Psst! Did you know you can make potato salad lower in sugars with one simple step? True story, friends!
I’m sharing the secret and a recipe for my favorite healthy no-mayo grainy mustard potato salad with fresh herbs. It’s perfect for every occasion, palate, and dietary preference (plant based, clean eating, gluten free, dairy free, vegan) and is seriously simple to prep ahead of time.
Confession: Potato salad used to completely repulse me. How very un-American, right?
Unfortunately, growing up in the south my only exposure to the stuff was at school picnics or large family barbecues, where the potato salad typically came in one of those mega-sized plastic food containers from a local grocery.
You know—the ones filled with a flavorless, mayonnaise-based goop drowning bland white potatoes? The stuff so thick that it sticks to the serving spoon when held upside down?
Yeah. Uh. No thanks!
Anyone else familiar with that kind of potato salad? It’s pretty much the worst, right?
The good news is that this potato salad recipe is definitely NOT that kind of potato salad.
THIS divine potato salad is light and healthy (read: NO weird stabilizers or fillers; NO mayo, sour cream, or dairy whatsoever!). It’s got heaps of fresh herbs plus bright and zesty lemon juice. It’s a bit tangy from the tiniest touch of heat from horseradish in stone ground Dijon mustard and the chopped red onion and celery add the perfect crunch.
Meaning, it’s the perfect side dish for the upcoming end-of-summer Labor Day Holiday Weekend—whether you’re headed to the beach, packing a picnic lunch or dinner, barbecuing or grilling—and you can easily make it a meal by adding in a few ounces of lean protein.
And that mayo goop? No one’s gonna miss it. Cross my heart.
This potato salad was actually inspired after an impulse produce purchase at Whole Foods—an occurrence that happens quite often.
What can I say? Pretty, seasonal produce is impossible for me to resist, but it could be worse right?
I also can’t resist anything from Anthro, Madewell, Athleta, Paper Source or West Elm, which is why I avoid going in those places unless I really, really need something.
As I said, Whole Foods has always posed somewhat of a problem for my impulse shopping habits and now that I live a mere 0.4 miles away from one? And pass it multiple times a day whether biking to and from the gym or walking our dog, Archie (who you may know from my Snapchat or Instagram Stories)?
It’s arguably even more of a threat to my bank account.
Anyone else share this dilemma/struggle? Come on. Admit it! Pretty produce is irresistible. No? Just me?
Maybe it’s more a food blogger/nutrition nerd problem only. ANYWAY, that’s the story of how these adorable potatoes ended up in my basket.
I mean, the fact that they were multicolored and mini? There was no choice! The spuds were coming home with me.
Plus my husband is a major potato aficionado.
As in he straight up LOVES potatoes and was affectionately dubbed “The Potato Brombaugh” by my immediate family (no comment). Thus, I knew I wouldn’t be in tooooooo much trouble for deviating from our monthly grocery budget, which is, admittedly, very generous already because #dietitiansliketoeat.
It also seemed like the perfect opportunity to not only share my healthy spin on potato salad, but also to clear up some of the confusion around the poor potato, an often misunderstood starchy carbohydrate-containing vegetable.
But a lot of people seem to be confused about whether other potatoes like white, new, and Yukon gold (i.e. anything beyond the beloved, nutrient-rich sweet potato) are even healthful at all.
Great question. Let’s dig in (ah couldn’t resist that potato pun!).
POTATOES: A CONTROVERSIAL CARBOHYDRATE
Actually, misunderstood might be a better way to describe the stigma around the poor potato so let’s clear up some of the confusion, shall we?
The debate seems to stem around whether potato varieties other than the sweet potato are actually healthy or as healthy. In fact, I recently got a question from of you lovely readers asking me about this very subject (PS: I LOVE getting questions about nutrition from you guys so keep ’em coming!).
It’s a great question and the short answer?
Of course, nothing is ever really that simple when it comes to nutrition so when I say that starchy vegetables like potatoes other than sweet potatoes are still healthful, I’m not exactly talking about the run-of-the-mill Russet potato.
Ugh, I know, us nutritionists can be such a buzz kill—but stick with me, I promise I’m no tater hater! A major nerd, obviously, but no tater hater!
