real treat.

Enjoy!
Judi

Yukon Gold Potatoes 101 – The Basics

About Yukon Gold Potatoes
Yukon Gold potatoes are classified as Solanum tuberosum. They are a cross between a North American white potato and a wild South American yellow-fleshed one. They were first bred in Canada in the 1960s and were released for sale in 1980.  They were named for the gold-rush country by the Yukon River. Yukon Gold potatoes are available year-round. They are grown in Canada and the Midwest and Western regions of the United States.

Yukon Golds have a smooth, thin, light brown skin that is relatively free of eyes giving it a uniform texture and shape. The flesh is yellow to gold in color, firm, moist, and waxy. They have a medium starch content. Cooked Yukon Gold potatoes have a creamy and tender consistency with a rich, buttery flavor. These potatoes are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways including both wet and dry cooking methods. Yukon Golds are considered to be an “all-purpose” potato.

Nutrition Tidbits
Many people have shied away from eating potatoes in recent years because of their carbohydrate content. However, when eaten in moderation and with their skins intact, the fiber and nutrients in potatoes makes them a good addition to a healthful diet.

Yukon Gold potatoes have about twice the Vitamin C as white potatoes, yielding about 45% of the recommended daily value. They are also good sources of Vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. They are naturally fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free. A medium Yukon Gold potato has about 100 calories.  Research has shown that including Yukon Golds in your diet may help you to sleep better and reduce your risk for heart disease.

How to Select Yukon Gold Potatoes
Choose firm potatoes with no wrinkles, bruises, or soft spots. Avoid those with a greenish tinge. This indicates they were exposed to too much light and developed the toxin solanine. Small amounts of green area can be cut off before using the potato. If more than half of the potato is green, throw it out. The solanine may cause intestinal upset and is actually toxic in large doses.

How to Store Yukon Gold Potatoes
Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place in an open paper bag. Keep them away from heat sources. Do not store in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature will promote the starches to turn to sugar. Also, do not store them near onions, as the gases released will cause the potatoes to age faster. Do not wash them until you are ready to use them. They should keep well for up to two weeks.

How to Preserve Yukon Gold Potatoes
Cooked and mashed Yukon Golds can be frozen. Pack in a sealed container with 1/2 inch headspace and freeze for up to one year. Reheat in the microwave, or over low heat in a saucepan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or water, while stirring constantly.

The traditional blanching method is also a good way to freeze Yukon Gold potatoes. First wash them well, and remove the peel if desired (it is not mandatory to peel them). Cut the potatoes into desired size pieces (from hash brown size to large chunks) and blanch them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Immediately transfer them to an ice water bath for 3 to 5 minutes, until completely cooled. Drain well and place them in air-tight freezer containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 10 to 12 months.

You may also freeze the blanched pieces separately by placing them in a single layer on a baking tray that was coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tray in the freezer until the pieces are frozen, then transfer them to an air-tight container or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Return them to the freezer.

For best results, use frozen potatoes within a month, but they may keep in the freezer for up to a year. When you want to use the potatoes, use them frozen or only partially thaw them in the refrigerator.

Complete instructions for freezing potatoes that are prepared in various ways can be found on this website: https://tastessence.com/best-ways-to-freeze-potatoes

How to Prepare Yukon Gold Potatoes
When you’re ready to use your Yukon Golds, simply give them a good scrub under running water. Remove any blemishes with a paring knife. It is not mandatory to peel them, but you can if desired. Once the potatoes are cut, use them right away. If that’s not possible, place them in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown. Adding a little lemon juice or vinegar to the water will also help to keep them from discoloring. Do not soak the potatoes for more than two hours.

Cooking/Serving Ideas Using Yukon Gold Potatoes
Yukon Gold potatoes are strong enough to be used for Hasselback potatoes, fluffy enough for being mashed, and creamy enough for a rich yet crispy roasted potato. Yukon Golds can be used in any recipe calling for red potatoes (but not vice versa). They can be mashed, used in soups, stews, chowders, and casseroles, roasted, grilled, fried, sautéed, steamed, boiled, microwaved, and baked.

