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Potatoes: A Super Food

Eating potatoes is good for you

Dr. Padma Garvey/The Plant-Based Doctor Mom

Potatoes: A Super Food

Indian Homefries

Potatoes need to be recognized as an amazing food.  They originated in Peru where, I came to learn, there are over 4000 different varieties. Potatoes grow very well in cold, harsh climates and as a result became a staple in the diets of many of our ancestors throughout the world.  All potatoes are healthy, not just sweet potatoes and yams.  They have lots of complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  They have no saturated fat or cholesterol.  They taste really good.  With the peel, potatoes have just as much protein as a glass of milk.  They are a near perfect form of nutrition which is why they saved many people from famines.  

Potatoes can be the center of the meal.  The most important thing to remember is not to peel potatoes.  I sometimes microwave a large potato in the morning to have for lunch at work topped with salsa and hummus.  Frequently, I toss cut potatoes with a little vinegar, salt, and rosemary. I roast them in the oven at 450 degrees until golden brown.  They turn out crispy with no oil required. 

 One of our family’s favorites is to top our baked potatoes with a mushroom wine reduction.  As the potatoes are baking in the oven, I dice several cloves of garlic, chop one large bunch of scallions, and two large boxes of portabella mushrooms.  In a large pan, I heat one teaspoon of olive oil.  I sauté the garlic, scallions, and mushrooms.  Add ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper.  Add one cup of marsala wine or red wine.  Add ½ teaspoon of thyme, sage, and/or rosemary.  You can add one tablespoon of vegemite as well.  Cover and let cook down.  This is absolutely delicious over the baked potatoes. Paired with a nice salad, baked potatoes with mushroom wine reduction makes a fine dinner.   

Video link for mushroom sauce

Another great potato- centered recipe is aloo paratha which is an Indian bread stuffed with potatoes.  I sometimes do an East Meets West version with rosemary mashed potatoes as the stuffing and a red pepper pesto dip.

link for recipe

Growing potatoes yourself is a wonderful way to show your kids the joy of gardening.  April is a good time to start growing potatoes.  Take any type of potato you like and let it sit on your kitchen counter until you start to see the eyes forming tiny shoots.  Cut the potatoes into four chunks, taking care that each chunk has a budding eye.  You can plant directly in your home garden if you have one. Alternatively, you can fill a large planter with loose soil.  Place the potato chunks about 6 inches deep, with the shoots facing up and cover loosely with soil.  Water twice a week or as needed.  In about three months you should have hearty, large green plants.  Once their leaves start to turn brown, dig through the soil to uncover your potato harvest.  Having your kids harvest their potatoes, wash and cut them, and roast them for dinner will be a rewarding experience.

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