Here’s the thing about the Russet potato…While it may win popularity contests in this country because #frenchfries, it’s sadly offers very little in the way of nutrition. In fact, a baked Russet potato has the potential to raise your blood sugar level higher than eating two slices of white bread.
BUT when you know how to shop for the most nutritious tots in the market and prepare them in healthful recipes (like this one!), potatoes can be hella good for you.
To wit: heirloom potatoes—meaning super old varieties that are open pollinated instead of hybrid, are passed through generations, and usually more nutritious— have actually been shown to potentially help stabilize your blood sugar levels and may even lower your blood pressure.
New and French fingerling potatoes are rich sources of antioxidants even if they don’t quite rank as high as orange or purple sweet potatoes. All potatoes are high in potassium (critical to heart and muscle health), vitamins C (immune function and skin integrity), B6 (important for enzymatic reactions used in DNA and cell membrane formation as well as brain and nervous system activity), copper (antioxidant role).
So let’s not be too quick to write off all potatoes other than sweet potatoes because it’s not the only super spud in the market.
SHOPPING THE SUPERIOR SPUDS: EAT THE RAINBOW
“Eating the rainbow” i.e. piling your plate with the most colorful produce is almost always a safe bet for getting the most nutrients out of a meal (exceptions being cauliflower, onions, and garlic, which are all exceptionally rich sources of phytonutrients despite being colorless).
Scope out the potatoes at your local farmer’s market first (you might even score some heirlooms!) then try your local grocery keeping your eyes peeled (#sorryimnotsorry about that pun either) for those with the prettiest i.e. most colorful skin and interior.
Since you can’t always judge a potato’s interior hue by its skin, ask a produce employee to slice one open if you’re unsure. Most are more than happy to do so…And in a pinch, one could always very discreetly scratch a small piece of peel to reveal a peek at what’s below.
I’m not telling you go out and start scratching potatoes, nor am I advising against it.
The small spuds like fingerling, red, and new potatoes are all great choices for nutrition and another plus to choosing smaller tots is that their thin skins are easy to eat. This will save you the time and hassle of needing to peel them. Woot woot!
The mixed bag that I bought contained “mellow white” (a firmer, basic white potato), “purple passion” (a slightly nutty and sweet variety similar to the prized purple Peruvian, which has the highest phytonutrient content of all varieties), and golden yellow (known for its yellow interior and buttery flavor).
I rounded out the bunch with a bag of red potatoes—a classic choice for potato salad because they hold up really well when boiled.
Other superstar varieties include:
RED FRENCH FINGERLING OR FRENCH FINGERLING
10x the antioxidant content of Yukon Gold
Packed with free radical fighting antioxidants and super pretty (obviously)
Shown to have cancer-fighting properties in some animal studies
May help lower blood pressure in individuals with high readings
Can’t find any interesting potatoes anywhere? Surprise, surprise! You can buy them online, like almost everything else these days…Although I don’t think Amazon Prime has any, not that I’ve checked (or have I? HA.)
If you want to grow your own heirloom spuds next year, check out The Maine Potato Lady, who’s unofficial title makes my heart skip so many beats. Even if you’re not interested in growing and cultivating your own tots, she has great info on heirloom potatoes so check it, yo!
There’s also Wood Prairie, which sells a slew of organic and nutrient-rich potatoes like the Adirondack Red and Blue or the Carola—a mild yellow-hued variety that is creamy and sweet and holds up well to boiling.
The recipe is also loaded with fresh parsley, which is not solely for greenery and garnish!
As I shared in this Curated Kitchen: Health Benefits of Parsley post, parsley adds detoxifying powers via crazy high amounts of chlorophyll (which has been shown to help bind and remove heavy metals from the body), aids in digestion, and is a superior source of vitamin A.
HEALTH HACK // MEAL PREP TIP
OK friends. ONE more thing before we get to the recipe and it’s definitely worth reading!
The BEST KEPT SECRET to making potatoes hella healthy and keeping your blood sugars from spiking like crazy after consuming them?
Cook ‘em and cool ‘em for 24 hours!
