Potatoes were introduced by the Mayan civilization about 3000 years ago. They were grown for food among other uses.
Potatoes are full of starch and carbohydrates to fuel a hard day in the field as it was with the early days of this country.
Boiled potatoes can be mashed or placed into stews and soups. Fried potatoes are eaten for breakfast in some places and lunch all over. The popular French fries are the way most people prefer their potato even though it is not the healthiest of foods.
Picking the right potato
Potatoes grow in the dirt. When choosing a good one, look for any types of spots, blemishes, or nicks. Spots or blemishes indicate that there may be a problem with the potato. Nicks can introduce bacteria and bugs into the flesh of the vegetable.
The flesh should be creamy and the skin light brown to red - there are potatoes with very dark, almost black skin - depending on the variety. The flesh turns green when potatoes are exposed to light. The green areas should not be eaten at all, as this greening indicates a higher presence of solanine, a toxic substance, that is good for health. toxic substances concentrate near the skin.
There is more than one type of potato. We have white potatoes, Russet potatoes, red-skinned potatoes, yellow potatoes, and even blue potatoes. Potatoes are mainly prepared in one of four ways: baked, fried, boiled, or mashed.
A potato provides protein, appreciable amounts vitamin C, calcium, iron, and ditary fiber. Although they have less calories than bread, potatoes are often shunned these days by all the people using diet programs. According to the glycemic index, a way to determine good and bad carbohydrates; potatoes rank high on the list. That means they are not good for the blood sugar. Eating too much starch can fatten you up sooner than you think.
Potatoes can be placed in a vegetable bin in your home. But, don’t forget about them. If you do, they will begin to sprout long thin extensions called “eyes.” Potatoes sitting long enough to sprout are going bad. Next they will shrivel up unto they are completely unusable.
Potatoes do no freeze well. Potatoes that have been cooked or used as an ingredient for another recipe are easier to freeze, but the only way to freeze potatoes without any problems is when they are mashed or pureed.
Preparation and cooking
Potatoes are harvested year round. Be sure to wash them good before eating as dirt can stick to them. A vegetable peeler removes the skin with the least amount of vegetable attached. You would not be the first one to slice a potato with a knife before and cut away half the potato. It isn't a pretty sight. You can eat them raw but it’ll taste really gritty.
Potatoes add weight to your cooking dishes. For instance, a breakfast casserole with potatoes, eggs, and cheese is more filling than a meal with eggs alone. You may prepare your potato any way you want, and it is still good. They are great additions to any meat dish, soup, or breakfast casserole.
How to boil potatoes: Peel potatoes and place in pot. Cover with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Place lid on the pot and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain water and serve.
How to bake a potato with foil: Clean your potatoes with brush and water. Poke each potato with a fork several times. Wrap with foil and place in a 350 F oven for about 75 minutes.
How to bake a potato without foil: You don’t actually need foil to bake a potato, but because the skins tend to dry in the baking process, you can brush them with oil. To start, scrub your potatoes with a brush and water. Poke each potato with a fork several times. Brush lightly with olive oil and place them directly on the middle rack at 350F. Make sure you place a pan or something under them to catch the oil drippings. Bake for about 75 minutes.
They do not need much. Simply boiled or steamed in their skins, left to cool and served with mayonnaise or other cold sauces or dressing, potatoes make a great simple supper.
Herbs and spices to use with potatoes: basil, caraway seed, cayenne, celery seed, chervil or chives, especially in salads, dill, fennel, horseradish, marjoram, mint, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon.