Soup's On!

How to Turn a Winter Comfort Food Classic into a Nutrition Powerhouse
[title]

Baby it's cold outside and nothing says warmth and comfort more than soup.  But soups can quickly add up in calories and fat - something most people are trying to avoid this time of year.  According to registered dietitian and United States Potato Board (USPB) "Real Mom" ambassador Tara Gidus , potatoes are the secret to soup for adding flavor, texture and nutrition without adding any of the bad stuff.

"Soups are the ultimate comfort food for me this time of year and potatoes are my secret ingredient," says Gidus.  "As a nutritionist, I know the power of potatoes and the benefits they can bring to any meal.  As a mom, I know my kids will love anything that includes potatoes."

In fact, Tara has six reasons to add spuds to soups this season:

>>Potatoes can add color to soup by using red and purple potatoes instead of pasta noodles.

>>Potatoes are one of the top nutritional powerhouses in the supermarket, providing significantly better nutritional value per dollar than most other raw vegetables.  You get more nutrition bang for your buck by adding potatoes to your soup!

>>Potatoes give you that thick and creamy texture you crave without all the butter and heavy whipping cream, which add unnecessary calories and fat to your soup. 

>>Potatoes (and soups) are satiating!  Fiber-packed potatoes help to keep you feeling fuller for longer; maintain a healthy weight and heart with potatoes as they are naturally fat, cholesterol, and sodium free.

>>Potatoes are naturally fat-free, have twice the potassium in a banana, and provide nearly half your daily value of vitamin C – all for just 110 calories in a medium-sized (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato.

>>Potatoes are a blank canvas for flavor.  With seven colorful potato types (yellows, whites, Russets, petites, fingerlings, purples and reds) there's a new potato for every type of soup!  So awaken your taste buds by tossing taters into your chili or split pea soup next time.

To receive all the nutrition benefits listed above and more, try Gidus' new Lightened-Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup – a lovely combination of leek, cauliflower, white potatoes, 1 percent milk, and vegetable broth topped with center-cut bacon, cheese, chives, and broccoli.

Gidus, author of Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies and known as "The Diet Diva," is the third member of the USPB's panel of "Real Moms, Real Meals," a Facebook community where moms are encouraged to share real dinnertime solutions.  Gidus, a mom to two young boys, always has her kids and her own taste buds in mind when creating new recipes. 

Visit potatogoodness.com for hundreds of healthy and creative potato recipes and to sign-up to receive our weekly recipe email to receive a new recipe in your email in-box each week.