POTATOES scientifically named Solanum tuberosum are the most efficient fuel for energy production, which can also be stored as glycogen in muscle and liver, functioning as a readily available energy source for prolonged, strenuous exercise. The sweet potato usually have yellow or orange flesh, and its thin skin may either be white, yellow, orange, red or purple. Some yams are shaped like a potato, being short and blocky with rounded ends, while other times, the potato will be longer with tapered ends just like a yam. There is often much confusion between sweet potatoes and yams as the moist-fleshed, orange-coloured root vegetable that is often called a “yam” is actually a sweet potato.
However, sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Both vitamins are powerful antioxidants that work in the body to remove free radicals – chemicals that damage cells. Also, sweet potato is a good food for people involved in heavy muscular work, since it is a food that is high in vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes are reasonably low in calories and comprise no fat. They are rich source of beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamin A. Vitamins C and B-complex along side minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are good for the skin. The pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, when mixed with honey, can serve as an excellent skin and face packs. This mixture is also effective even in curing pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, gives a quick relief and heals fast. Smashed potatoes, even water in which potatoes are washed, are very good for softening and cleaning skin, especially around elbows and back of the palms
So, sweet potatoes are gaining a reputation for being an extremely important addition to diets. Why? The impulse of us all, bacterium, animal, or human, or indeed a gene, is, said 19th century biologist Charles Darwin, to reproduce and prolong the life of the species. A potato is good for stomach ulcer, duodenum ulcer and stomach acidity. To use the potato for these ulcerous conditions, wash and grate several raw potatoes. Put in a cheese cloth and squeeze to remove the juice. Or slice potatoes and thereafter, sprinkle with a small amount of salt, let sit overnight and collect the juice the next morning. Drink 1/2 cup of this raw potato juice three times a day before meals for a great benefit.
Potatoes are also very effective in improving resistance to heart attack and stroke. The potassium content, available in potatoes, helps in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells. Potatoes are mounds of carbohydrates and contain little proteins too. This makes it an ideal diet for those lean and thins who desperately want to put on weight. The vitamins like vitamin-C and B-complex also help in proper absorption of this carbohydrate.
Pick up the freshest of potatoes to prepare these sumptuous potato meals.
Baked potato pizza
Recipe for 5 servings:
1large pizza crust
3 medium potatoes (unpeeled, baked & cooled)
1tablespoon margarine (melted)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash seasoning of choice
1 container sour cream
lb bacon (cooked & crumbled)
1medium onion (chopped)
2cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Lightly spray a 14-inch pizza pan, then place dough on pan. Bake at 400 until crust begins to brown. When potatoes are cool enough, cut them into 1/2 inch slices. In a bowl combine margarine, garlic powder, and seasoning. Add potatoes and gently toss to coat. Spread sour cream over pizza crust. Top with potato mixture, then bacon, onions and both cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Let stand before cutting. Serve with a chilled fruit drink of choice.
Sweet potato crisps
Recipe for 4 servings:
4 medium-size potatoes
2 teaspoons walnut oil or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub potatoes well then, cut in 1/8 inch slices. Coat a non-stick baking sheet with walnut oil and arrange potato slices on it. Thereafter, add some seasonings. Also, sprinkle potatoes with some of the seasonings. Bake for about 7-10 minutes. Using a large spatula, twirl, sprinkle with remaining seasonings and bake 10 more minutes.
Recipe for 3 servings:
4 large potatoes
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2red peppers (crushed)
1/2 packet onion soup mix (check supermarkets)
1tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 cup butter
Pinches salt and pepper to taste
Scrub and slice potatoes – inch thick. Slice onions, garlic and red pepper. Place on two sheets of heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle with onion soup mix, thyme, salt and pepper, dot with butter. Wrap tightly in foil and toss on the grill for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.
Recipe for 3 servings:
4 small to medium-sized potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Pinch seasonings to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Small amount Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
Peel and wash potatoes in clean water. Cook in lightly salted boiling water until done. Drain and cut cooked potatoes into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Heat butter and fry in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add potato slices and seasonings. Saut� until hot and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with grated cheese and heat until slightly melted. Serve immediately with ice-cold water.
4 cups hot mashed potatoes
1pack cream cheese
1 medium size onion (chopped) _
1/2 cup flour
Pinches salt and pepper to taste _
1can French fried onions (check supermarkets).
Put potatoes into a large bowl. Add cream cheese, chopped onion, eggs, and flour. Beat on medium until blended. Then beat on high until light and fluffy. Add salt and pepper. Spoon into a greased 9-inch square baking dish. Put canned onions over top. Bake uncovered at 300¡ for 35 minutes. Can be prepared ahead of time, add the canned onions just before baking.