Baked potatoes are full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals, including protein, potassium and calcium, and they are a healthier alternative to French fries. Plus, you can add as many kinds of toppings as you wish, upping the nutritional value even more if you choose low-fat additions. One of the quickest and easiest ways to cook a potato is in the microwave.
Choose your potato. The kinds of potatoes that bake better than others include yellow, russet, fingerling and blue potatoes. These potatoes have a high volume of starch, which helps make them soft once they've been baked.
Wash the potato under running water, using either your hands or a vegetable scrubber to clean off dirt from the skin. Do not use soap. After the potato is washed, place it on a clean plate and pat it dry with a paper towel. Do not peel off the skin. Potato skins contain lots of vitamins and nutrients, such as fiber, protein and vitamins B and C, and adds to the flavor of a baked potato.
Rub your potato with one to two tablespoons of olive oil. This will help make the skin crunchy. Use a fork to prick the potato once or twice on all sides. Place the potato on a microwave-safe plate or a paper towel and microwave on "high" for between six and 13 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Turn the potato over halfway through.
Top your potato. Add cheese, steamed veggies, diced ham, salsa, hot sauce, bacon, butter, sour cream or chili. Butter and sour cream, as well as other creamy toppings, may contain excessive amounts of calories, fat and sodium. For a healthy baked potato, follow the serving size found on the nutrition label of each of your toppings.
To get crisp skin, finish cooking your baked potato in a regular oven for 20 minutes or so.
Let your potato rest for a minute before serving.