Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Get to know your veggies--Potatoes

Yes, I said potatoes.  I bet you're thinking to yourself...potatoes, EVERYBODY knows about potatoes.  Do you?  Do you you really?

I checked out the website www.healthypotato.com and found gobs of useful information and recipes for the "lowly" potato. 

Did you know that potatoes rank really high on the list for several vitamins and nutrients, namely potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6? 

This table, found on the aforementioned website, lists foods considered "high" in Potatssium content.  ( A 5.3 ounce potato with skin on)

Food Source Potassium (mg)

Potato (1, 5.3 oz) 620
Banana (1 med) 400
Mushrooms (5 med) 300
Brussels Sprouts (4 lg) 290
Cantaloupe (1/4 med) 280
Orange (1 med) 260
Grapefruit (1/2 med) 220
Spinach (1 ½ c raw) 130

* USDA Standard Reference 18

Geez, I always ate a banana if I was getting leg cramps--think I'll go for a potato  next time!

Back in the early 2000's everyone went on the low-carb diet.  I agree that the diet works, but it soooo can't be healthy for you; all that fat and cholesterol....anyway, people shy away from potatoes because they are "starchy".  Well, here's what "healthy potato" has to say about the starch in 'taters:

 Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is the starch that is ‘resistant’ to enzymatic digestion in the small intestine.  Resistant starch is found in foods such as potatoes,
legumes, bananas (especially under-ripe, slightly green bananas) and some unprocessed whole grains. Natural resistant starch is insoluble, is fermented in the large intestine and is a prebiotic fiber (i.e., it may stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon). Other types of resistant starch may be soluble or insoluble, and may or may not have prebiotic properties .

The physiological effects and potential health benefits of resistant starch have been studied in animals and humans for over 30 years.  Resistant starch appears to exert beneficial effects within the colon, as well as body-wide. Health benefits in the colon include enhanced laxation, extensive fermentation and the production of important short chain fatty acids and increased synthesis of a variety of “good” bacteria.

WOW!  That's a plus!  Have you checked out the stomach/ digestion /laxative aisles at the stores?  They are almost as large and comprehensive as the pain relievers and sinus areas.  If we ate more potatoes maybe we could get some good bugs going in our systems to help digest all the cra......uh, food that we eat each day!

Back to the website......

Potato Nutrition:

More than skin deep

A common misconception is that all of the potato’s nutrients are found in the skin. While the skin does contain approximately half of the total dietary fiber, the majority (> 50 percent) of the nutrients are found within the potato itself. As is true for most vegetables, cooking does impact the bioavailability of certain nutrients, particularly water-soluble vitamins and minerals, and nutrient loss is greatest when cooking involves water (boiling) and/or extended periods of time (baking). To maintain the most nutrition in a cooked potato, steaming and microwaving are best.

 If you need to get dinner on the table in minutes, try baking potatoes in the microwave. The key to great microwave baked potatoes is cutting a thin wedge, lengthwise, approximately 1/2-inch wide and 1 inch deep. This is done so the steam can fully escape from the potato, resulting in a dry and fluffy pulp.  (I didn't know that!)

On the farm there are 3 kinds of potatoes raised; Kennebec, Red Pontiac, and Yukon Gold.  Each of them has their virtues; I like the Red Pontiacs best harvested small and prepared as "new potatoes", whole.  The Kennebecs are good all purpose potatoes, good for mashing, frying, or baking.  The Yukon Gold are creamy and make great mashed potatoes.

Before you cut potatoes out of your diet to lose some weight, why not get moving and burn off some extra calories instead?  I would never recommend to cut down on chocolate.......

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