Quick tips for using Yukon Gold potatoes:

* Potatoes cooked with their peel on will be more flavorful, will hold their shape better, and will absorb less water. Also, the peel is easier to remove once the potato is cooked.

* When boiling potatoes, place them in the pot with cold water. If placed in a pot of boiling water, they will not heat evenly and the outside will be cooked before the inside of the potato is done.

* Make a simple soup by cooking Yukon Gold potatoes in chicken or vegetable broth with leafy greens such as kale, Swiss chard or spinach, and sautéed garlic and onions.

* Use leftover baked potatoes for quick hash browns the next day.

* Cut leftover baked potatoes into ½-inch slices. Brush with oil or melted butter and sprinkle with seasonings of choice. Bake at 425°F for 35 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Call them done when golden brown.

* For easy garlic mashed potatoes, cook them with several peeled cloves of garlic. Mash the garlic along with the potatoes and season as usual.

* For rich mashed potatoes, add evaporated milk instead of whole milk.

* Dress up mashed potatoes by adding in some chopped broccoli and cheddar cheese.

* Do something a little different with your mashed potatoes. Drizzle some pesto on top. Or dress them up with some herbs, such as scallions, parsley and thyme.

* For easy roasted potatoes, cut potatoes into large chunks. Coat with olive oil and/or melted butter, and season as desired. Roast at 375°F for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning them often, until golden brown outside and tender inside.

* Use leftover mashed potatoes to thicken soups and stews.

* Use leftover mashed potatoes to make potato patties. Mix about 2 cups mashed potatoes with 1 or 2 eggs, ¼ cup flour or bread crumbs, and seasonings of choice (i.e. salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cheese). Form into patties and fry in a small amount of fat in a skillet. Optional topping: sour cream.

* Use baked potatoes for mashing, rather than boiling them. They will have more flavor and will be less watery.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well With Yukon Gold Potatoes
Basil, bay leaf, capers, caraway seeds, cardamom, cayenne, chervil, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder and curry spices, dill, fenugreek, garam masala, garlic, ginger, horseradish, lovage, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, sage, salt, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric

Other Foods That Go Well With Yukon Gold Potatoes
Proteins, Nuts, Seeds:
Bacon, beans (fava), beef, cashews, chickpeas, egg, lamb, lentils, peas, pine nuts, poultry, seafood, tahini, walnuts

Vegetables: Arugula, asparagus, beans (green), bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chiles, chives, eggplant, fennel, greens (i.e. collards, mustard, salad), kale, leeks, mushrooms, okra, olives, onions, parsnips, peas (split), ramps, rutabagas, scallions, shallots, sorrel, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, truffles, turnips, vegetables (root), watercress

Fruit: Apples, coconut, lemon

Grains and Grain Products: Corn, pasta, quinoa, spelt

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Butter, buttermilk, cheese, coconut cream, cream, crème fraiche, milk (dairy and non-dairy), sour cream, yogurt

Other: Lavender, mayonnaise, oil, pesto, stock (vegetable), vinegar, wine

Yukon Gold potatoes have been used in: Baked goods, casseroles, curries, French cuisine, gratins, Indian cuisine, potato cakes/potato pancakes, salads (i.e. egg, green, potato), skordalia (a thick Greek garlic and potato sauce or spread), soups, stews, stuffed baked potatoes

Suggested Flavor Combos:
Combine Yukon Gold potatoes with…
Butternut squash + sage
Cauliflower + leeks
Cheddar cheese + chiles + corn
Cream + garlic + thyme
Garlic + lemon + olive oil + parsley
Garlic + olive oil
Herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme) + lemon

Recipe Links
Seasoned Yukon Gold Wedges https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/seasoned-yukon-gold-wedges/

