Potatoes may not be fruits, but there are some species out there that taste similar! You may be surprised to discover that some of them can be used interchangeably in all kinds of dishes. Check out these 6 fruits like potato that you can try out.
These banana relatives aren’t sweet but have a similar starchy quality to their flesh. If you get them slightly under-ripe, you can season them and use them in many of the same ways you would regular potatoes.
For example, they’re delicious as savory cakes and crispy dumplings if you add ingredients like garlic powder and paprika into the mash. Try this recipe, but just swap nutritional yeast for cheese to make it vegan.
You should be able to find these fruits at the Caribbean and Central American grocery stores. They look like bigger bananas but don’t share their sweet scent. When in doubt, ask the staff to point you in the right direction.
This is another fruit that can be used in lieu of potato in all kinds of recipes. Even when ripe, jicama doesn’t get particularly sweet. It’s crunchy when raw, but gets gloriously creamy and smooth if you boil it and mash it.
Jicama is an excellent replacement for mashed potatoes for people who are keeping to a low-carb diet. Furthermore, it’s packed with all manner of beneficial nutrients. Try this raw vegan recipe, and just heat it up slightly if you like your food a bit warmer. Just keep in mind that serving it at room temperature rather than heating it will keep more of its nutrients intact.
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Ripe breadfruit smells (and tastes) like freshly baked bread, which is rather spectacular. Under-ripe breadfruit, however, is significantly more potato-y. As a result, you can use it almost interchangeably for all kinds of standard potato recipes.
You’ll have an easy time finding fresh breadfruit if you live near the Caribbean or in Southeast Asia. Alternatively, look for it at Jamaican and Asian fruit markets. Then, try it out in several different potato recipes to see how you like to use it best.
For example, you can slice it into 1/4″ rounds and use it to make vegan scalloped no-tatoes. Just make a dairy-free bechamel sauce with Earth Balance and unsweetened almond milk, and add Daiya shreds and nutritional yeast to make it “cheesy”.
We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but zucchinis—also known as “summer squashes—look absolutely nothing like potatoes. The resemblance lies in their flavor, rather than their appearance. Their texture can be similar in some ways, but it all depends on how they’re prepared.
The best way to use zucchini in lieu of potatoes is in fried dishes. For example, breaded zucchini fries are startlingly delicious. Alternatively, try grating them finely and using them instead of potato shreds in pancakes or fritters. Just mix the shreds with chickpea flour for a great crispy, nutty flavor.
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5. Butternut Squash
Once again, we have a member of the squash family that can be used instead of potato in various dishes. Butternut squash is a winter variety rather than a summer one. It has firm flesh, and isn’t as sweet as acorn or kabocha squash. Since it has a thick, starchy texture and low sugar content, it’s ideal to use instead of potato in several different recipes.
One of the best ways to swap out potato for this squash is in soup. Roast the squash with plenty of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and summer savory. Then add it into your favorite stock or broth, and puree it thoroughly. Once that’s done, add some unsweetened non-dairy milk for creaminess, and serve garnished with chopped chives and parsley.
6. Honorable Mention: Apple
Did you know that if you plug your nose and then taste raw apple and raw potato, you won’t be able to taste the difference? It’s true! This is because our olfactory systems—which govern our sense of smell—influence our ability to taste things more than our tongues do.
While you can’t substitute ripe apples for potatoes in savory dishes, you can get away with trying this experiment for fun. It works especially well with small children, as they’re more easily tricked into this sort of thing.
It might take some culinary experimentation to figure out which of these substitutes you like best. Consider mixing and matching them in various recipes, or combining them to make different flavor and texture combos. You may discover that these fruits like potato are even tastier than potatoes themselves, depending on how they’re treated.
Just keep a good arsenal of herbs, spices, and other additives at hand, and get creative!