Is there any end to what we can do with potatoes? Nope, don't believe there is!
Potatoes are high in potassium, and foods rich in potassium tend to keep high blood pressure under control. Another added benefit to eating potatoes is feeling fuller longer which can help keep weight under control.
Diabetics can benefit from eating potatoes for several reasons. The vitamin C in potatoes is known for helping regulate sugar levels in the blood. Potatoes also contain complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates must be broken down before being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Picking, Peeling & Cooking Potatoes
Potatoes should have good rich color and have few eyes. They should be firm, smooth and clean.
Potatoes can be baked, boiled or fried, and may be used in soups and stews. Try thin slicing potatoes, drizzling with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoned salt and bake. Top baked potatoes with an assortment of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and beans. Fry potatoes with skins on for a "home made" taste and look.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel potatoes. Sprinkle raw potatoes with lemon juice or apple juice to keep them from browning.
Peeled, cut potatoes will often darken in mintues if not submerged in water or milk. To get them white again, simmer the potatoes in milk for a few minutes.
Store potatoes in a dark cool place to keep them from turning green.
If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato. The potato absorbs the excess salt for an instant. Some swear by this method, others say it's ineffective. Give a try if in doubt - that's the only way you'll know if it works for you.
It's almost an automatic reaction for many of us to grab the salt shaker and sprinkle salt on our potatoes but do think twice and consider trying dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley or sage in place of salt - or at least some of the salt you would normally use.
Potato skins contain an anti-carcinogenic compound called chlorogenic acid. This particular acid helps the fiber in potatoes absorb carcinogens that are found in grilled foods. Eating potatoes with grilled foods is common and important when preserving health and fighting off cancer-causing substances.
Eating potatoes can calm a queasy stomach due to the vitamin B6 content in the potato's skin, which is good for eliminating nausea.
Potatoes for Migraines?
An old remedy: For migraines, slice raw potatoes on a white piece of cotton, sprinkle it with pepper and apply to the forehead for an hour or more .
Potato Juice as an Insect Destroyer
As an insect destroyer the juice of the potato plant is said to be of great value; the leaves and stems are well boiled in water, and when the liquid is cold it is sprinkled over plants attacked with insects, when it at once destroys caterpillars, black and green flies, gnats, and other enemies to vegetables, and in no way impairs the growth of the plants. A peculiar odor remains, and prevents insects from coming again for a long time. Source: The Farm and Household Cyclopedia - circa 1888
The Purple Potato
The purple potato has a royal lineage! In fact, they have long been considered a "Food of the gods". Seven thousand years ago the purple potato was reserved for Incan kings in their native Peru. The history of the purple potato traces back to the Purple Peruvian, an heirloom fingerling potato. But other purple varieties bred specifically for optimal health benefits are sprouting up today.
The USDA analysis of purple potatoes reveals their content of phenols (powerful plant antioxidants) rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts. If you factor in the particular benefits of anthocyanins, the health-promoting benefits of purple potatoes skyrocket. Geneticists are cross-breeding potatoes to examine the added health benefits of colored potatoes. Research by the USDA Agricultural Research Service found that potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential of those currently available commercially. One such potato, called the Purple Magesty, has almost twice the amount of anthocyanins of any other produce. Another new variety, the Purple Pelisse, is now more readily available.
Purple potatoes have a subtle nutty flavor and are prepared the same way as other spuds. Try the microwave to best preserve color, though steaming and baking work well, too. Purple potatoes can add a striking flash of royal color - and nutrition - to your favorite potato dish. Choose only firm, fairly smooth spuds, with no signs of sprouting. They store best for up to two months in a paper or burlap bag in a dry dark place if not exposed to sunlight or onions. Clean just before cooking and keep the peel intact for the best boost of color and nutrients.
When elm leaves are as big as a shilling
Plant potatoes, if to plant them you're willing.
When elm leaves are as big as a penny,
You must plant potatoes if you mean to have any.
- Northern England traditional lore
To herb doctors, potatoes were not generally taken internally as a medicine but were thought to have some medical value. Slaves were known to carry potatoes to relieve pain and cure aches.
In the pre-Civil war days, potatoes were also carried in pockets for rheumatism. There is no evidence that wearing potatoes or carrying them, other than the power of belief, would have had any medical value.
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