Fuel Your Fall with Potatoes

Published online: Oct 30, 2018 Articles
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Source: Potatoes USA 

Whether you're a professional athlete, fitness enthusiast or a member of an active family, now is the time to "fall" for potatoes all over again. That's right, potatoes offer the versatility, affordability and applicability to fuel your fall activities and stay on track as you head into the holidays.

Just ask Leslie Bonci MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN and nutrition consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs, Carnegie Mellon University athletics, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the WNBA.

"No matter the season, my clients crave tasty foods that will power them through any workout," says Bonci, "and potatoes are the perfect fit. They pack a nutritional punch and a change of pace and taste from other traditional "sports" foods."

Bonci recommends potatoes as a staple for your everyday meal prep plan as a quick and easy carbohydrate source full of flavor. Bonci continues, "For athletes, meal prepping doesn't have to mean bland boring food. Potatoes can be a great base for meals on all sides of the flavor spectrum, from spicy to sweet, Italian to Indian styles and everything in between."

A medium 5.2-ounce potato with the skin boasts:

Carbohydrate: 26 grams of carbohydrates - the primary fuel for your brain and a key source of energy for muscles. Because your body's own stores of carbohydrate are limited and may be depleted – even in a single session of intense and/or prolonged exercise– it's important to replenish them.1

Potassium: 620 milligrams of potassium – that's even more potassium than a medium-sized banana. Potassium is an important electrolyte that aids in muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function.

Energy: Potatoes are easily digestible and more energy-packed than any other popular vegetable.

In addition, a medium (5.2 ounce) potato with skin-on contains many other important nutrients including vitamin C (27 mg), fiber (2g), and protein (3g), and is fat, sodium and cholesterol-free.

Bonci created this recipe for Potato Pancakes with Apple Butter to leverage the carbohydrate power of potatoes with a delicious addition of apple butter for a pre-training snack. Make a big batch to enjoy throughout the week!

For additional performance recipes and nutrition information, visit PotatoesFuelPerformance.com.

Potato Pancakes with Apple Butter

By Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN.

2 packed cups of refrigerated potato shreds
3 tablespoons crushed cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
1 extra large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup apple butter


  1. Mix potato shreds, crushed cereal, beaten egg, spices and grated orange peel together in large bowl until well combined.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick skillet. With a small ice cream scoop, about 1-1/2 Tablespoons and drop about 6 scoops into the hot skillet.
  3. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on other side and transfer to plate to cool. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
  4. Top with a dollop of apple butter and enjoy.

Nutritionals: Calories 306, Fat 8g, Sodium 486mg, Vitamin C 14mg, Carbohydrates 54g, Fiber 2.5g, Protein 5.5g, Potassium 815mg

Time-Saving Tips: Make the pancakes ahead and freeze them. Re-heat in the toaster oven as needed.

1 Burke LM, Hawley JA, Wong SH, Jeukendrup AE. Carbohydrates for training and competition. J Sports Sci. 2011; 29(Suppl 1): S17-27.