It was National Potato day in Ireland on Friday. Potatoes have long been a food staple in Ireland and if you know a few Irish people, you’d surely have heard them saying “where’s me spuds?” when no potatoes are in sight at a dinner.
Potatoes often have a bad reputation on the health front because they are associated with junk food. But while they are unhealthy fried in oil, they are actually very nutritious when baked, steamed or boiled. Did you know that potatoes contain plenty of vitamins and minerals (Calcium, Vit C, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vit B and B6, Vit K, Potassium, Folic acid, Copper & Zinc) and are a source of fibre, protein and carbohydrates? As long as you keep fat away from them, they are virtually fat free.
The only thing to be aware of is conservation. They should be kept in a cool dark place with good ventilation. Potato skins contain a high amount of glycoalkaloid or GA, which, when consumed in great quantity, disrupt cell membranes and inhibit neurotransmission. GA concentrates in the skin and particularly when exposed to light (the potato then turns green). Therefore, try and peel the potatoes before cooking to limit the amount of GA and discard green potatoes. Cooking in oil migrates the GA into the oil so repeat deep frying can concentrate the levels of GA up to 3 times. Boiling or microwaving on the other hand, decreases the levels of GA. All this information and more can be found on: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-potatoes.
So in summary, eat your potatoes peeled, don’t fry them and keep them well away from light to get the most benefits from them.
The recipe below is a good example of how to do it. Thermomix will keep the temperature at 100C, which preserves most vitamins and minerals. If you don’t want to use dairy, replace the butter with a little oil and the cream with soja cream or don’t add it at all. Most of all, you’ll enjoy the silky smooth texture of that soup and its delicate taste while being comforted that every mouthful is pure goodness.
250g potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 carrot (about 100g), peeled and cut in chunks
100g celery, cut in chunks
1 leek, washed well to remove grit and cut in chunks
A small onion, peeled and cut in half
1 cube vegetable stock
40g creme fraiche
1/2 tsp salt
Ground pepper to taste
- Place the onion and leek in the TM bowl. Chop 3 sec/speed 5.
- Add a knob of butter and cook for 3 min/Varoma/Speed spoon.
- Add the other vegetables and chop 4 sec/speed 5.
- Add the water and stock and cook 16min/100C/speed 1, Reverse blade direction.
- Add the cream and blend 1 min/speed 10.
- Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Blend again 30 sec/speed 8.
- Serve with crusty bread.