Sheet Pan Flank Steak, Greens, and Yukon Gold Fries Recipe https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/sheet-pan-flank-steak-greens-and-yukon-gold-fries-recipe

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes https://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/easy-oven-roasted-potatoes-recipe/#wprm-recipe-container-14025

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Yukon Gold Potatoes https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-leg-of-lamb-with-yukon-gold-potatoes-357256

Crisp Garlic Yukon Gold Potatoes https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/crisp-garlic-yukon-gold-potatoes-326188

Yukon Gold Potatoes: Jacques Pepin Style https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/yukon-gold-potatoes-jacques-pepin-style-recipe-1950875

Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes https://www.feastingathome.com/rosemary-garlic-hasselback-potatoes/

Pan-Fried Yukon Gold Potatoes with Paprika https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/pan-fried-yukon-gold-potatoes-with-paprika

Melt in Your Mouth Potatoes https://letsdishrecipes.com/2016/09/melt-in-your-mouth-potatoes.html

Hasselback Yukon Gold Potatoes https://www.thanksgiving.com/celebrate/st-patricks-day/hasselback-yukon-gold-potatoes/

Resources
https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Yukon_Gold_Potatoes_3143.php

https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/yukon-gold-potatoes

https://www.livestrong.com/article/276577-yukon-gold-potato-nutrition/

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45209981?fgcd=&manu=Topco+Associates%2C+Inc.&format=Abridged&count=&max=25&offset=0&sort=fd_s&order=desc&qlookup=&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

https://www.thespruceeats.com/yukon-gold-potato-recipes-1807825

https://tastessence.com/best-ways-to-freeze-potatoes

https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-freeze-uncooked-potatoes/

https://www.myrecipes.com/extracrispy/whats-the-difference-between-russet-red-and-yukon-gold-potatoes

https://www.finecooking.com/ingredient/yukon-gold-potatoes

https://www.thespruceeats.com/guide-to-potato-types-and-uses-3034510

https://www.potatogoodness.com/potato-tips-tricks/

https://www.lovefood.com/gallerylist/63890/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cooking-potatoes

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

About Judi

Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Avocado

Avocados 101 – The Basics

Avocados are a unique fruit often included in Hispanic foods. Their popularity has grown in recent years, so they are now being included in many other cuisines, and in dishes of all sorts. If you’re not quite sure what to do with avocados or are looking for something different, I have some ideas! Below are extensive notes on just about anything to do with avocados. Hopefully this will help!

Enjoy,
Judi

Avocado 101 – The Basics

About Avocado
Avocados belong to the group Persea americana. There are over 50 different varieties of avocados within this basic group. Different varieties may vary in texture, with some being smoother than others. Color may also vary, with some being darker and richer in color than others. The skins may also have varying degrees of glossiness.

Mexico is the world’s largest producer and exporter of avocados. Avocados are also grown in Chile, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Columbia, Peru, Brazil, China, and Guatemala. In the United States, most homeland avocados are grown in California and Florida.

Nutrition Tidbits
One-third of a medium size avocado is considered to be one serving. That mere one-third of this delicious and healthful fruit provides almost 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including an abundant amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid. One-third of a medium avocado has 80 calories.

One serving (1/3 of a medium fruit) of avocado provides notable amounts of pantothenic acid and other B-Vitamins, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, fiber, and Vitamin C. One avocado can have twice the potassium of a banana! Among a list of other phytonutrients, avocado also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, known to help protect the eyes from diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

How to Select an Avocado
A ripe avocado will have a slight give to it when gently squeezed in the palm of your hand. Make sure it has no dark sunken spots, cracks, or is very soft, as that specimen will be overripe. An avocado with a slight “neck” on it will have ripened longer on the tree, so it should have a richer flavor. An unripe avocado will be firm, and not give when squeezed. It may be advantageous to select unripe avocados if you don’t plan to use them right away.

Color alone is not enough to tell when an avocado is ripe. Some varieties, such as the Hass avocado, will turn dark green or even black when ripe. However, the skin of other varieties will stay light green, even when ripe.

