The poor potato has gotten quite the bad rap over the last couple of decades, but it is not as bad as it seems.
A Little Potato History
The lowly potato hails from the South American regions of Peru and Bolivia, and has been a staple in the diets of these regions for over 10,000 years. Traditionally potatoes were naturally freeze dried into Chuno.
It was only after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America, that the Potato made it's way to the rest of the world.
A Little Potato Nutrition
Yes, potatoes are a super starchy vegetable, that has a high glycemic index. And, sadly, that is what is it is most known for. Probably because we peel them, and fry them more often than using them whole.
Nutritionally they are full of Vitamins, Minerals and Phytonutrients
Potatoes Contain 30+% of your daily B6
B6 is necessary in the formation of blood cells, metabolism of carbohydrates, production of neurotransmitters, and aid in Liver detoxification processes
Potatoes Contain 25+% of your daily Potassium
Potassium is necessary for regulating blood pressure, reduced risk of kidney stones, neutralizes acidic food in your diet, and is an important electrolyte for the cells
Potatoes Contain 20+% of your daily Vitamin C
Vitamin C is necessary for proper immune function, in the formation of collagen, in the production of neurotransmitters, and in reducing inflammation
Potatoes Contain 20+% of your daily Copper
Copper is necessary to reduce nerve inflammation, in the formation of enzymes, in the formation of collagen, in the formation of red blood cells, and carbohydrate metabolism
Potatoes Contain 15+% of your daily Manganese
Manganese is necessary for proper bone formation, in the formation of collagen, skin protection from UV rays, and in the formation of enzymes used to regulate blood sugar
Potatoes Contain 15+% of your daily Phosphorus
Phosphorus is necessary in the formation of DNA and gene expression, for the strength of bones, and in the processes of cell energy, balancing body pH
Potatoes Contain 15+% of your daily Vitamin B3 Niacin
Vitamin B3 Niacin is necessary in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, in DNA repair, for stress responses, for balancing blood cholesterols, and in skin formation and healing
Potatoes Contain 15+% of your daily Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, in the formation of cholesterol based hormones, in blood cell formation, in the formation of adrenal hormones, for moisturizing the skin and skin healing, in the formation of neurotransmitters, and in the metabolism of drugs and medication
Potatoes Contain 15+% of your daily Fiber
Fiber is necessary for proper digestion, probiotic balance and growth, as fuel for intestinal cells, for balancing blood cholesterol, and for balancing the digestion of fats and carbohydrates
Potatoes Contain Kukoamines
Kukoamines are phytochemicals that are being researched for the their effects on reducing blood pressure. Kukoamines were previously only discovered in Goji Berries (a TCM herb). They are also shown to protect your body from the harmful compounds formed from high temperature cooking meat.
Crockpot Dairy Free Potato and Leek Chowder
In a crockpot, add the leeks, potatoes, thyme, garlic, and cover with chicken broth. Set on low for 8 hours.
Stir, and slightly mash potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in Potato Flakes and let sit 15 minutes.
Top with fresh parsley, bacon, and green onions.
Warm Broccoli and Brussels Sprout Salad
Cut broccoli into florets, and steam until tender crisp.
Cook bacon and reserve grease.
In a bowl mix Dijon and Vinegar until smooth, add 1 tbsp of reserved bacon grease and blend. Add in broccoli, brussels, apples and mix well. Top with almonds and crumbled bacon. Serve warm.
I think it's great to have versatile recipes. Ones that you have a base knowledge of and can modify based on the ingredients you have on hand. Sweet potato hash is one of those for me. It can be breakfast with eggs, it can be dinner with sausages, and it can be changed up with different added veggies; kale, brussels, poblanos, etc...
This recipe is from my article series "Planning Nutritionally for Labor and Delivery Part 4"
Starchy sweet potatoes help in the production of hyaluronic acid, which is essential for labor and delivery. It is also important for aging, as the hyaluronic acid keeps our skin soft and pliable. This is why it is used as skin serums to reduce wrinkles.
Sweet Potato and Kale Hash
Makes 4 servings
BEETS! You either love them or you hate them, and sometimes you hate them because you've never had GOOD beets. I find it really fun to change people's mentality when it comes to foods. I have had many friends and family tell me they do not like a particular food, and it becomes a game for me to make them like it. Like beets.
If you tell me you don't like them, then be prepared to have to try them the next time you come over for dinner. I can almost guarantee I can change your mind about them.
The key to beets, in my opinion, is to cook them low and slow, let their natural juices caramelize. I am also a lazy beet cooker, I do not peel my beets.
Beets are a staple at our house. This year was the first year I have grown a successful beet crop. In the process I found a favorite, and often under utilized, portion of the beets...their greens. How many of you buy beets, cut off the green and discard them...I use to be guilty. Mainly because I didn't know what to do with the greens.
Beet greens are amazing! Enough Said! If you like Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach, you'll love beet greens.
This dish uses the entire beet in one recipe. Bringing out all that the beet has to offer. Cooking them on the grill in a cast iron skillet is a great use of summer cooking. You could also use this recipe for camping!
A cast iron skillet is essential in any kitchen. If you don't have one, get one. The best ones are found in thrift stores...no lie. Find an old, beat up skillet, and season it. Don't get one of those new coated ones (I have one, it's not the same). This skillet is probably 100 years old. My husband found it in his grandfather's old barn, rusted. He cleaned it, seasoned it, and gave it to me as a gift...He knows how to win my heart. I use this skillet pretty much every day. The key to keeping it seasoned...don't clean it. Seriously, you can ruin a skillet by cleaning it with soap and water. Just take a paper towel and wipe it out. The little browned bits add flavor to the next dish.
This dish has quickly become a favorite of my kids. My oldest adores all things beets. She will easily order a beet salad for dinner at restaurants. (I have to catch her when she is outside. She ate half of the beet crop straight from the garden! That sneaky devil.)
Skillet Grilled Beets and Greens
1. Heat grill, and cast iron skillet, over medium high heat
2. Add bacon drippings, and melt.
3. Add in diced beets, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to coat.
4. Cook beets until they are soft, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. ~ 45min
5. When soft, add in greens. Cooked until wilted.
6. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to desire.