Friday, December 6, 2013

Purple Potatos

The Victorian Age affected the english speaking world not only in regard to manners and sexual mores, it also changed many of our food choices.

It was not unusual to find colorful and healthy items on American tables, some of those items were no longer considered proper to serve. Restraint ruled the day, the purple potato lost its place at our meals.

We have rejected many of the attitudes of the Victorians, and terrific forgotten varieties have made a comeback, one of the most welcome should be the purple potato. The rich color is fun to add to dishes, but its real value is in nutritional value. In this respect, it is similar to the popular Russet, a half cup is about 70 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates, no fat, one gram of fiber and two grams of protein.

The purple potato has four times the antioxidants of other potato varieties. The antioxidant anthocyanin is found in similarly colored fruit, such as blueberries and pomegranates. It is high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, it strengthens the immune system and helps prevent some heart diseases and cancers.

The purple potato has a nutty flavor, and can be used in most potato recipes, and keep their shape well. They can be baked or mashed, and are terrific in potato salads. They are usually found in produce aisles sold egg-sized or as small fingerlings. These are perfect for steaming. Try them this way mixed with similar sized red and white varieties, and serve with a bit of butter and chives as a healthy side dish.

- Elizabeth

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