One quick way to tell if an avocado is ripe is to lift off the little piece left at the stem end. If it’s green underneath, the avocado is ripe. If it’s brown, the fruit is overripe.

How to Ripen an Avocado
To speed up the ripening process of an avocado, place it in a paper bag and close the top. Store it at room temperature (65 to 75°F) until ready to eat, usually between two and five days. To further speed up the process, place an ethylene-producing fruit (such as an apple, banana, or kiwi fruit) in the bag with the avocado. The gas released will speed up the ripening process. If you’re not ready to eat the avocado once it is ripened, place it in the refrigerator for up to five days.

If you’re not in a hurry to ripen the avocado, simply place it on the kitchen counter for a few days. It will ripen on its own and will be ready to be used when it gives a little when gently squeezed.

How to Store an Avocado
Once your avocado is ripe, place it in the refrigerator if you don’t need to use it immediately. Ripe or soft avocados should be used as soon as possible, but should keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

How to Prepare Avocado
Start with clean hands, then wash your avocado well and pat it dry. With a sharp knife, cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Give the avocado a quarter turn, then cut the avocado around the seed again, ultimately cutting it into four sections. Move the halves in your hand to release the slices from the seed. Gently remove the seed with your fingertips or a spoon. Starting at the tip of each section, peel the avocado by placing your thumb under the skin and peeling it back. Slice or dice the sections as needed. To help prevent darkening, sprinkle the cut avocado with some lemon or lime juice, or vinegar.

How to Store Cut Avocado
If you’re not going to use all of your cut avocado at one time, the California Avocado Commission recommends to sprinkle the cut avocado pieces with lemon juice, lime juice, or white vinegar, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an air-tight container. Store it in the refrigerator and use it as quickly as possible.

Cooking/Serving Ideas
Avocado is usually eaten raw in a variety of ways including being added to smoothies, guacamole, hummus, salads, sandwiches, toppings for vegetables, salad dressings, sushi, ice cream, quick breads, garnishes for assorted cooked meals from soups, to meats and main dishes, to desserts, and more.

When cooked, avocado can be grilled, roasted, and added to soups and sauces. It is noteworthy that cooked avocados can turn bitter. It’s helpful to use citrus juice with them, cook them for as little time as possible, and eat the food right away.

Quick serving ideas for avocados:
* Use diced avocado as a garnish for black bean soup.

* Spread ripe avocado on bread in place of mayonnaise when making a sandwich, or on toast in place of butter.

* Try a salad of diced fresh avocado with sliced fennel, oranges and mint.

* An interesting accompaniment to a Hispanic dish would be diced avocado with corn relish, topped with a fresh wedge of lime.

* Try mashed avocado on baked potato in place of sour cream. Top with a little shredded cheese for added flavor.

* Grill avocado by cutting it in half and removing the seed. Drizzle with lemon juice and place cut side down on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until the edges just start to sizzle. Season with salt and pepper or your seasoning of choice.

* Add avocado to your green smoothie for a boost of healthy fats and richness.

* Avocado can be used in place of shortening, butter, oil and eggs in baking. Use 1 cup mashed avocado in place of 1 cup of butter, oil or shortening (equal parts for substitution). Replace 1 egg with 2 to 4 tablespoons of mashed avocado.

* Add avocado to your favorite hummus.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well With Avocado
Basil, cayenne, cilantro, chili powder, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mint, miso, oregano, paprika, parsley, pecans, pepper (black), salt, sesame, sorrel, and wasabi

Other Foods That Go Well With Avocado
Proteins, Nuts, Seeds: Beans (esp. black), bacon, beef, cashews, chicken, chickpeas, crab, eggs, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, shrimp, tempeh, tofu, tuna, turkey, and walnuts

Vegetables: Artichoke, arugula, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, celery, chiles, chives, corn, cucumber, endive, fennel, greens, jicama, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, nori, olives, onions, radishes, scallions, shallots, spinach, sprouts, tomatillos, tomatoes, and zucchini

