I have noticed that the potato is one thing that is an extremely versatile….it is not only meant for chips and crisps plus it is not the tuber that is fattening, it is the treatment we give it that makes it so. In days gone, the potato was blamed for those extra inches around the waist because of its starch content. But now the blame has shifted onto bread which has three times the calories! Potato has a high starch content but it is energy-giving and is also valuable source of vitamin C. It also has considerable amount of protein of high biological value and also alkaline salts. In addition it is rich in soda, potash and vitamins A and B.
As technology makes it presence felt on many foods, so has the potato been washed and pre-packed mechanically, canned, turned into crisp, frozen chips and instant mash. There are innumerable ways and recipes for using the potato… according to some tidbit I came across in a book 500 or so ways… and the most exciting is of course, chips! Crisp on the outside and juicy inside, chips are winners all the way. But there are some not so exciting facts connected to the consumption of chips. Take a look: a 100 gms of raw potato produces 85 gms of baked potato (which provide 87 calories). The same amount of raw potato makes 50 gms of chips (210 calories) or 44 gms of potato crisps (245 calories). Now which version of the humble potato would you go for?
Whatever may be the case, the fact remains that potatoes are a versatile sort that can
do wonders to any meal. But it is recommended that potatoes are more nutritious with the peel on. Upto a quarter of a potato’s protein is lost by peeling because the protein is most highly concentrated just below the skin. And if a peeled potato is boiled, up to half of its vitamin C content is dissolved. So to retain as much goodness as possible, bake or boil unpeeled potatoes. Green skin however should preferably be removed – it contains a detrimental alkaloid.
So you can have a potato soup, or jacket potatoes, chips and crisps, add them to pies or other vegetables, casseroles, you name it. I love the Caldo Verde soup in which mashed potatoes form the basic ingredient. It is a perfect beginning to a sumptuous meal, is easy to prepare and above all is simply delicious and wholesome. As potato can be stored in your kitchen, especially during the rainy days, I have a variety of potato goodies lined up for you.
Till I write again