Studies have shown that potatoes that are first cooked and then cooled for at least 24 hours are less likely to send your blood sugar skyrocketing.
It’s totally strange but true, my friends. You know I wouldn’t joke about something this exciting! Cross my heart!
Chilling previously cooked potatoes for at least 24 hours magically increases the resistant starch content.
OK so it’s not exactly magic, but then again, resistant starch is kind of amazing and in my opinion poised to be the next big superfood/nutrient.
Mark my words people! I’m going on the record with that one. 🙂
For the sake of not totally boring you with my inner geek today (or at least for the sake of not letting this post turn into a novella), I’ll save talking ALL about resistant starch for another post later this week or next, deal? 😉
You’ll definitely love learning about resistant starch, seriously!
MAKE IT YOUR OWN // BOOST THE PROTEIN
Looking to make it more than a side dish? I’d recommend serving with pre-cooked and cooled organic turkey bacon or farm fresh, organic hard boiled eggs. They both work well on their own or together in this simple potato salad.
This recipe (and all cooked/chilled potatoes) are good for your gut, your blood glucose annnnnnd your busy, jam-packed schedule because you can make them ahead of time and do yourself a favor on multiple levels.
Cooling starchy vegetables overnight—for 24 hours minimum—saves you time in the kitchen later in the week AND does your body and blood sugars good.
In other words…
Potato salad for the win, sista.
Let’s do it!
Serves: 4-6 cups
- 2, 24-ounce mesh bag of raw baby potatoes (mixed medley if you can find them or make your own with red, purple, golden, etc.)
- 2 stalks organic celery, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
FOR THE GRAINY MUSTARD DRESSING
- ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1-2 tbs fresh dill
- ¼ cup olive oil (this is my favorite brand)
- 3 tbs stone ground or dijon mustard
- Use a mandolin to thinly slice the potatoes into ⅛-1/4 inch slices or see notes for alternative prep.
- Place sliced/quartered potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold filtered water to cover the potatoes plus an extra inch or two. Add ¼ tsp sea salt, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and remove lid. IMPORTANT! Don't walk away and abandon the potatoes. Stay nearby to periodically pierce them with a sharp knife and test for doneness. Remove from heat once they have a slightly al dente texture and feel and promptly drain and run under cool water to halt the cooking process.
- Whisk all ingredients together and set aside. If you want to make it more creamy, you can add everything except the olive oil to a food processor or blender, mix and then slowly add the olive oil while appliance runs to emulsify.
- Once potatoes have cooled, add dressing and stir to incorporate. Add more fresh chopped parsley and dill plus a pinch of flaky sea salt (I love Maldon) and fresh ground black pepper.
- Best served cold! Dressing and ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and assembled prior to serving.
* I love Eden Organic condiments because they contain minimal ingredients and no filler or questionable citric acid (which is unfortunately unavoidable in most). The Organic Brown Mustard, which is stone ground apple cider vinegar. amazing and perfectly tangy. This Sir Kensington Spicy Brown Mustard is also good, but it does contain a smidge of sugar so if you want to avoid the white stuff altogether, go for the Eden Organic, which you can find at Whole Foods Market and even other groceries.
* The dressing will be pretty thick. If you want it to be thinner, simply add a little warm water or more lemon juice/apple cider vinegar. Personally, I think it works great being thicker!
YOUR THOUGHTS >>>
Are you a mayo-based potato salad fan or do you, too, prefer lighter mustard-based recipes?
Any exciting plans for the official last weekend of summer?!
What flavors and/or recipes and produce are you most excited about to eat this Fall (other than pumpkin everyTHANG, obvi)?
When you make this recipe, please don’t forget to snap a photo afterward and share the love on social media! Tag me @honestlynourished in your photos and use #honestlynourished so I can see! Because if you don’t ‘gram it, did it even happen? ?
Check back later this week for a roundup of more healthy summertime recipes for Labor Day picnics, barbecues, and parties!
Then it’s ALL about those fall flavors and produce, my friends! Cinnamon (OK that’s year round for me), apples, PUMPKIN (but not until October, OK, I’m going to exercise some restraint), maple syrup-soaked oats, delicata squash, Brussel sprouts…Mmmmm.