Fruits: Citrus, grapefruit, kumquats, lemon, lime, mangoes, melon, oranges, papaya, pears, persimmons, pineapple, pomegranates, and pomelo

Grains: Breads, bulgur, corn, couscous, quinoa, and rice

Dairy and Non-Dairy: Buttermilk, cheese, ice cream, milk, sour cream, and yogurt

Other: Coffee, mayonnaise, mustard (Dijon), oil, rum, stock (vegetable), and vinegar

Avocado has been used in: Burritos, California cuisine, Central American cuisine, chili, desserts (esp. chocolate mousse), dips, egg dishes, fajitas, ice cream, nachos, quesadillas, relishes, salads and salad dressings, salsas, sandwiches, smoothies, sorbets, soups, spreads, stuffed avocados, sushi (vegetarian), tacos, and veggie burgers

Suggested Flavor Combos
Try combining avocado with…
Basil + lime
Basil + onions + tomatoes
Black beans + tomatoes
Celery + chiles + cilantro + cumin + garlic + lime + spinach
Chiles + cilantro + lime + onions
Chili powder + cilantro + jicama + onions + orange juice
Cilantro + cucumber + jalapeno + lime + mint + yogurt
Cilantro + garlic + lime + red onions + tomatoes
Citrus + jicama
Cucumber + green onions + lime + yogurt
Cucumber + mint + yogurt
Fennel + citrus (ie grapefruit, orange)

Recipe Links
California Avocado Salmon Bean Salad https://www.californiaavocado.com/recipes/recipe-container/california-avocado-salmon-bean-salad

Curried Sweet Potato Noodle Salad https://www.californiaavocado.com/recipes/recipe-container/curried-sweet-potato-noodle-salad

California Avocado Tri-Color Potato Salad https://www.californiaavocado.com/recipes/recipe-container/california-avocado-tri-color-potato-salad

Stuffed California Avocado with Jicama Salad https://www.californiaavocado.com/recipes/recipe-container/stuffed-california-avocado-with-jicama-salad

Bacon, Grape and Avocado Salad https://producemadesimple.ca/bacon-grape-and-avocado-salad/

Avocado Chocolate Mousse Tart https://producemadesimple.ca/avocado-chocolate-mousse-tart/

40+ Ways to Love Avocado https://producemadesimple.ca/40-ways-to-love-avocado/

15 Minute Shrimp and Avocado Salad http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=21

15 Minute Cod with Avocado Salsa http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=133

Romaine and Avocado Salad http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=45

Healthy Veggie Salad http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=311

Southwestern Salmon and Black Beans http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=83

Salmon, Cucumber, and Dill Salad http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=130

Guacamole https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/guacamole-recipe4-1920420

Easy Guacamole https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14064/easy-guacamole/

Salmon, Green Beans, and Avocado https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/salmon-green-beans-avocado

10 Easy Avocado Recipes https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/easy-avocado-recipes?

49 Avocado Recipes So You Never Waste One Again https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g2894/things-to-do-with-avocado/

60+ Easy and Satisfying Avocado Recipes You Need to Try ASAP https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g23/30-awesome-avocado-recipes-36194/?slide=6

Avocado Chocolate Mousse https://www.wellplated.com/avocado-chocolate-mousse/#wprm-recipe-container-34124

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Resources
https://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/nutrients

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5#descr

https://www.californiaavocado.com/blog/why-you-should-peel-avocados

https://www.californiaavocado.com/avocado101/how-to-choose-and-use-an-avocado

https://producemadesimple.ca/?s=avocado

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/23-ways-to-eat-avocados#section4

https://www.mercola.com/infographics/avocado-uses-health-benefits.htm

https://www.avogel.co.uk/food/ingredients/avocado/how-to-cook-avocado/

https://thecookful.com/can-you-cook-avocado/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/guacamole-foods_n_3922338

Page, Karen. (2014) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.