Purple majesty potatoes — not just for my pretty princess — an antioxidant rich food!

I’ve been getting the potato multipacks at Trader Joes for a while. I use them in my roast veggie mix a lot. Purple is one of my most favorite colors so eating purple potatoes is a nice, fun treat for me. The other night though I needed mashed potatoes to go with my meal. Didn’t have enough of new, red or russet potatoes on hand to make a full family serving of mashed … so I ended up with a boiling pot of 50% purple and a mixture of red and white. The outcome was a pot of bluish-green water and a wonderfully, lavender colored batch of buttery, yummy goodness!

The Chicago Tribune even reported that these little potatoes were reserved for royalty back in the incan days because they were so good or purple or .. well who really knows why. But the purple potato was important and saved for the kings.

I thought for sure my 4 3/4 yo daughter would be totally excited by this lavender creation and gobble them up … I was SO wrong! She thought they were weird and wouldn’t even try them (mashed potatoes are one of her favs, as is the color purple,  so this was rather crushing to me)!

But my friend Rita Brennan Freay today made me wonder … are these potatoes any different than the others? I’ve heard red potatoes have more health benefits than white and thought it could be possible. SO I went on a virtual trek (gotta love that google) to find out about these little purple gems.

Specialty produce explains that the color IS the reason this little spud is superior. The purple color comes from anthocyanin, a flavonoid has been shown in studies to:

  • have anti-cancer properties
  • have heart-protective effects
  • boost the immune system
  • protect against age-related memory loss

I’m seeing more purple (mashed, roasted and boiled potatoes) in our future!

Have you tried the purple potatoes at your house? How? and Were they a HIT or a MISS?


39 Responses to “Purple majesty potatoes — not just for my pretty princess — an antioxidant rich food!”

  1. Dona Says:

    I would love lavender mashed potatoes. I’ll be looking this up on my next trip to Trader Joes. Thanks! Dona

  2. Louise Edington Says:

    I can’t find purple potatoes 😦 I will continue hunting as they sound great, I like potatoes and these just seem so much healthier. My kids will turn their noses up at them but I’ve resigned myself to having to cook different meals some days. unfortunately we don’t have a Trader joes here 😦
    Louise Edington
    Fearless For Freedom

  3. Robbie Schlosser Says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    Thanks for this interesting post about those little purple potatoes. I seldom eat potatoes these days, but I remember enjoying all kinds, including these purple beauties.

    Actually, your post reminded me of something else: Some years ago, S&W Beans used to run a series of very clever radio ads, where their marketing guy would enthusiastically boast about his latest ad campaign, touting how wonderful it was to eat their canned beans. Kidney beans, black beans, garbanzos, pintos, baked, many varieties! Then his partner would make some sarcastic comment. One I remember was “Oh yea! Eat beans and live forever.”, after hearing a marketing message about the health benefits of beans.

    Another followed hearing a marketing message about how attractive all these kinds of beans looked, “Oh Great! Decorator beans!” (Hmmm… I guess you had to be there.)

    Well, now we have “decorator potatoes”.

  4. Susan Berland Says:

    We love purple potatoes. I still remember the first time I saw them in the market. I was so excited because purple is my favorite color and I was even more excited when I found out how good they were! But woe is me – I’ve recently discovered that my body doesn’t like carbs and starches much and I have to avoid potatoes along with rice and all other grains. I do eat them occasionally when I am out and then it is a real treat! Give your daughter some time. She will learn how good they are and what she’s been missing!

    Susan Berland
    A Picture’s Worth

  5. Jillian Says:

    I am going out to TJ’s and going to give these babies a try! I love mashed potatoes, but haven’t had purple ones. I can see purple potato salad in my future, too.

    I am sure my girls will be thrilled to try something like this. (I just have to think of a good name for it–if I give anything a catchy name they’ll eat it!) I’m all about experimentation and getting outside my comfort zone this year. This is a good place to do that.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jillian Todd Portrait Couture

  6. Julie Labes Says:

    i have never heard or seen these potatoes but I will be looking for them in the future.i ma surprised David hasn’t bought them as he only eats sweet potatoes right now. i will have to check in Whole Foods as we don’t have a trader Joes near here

    Julie Labes,…The Fierce over 50 feels much younger point and click junkie loves to travel does not use a jogging stroller and before you ask this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman

  7. Alara Castell Says:

    I’ve definitely used purple potatoes in many ways. Mashed, baked, and more. They are definitely fun and very delicious. Yum! Making me hungry for some breakfast 🙂 Only thing I would add is that if you tend to have joint pain then I would be ware of having too much potatoes in general.

    They are considered a nightshade vegetable. A particular group of substances in these foods, called alkaloids, can impact nerve-muscle function and digestive function in animals and humans, and may also be able to compromise joint function. Because the amount of alkaloids is very low in nightshade foods when compared with other nightshade plants, health problems from nightshade foods may only occur in individuals who are especially sensitive to these alkaloid substances.

