peasandcornMind Your “Peas and Corn”…

Peas and corn are classified as starchy vegetables. These and others listed below contain more calories per ½-2/3 cup serving (about 60-80 Calories) when compared to 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables (about 25 Calories). But don’t let this stop you from including them on your plate! These fantastic veggies lead the pack with high nutrient density and antioxidants essential for performance and health. Most all starchy vegetables need to be cooked before you eat them, and some contain more vitamins and minerals when baked and eaten with the skin on like potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Foods and Nutrients
Potatoes ~ B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese
Sweet potato ~ Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B-vitamins, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese
Pumpkin ~ Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese
Taro ~ B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Iron
Cassava ~ B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron
Plantains ~ Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B-vitamins, Magnesium, Potassium
Green bananas ~ B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Potassium
Corn ~ B-vitamins, Niacin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Selenium
Green peas ~ Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Potassium, Niacin, Magnesium, Iron
Green Lima beans ~ Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B-vitamins, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese
Water chestnuts ~ B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium

Depending on your nutrition and body weight goals, starchy vegetables can play a different role on your performance plate. Here are a few considerations when eating these nutrient leaders:

For weight loss– starchy vegetables can be considered a “grain” food group and eaten together with your “protein” and “non-starchy vegetable” food groups for a complete meal.

For weight maintenance– starchy vegetables can be considered either a “grain” or “vegetable” when composing your performance plate.

For weight gain– starchy vegetables can be considered a “vegetable” food group and eaten daily with your “grains” and “proteins” in one meal.

Some starchy vegetables can slow you down…
Peas, lima beans, and corn contain higher amounts of resistant starches (fibers) called Stachyose and Raffinose (also found in beans and legumes), which form an edible shell around the vegetable. These fibers are relatively tough to chew and cause our gastrointestinal system to work hard for full digestion. This could be compared to riding uphill sprints full out but in your GI tract. Just like the uphill sprints, some individual’s physiology is more suited for success in this particular area. For others this may cause excessive GI distress, especially for those with sensitive stomachs. If this is you, make sure to give yourself plenty of digestion time before jumping on the bike or try removing peas, corn, and lima beans from your diet during race season or hard training times so it doesn’t interfere or distract you from optimal performance….


MASHED POTATO DELIGHT

It’s the beginning of fall in the United States, and time to start making warm “comfort foods”. This recipe is a healthy alternative to the well-loved traditional mashed potatoes. It offers additional nutrients by including sweet potatoes and cauliflower with regular potatoes. It is quick and easy to make/prepare. So, there’s no excuse not to try it now! Feel free to add different steamed vegetables into this basic recipe for your own personalized mashed potato delight…

potatoes3 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
½ head of cauliflower, rinsed and cut into 2” pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tablespoons unsalted butter or oil of choice (ex. olive oil or coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Fill large pot with 3 inches of water and place all potatoes in a steamer insert. Bring water to boil, cover and steam the potatoes and sweet potatoes for 5-10 minutes. Time will depend on size of potato pieces. Try for uniform two inch pieces.
2. Add the cauliflower to the potato pot after the potatoes have steamed for 5-10 minutes. Steam the cauliflower and potatoes all together for 5-10 minutes longer until tender when tested with a fork (total of 15-20 minutes of cooking).
3. Remove from heat and transfer to mixing bowl. Stir in salt. Add butter or oil and broth.
4. With a potato masher or large heavy fork, mash potatoes until smooth. You can also use an electric beater but be careful not to over beat or the potatoes will be starchy.
5. Add in more broth as needed to reach desired consistency.
6. To serve, transfer to bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper, and enjoy!

Hmmmm, what do some of these starchy vegetables look like?
Peel, cook, and enjoy!

Taro ayeshahaq.com

Taro
ayeshahaq.com

Cassava hispanicfoodways.com

Cassava
hispanicfoodways.com

Plantains www.specialtyproduce.com

Plantains
www.specialtyproduce.com

Sarah Weber, RD, LD

Sarah Weber, RD, LD

Written by Sarah Weber, RD, LD
sarahweber@wenzelcoaching.com
Need your nutrition assessed and optimized? Contact me for help….

References:
USDA nutrition database
Oregon State University Composition of Sugars, Stachyose and Raffinose