Home Lifestyle Potato price hike: Swap the spuds with these 5 low-carb alternatives

Potato price hike: Swap the spuds with these 5 low-carb alternatives

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There are tasty vegetables which are low in carbs, high in fibre and packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a great choice for anyone looking to reduce their carb intake without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Radishes are a crunchy and flavourful root vegetable that can serve as a fantastic low-carb alternative to potatoes. Picture: Pexels/Mitchel Guanzon

IT’S NOT just eggs. South African consumers are faced with high prices for potatoes too.

IOL reported that currently, a 7kg bag of potatoes costs between R110 and R120, while a 10kg bag costs about R189.99 at grocery stores like Checkers, OK, and Food Lover’s Market.

Western Cape Department of Agriculture Macro and Resource Economics spokesperson Ayabonga Sibulali said the industry’s price surge was driven by increased power cuts and an increase in farm input costs.

The potato is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that doesn’t deserve its bad-carb rap. Despite their often-unhealthy reputation, potatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables in South Africa.

When it comes to its health benefits, one of the most important things to remember is that potatoes are nutritious vegetables packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help support the body, boost the immune system, and improve energy levels.

It is important to be mindful, however, of the way you prepare them and how much you are consuming. Studies have found a positive association between eating certain types of potatoes and an increase in waist circumference and weight gain.

As one of the most consumed vegetables, the price hike has brought about stress among SA consumers, with many questioning how they will afford to make potato salad or baked potatoes this Christmas.

If you are looking for dinner inspiration, you can swap the spuds with these five low-carb alternatives.

Turnips

Most cooks serve turnips that are mixed with potatoes, but did you know that they do not need to be served with them? They do well all on their own, baked, boiled or steamed. Try them out mashed.

Peel three or four turnips then cut into chunks and simmer in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes. When fork tender, drain and mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper. Use a whole grain such as quinoa, couscous or brown rice in place of your potato.

Whole grains contain fibre, which can help you feel full, lower blood sugar levels and may help lower cholesterol.

Radishes

Radishes are a crunchy and flavourful root vegetable that can serve as a fantastic low-carb alternative to potatoes. With their peppery taste and satisfying crunch, radishes can add a refreshing twist to your meals while keeping your carb intake in check.

To prepare them as a low-carb substitute for roasted potatoes, simply wash and chop the radishes into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with olive oil, salt and your favourite seasonings, then roast them in the oven until they are crispy and golden brown.

Radishes can also be used raw in salads or as a crunchy snack, adding a satisfying crunch to your diet.

Butternut is great as it provides a similar texture to potato without costing you as many calories. Picture: Pexels/Taryn Elliot

Cauliflower mash

Who does not like cauliflower? Long gone are the days when it was eaten steamed or boiled, now it is all about cauliflower mash. It is a wonderful potato substitute that tastes just as good, if not better than the real deal.

Chop up your cauliflower into bite-sized bits, steam (or boil). Blend or mash it with a bit of butter, and add salt and pepper.

Butternut squash cubes

Butternut squash is great as it provides a similar texture to potatoes without costing you as many calories. Plus, it adds a beautiful pop of colour to otherwise dull-looking meals.

Chop butternut squash into cubes and crack them on a baking tray with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cook at around 200°C and bake until golden. You can add flavour, depending on what you fancy.

Zucchini

Zucchini can be turned into pasta noodles, including lasagna. But for now, let us focus on turning the common zucchini into a bag of chips. Slice them thinly, then press down with a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture.

Lay the slices on a baking sheet. Do not overlap the slices. Brush with oil and bake at 100ºC for at least two hours, if not more. Keep going until they start to brown and crisp.

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