    Just an FYI…I’ve experienced this as many of my clients so just be aware of your own body 🙂

    Alara K. Castell
    Your Sassy Spiritual Guide

    • Yvonne Elm Hall Says:

      Thanks Alara, I did not see the Nightshade category in my research and that is good to know. My joints are still good so I’m eatin’ on! But probably not more than once a week — well maybe twice because of leftovers;)

  8. Brandy Mychals Says:

    I almost never make potatoes but now I’m tempted….can totally relate to your daughter turning up her nose and then you feeling disappointed – I have had that happen many times with my Bella 😉 Every time I read blog posts about recipies and cooking I’m reminded of my dream to have a chef…someday, LOL! Thank you for sharing about the health benefits from our purple potatoes – it’s going on the grocery list 🙂

  9. Pat Zahn Says:

    I LOVE purple potatoes – always remember, color=nutrients (unless it’s in gummy bears!) I haven’t met a potato I don’t like. Next time your serving lavender mash, invite me over! My family pretty much eats anything. Take heart, I don’t think my 17 year old daughter liked them the first couple times.

  10. Maridel Bowes Says:

    I have tried purple potatoes but somehow wasn’t overly fond of them. As I recall, it was something about the texture. However, I am willing to acknowledge that it may have been the cook more than the cooked! At this point in my dietary life, I don’t eat potatoes; however, I like knowing their nutritional prowess as i know others who do use potatoes on a regular basis and will definitely introduce my granddaugther to them as she loves purple too–although as you experienced, there is no guarantee they will be a hit!

    • Yvonne Elm Hall Says:

      Interesting … I do think they are more dense than white potatoes. They always say it takes kids 3 – 5 attempts to try a food before they might like it … I still have hope for the lavender mashed potatoes. I’ll let you know if it ever sticks with her — regardless though I’m eating them!

  11. Candace C. Davenport Says:

    I’ve always loved purple potatoes- in fact my choice over any other kind. However, my husband won’t touch them (I think because they are purple…)! So when I make potatoes, I always have to make 2 kinds- one for him and one for me. That’s fine- he will have to find his antioxs someplace else!

    Candace Davenport
    http://www.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big Message

  12. Jennifer Duchene Says:

    Love the lavender mash potato story! Since I shop at Trader Joe’s, yes I have tried and enjoyed those delicious purple potatoes. Now that I know how truly royal they are, I plan on eating more! Yummy nothing more delicious that food talk!

    Jennifer Duchene
    Home Makeover Mixtress blending lifestyle laughter and Diva Dens

  13. Rita Brennan Freay Says:

    Wow, I love purple so I HAVE to try these…and now that you’ve done all the work for me in finding out all the fantastic benefits…..who can argue! I am hoping my kids love the lavender mashed mess I will make…..sounds delish and pretty. How can I go wrong:) Happy to be your inspiration to investigating. I am off to buy and boil my favorite colored food……am hoping its a huge hit here:) Thanks for the inspiration to try something new (and beautiful…hehehe:) Keep your great ideas coming….with these 4 I’m always looking for new and child friendly!

    Rita Brennan Freay

  14. lupower Says:

    I am so excited to try these purple potatoes! I make a Sage Chicken dish with red wine, and my cousin in Seattle refers to it as “Purple Chicken”. Since I love beets as well, I see a purple meal in my future (with red wine of course). Oh, and perhaps teeth whitening the next day….. Thanks for sharing this information, Yvonne!

  15. Fresh Brothers Says:

    I’ve always adhered to the rule of eating a rainbow of foods – more color means it’s better for you. Loved your links that you shared, and the extra insight into the true nutritional value of these potatoes.
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Shoshanna Says:

    As a nutritionist, I definitely support the purple beauties over the regular white potato. This version is far more nutrient dense. And it adds a beautiful color to any dish. Eat your antioxidants!

    • Yvonne Hall Says:

      so Sho — is all purple produce antioxidant rich? For example the purple cauliflower I’m seeing? it looks weird and not natural to me so I haven’t tried them. I know weird of me to judge cauliflower after a purple potato post;)

  17. Irene Turner Says:

    I love using potatoes of all colors when roasting. Being a designer, I admit, I’m visual. So I am very careful when preparing a meal to be sure that the color spectrum is represented and it looks beautiful on the plate! After all, food should be a little bit of beauty@ too. Glad to hear they are “good for us” as well!

    • Yvonne Hall Says:

      NOT being a visual, design type person I never really thought about how people’s visual perception plays into their cooking at home .. so interesting!

  18. Bren Says:

    I can honestly say that I’ve never seen or heard of a purple potato. I see a trip to TJ’s in my future. My daughter loves white/red potatoes, but snubs “orange” potatoes. I wonder what she’ll do with purple ones. She loves purple, like your daughter, so I’m curious to see what the take will be. I try to do the “3 colors” of veggies every day, but she’s not too fond of anything but greens and carrots. Purple cabbage and eggplant have both been “yuck” so maybe we’ve found our purple!

  19. Judy Stone-Goldman Says:

    When I saw this I wanted to read it right away! (and I think you are going to be #10 in Blogger Monday…) I have eaten purple potatoes, and I would eat them more often if they weren’t so pricey. Usually I eat the red, and we can get organic reds at Trader Joe’s. I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference in taste, but the color is so alluring to me. But mashed potatoes? I’m not sure…really goes contrary to expectations! I am fond of deep purple foods–love purple kale, and also beets (really red, not purple). I think eggplants are gorgeous just to look at!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    “My cat owns me, my clutter stymies me, my writing frees me. Word maven loves—and learns from—ordinary life.”

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