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10 Exotic Potatoes That Fight
Disease
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September 4, 2010, last updated February 27, 2015

By Muireann Prendergast, Contributing Columnist




How do you like your potatoes? Fried, boiled or roasted?
Boring. Those were the old options. Now, the question is
whether you’d like your potatoes blue, purple, red, russet or
pink. Increasingly exotic varieties of potatoes have hit our
supermarket shelves. What does this mean for consumers?
Blue potatoes may look nice but are they good for us? As we
walk the supermarket aisles worried about weight gain,
diabetes and numerous other illnesses, can these exotic
potatoes help?


From The Incas to Your Supermarket


The potato has come along way since it originated in Peru
over 8,000 years ago as the staple food of the Incas. Experts
estimate that there are now 5,000 varieties of potato
worldwide with 3,000 of these indigenous to Peru. The
purple potato is probably the best known among them along
with the country’s sweet potato called the Kumar both of
which have made it out of Peru and into the supermarkets of
Latin America’s main cities like Buenos Aires and Santiago.


However, the cultivation of exotic potatoes is not restricted to
Peru. Growers across Europe and the US are increasingly
producing blue, purple and even red varieties. Here we look
at 10  exotic potatoes to consider next time you go food
shopping as well as some interesting ways to prepare them
and possible health benefits they might have for you and
your family.


























1.
Magic Molly

A 2006 Japanese study found that the water-soluble
pigments called anthocyanins, present in high levels in
potatoes with purple-colored flesh such as the Magic Molly
potato found in Alaska, had high antioxidant qualities
particularly beneficial to the liver and kidneys. Purple
potatoes when sprinkled with olive oil and a little rosemary
and roasted make a delicious and eye-catching
accompaniment to both fish and meat.



2.
Purple Majesty

Researchers at Colorado State University found that
pigmented potatoes such as the state’s Purple Majesty potato
have high phenolic or antioxidant content helpful for fighting
many forms of cancers. What a great excuse to make a purple
potato salad with cucumber, celery, onion, peppers and your
choice of spices.



3.
Salad Blue

A 2003 study carried out by the Oregon State University
found that blue-fleshed potatoes such as the Salad Blue,
which originated in Scotland, have antioxidant qualities that
could help protect cells against oxidative damage, responsible
for many age-related conditions like blindness. When mashed
and mixed with herbs such as garlic and rosemary blue
potatoes are an excellent side dish for any plate.



4.
Red King Edward

A study carried out at ARS Vegetable and Forage Crops
Research Laboratory in Prosser, Washington, published in
2007, found that red potatoes like the rare UK Red King
Edward are high in the phytochemicals or flavonoids that can
help lower risk of cardiovascular, respiratory problems such
as asthma, and even prostate and lung cancer. On a windy
fall day treat yourself to a red potato soup made with chicken
broth, milk and some garlic and onion for that extra flavor.



5.
Yukon Gold

Canada-bred Yukon Gold potatoes are known for their
buttery flavor and are a great option for home made French
fries seasoned with sea salt. Not only are these potatoes
delicious but they are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin,
antioxidants which can help lower the risk of certain cancers
such as those affecting the mouth, stomach and cervix,
according to a 1991 study carried out at The National Cancer
Institute in Maryland.



6.
Kumar (Peruvian Sweet Potato)

A 1992 study carried out by Center for Science in the Public
Interest found that sweet potatoes are an excellent source of
fiber, which can help protect against various forms of cancer
such as that which affects the colon. What an excellent
excuse to indulge in the Peruvian Sweet Potato, Kumar, in a
sweet potato pie with cinnamon, pecans and honey.



7.
French Fingerling Potatoes

French Fingerlings, with their purple skins and yellow flesh,
have a nutty flavour and are a great option for potato salad
but did you know that they are also beneficial for your health.
A 1999 study carried out by The University of Minnesota in
conjunction with the Nutrition Coordinating Center (NCC)
and The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) concluded that
yellow fleshed potatoes such as The French Fingerling has
strong levels of carotenoids giving it antioxidant and immuno-
defensive properties.



8.
Russet Norkotah Potato

A 2004 US Department of Agriculture study concluded that
russet potatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidants
that help fight many cancers and even Alzheimer's. Russet
potatoes such as the Norkatoh Potato are a great option for
stuffed potatoes with some sour cream and cheese.



9.
Vivaldi

The Vivaldi potato is music to the ears of those who are
looking to lose weight. Developed in the Lincolnshire region
of the UK in 2009 this potato contains a third less calories
and carbohydrates than other white and salad potatoes on
the market. This makes it an excellent choice for weight
watchers looking to accompany their meal with boiled
potatoes which should be left in their jackets to increase fiber
content.



10.
Nicola

A 2007 Australian study found that the German-born Nicola
potato could be classed as food with a medium
Glycemic
Index, meaning that it is digested more slowly and takes
longer to release glucose into the bloodstream than other
potatoes. This makes the Nicola potato good news for
diabetics who could take the opportunity to enjoy some
potato wedges sprinkled with olive oil.

Update:

11.
Good Ol' Idaho White Potatoes May Be a Health Food

White potatoes can actually help you lose weight, if you use
them correctly, scientists have found. Boiled white potatoes
have higher "satiety", meaning they make you feel satisfied
longer, and can actually make you eat fewer calories later.
Limit yourself to one boiled or mashed potato and skip the
heavy cream or butter.










You're just getting started. Learn more about the relationship
between your diet and your risk for other diseases and
conditions:
Read more recipes from this author /Beets Lower
Blood Pressure-But There's a Big Catch/ Healing Foods Links
/
How Much Is Too Much Salt? /Sugar-The Disease
Connection / Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health? / Ideal
Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis /Healing
Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist / Foods That
Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/ Foods That
Reduce Blood Pressure


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Try our  Potato Salad "Ice Cream" Cones, a favorite
family recipe from our Editor, Anita. Great for backyard
barbecues, 4th of July, parties or casual get togethers.   
Scroll down for our recipe!
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Assemble:

waffles cones

white Russet potatoes

eggs

mayonnaise

Chives

cream

butter (optional)

empty egg crate to stand your cones up

Garnishes include: Red bell peppers, bacon bits, shaved nuts
(we use pecans but walnuts or almonds also go well)


1. Boil potatoes until medium soft. Insert your fork to make
sure that they are cooked.

2. Peel potatoes and place 4 medium potatoes, each about
the size of a large ice cream scoop, in a bowl.

3. Using a fork, gently mash the potatoes. It helps not to
over-mash, leave some chunkiness in the batch.

4. Using scissors, cut off some ends of chives and add to the
potato mix.

5. Add diced red or white onions if you like.

6. Add diced 2 hard-boiled eggs. You can use 1 whole egg
and 1 egg white if you need to lower you cholesterol.

6. Add ground pepper to taste

7. Add two dollops of mayonnaise (you can go with light
mayonnaise to save calories)

8. Add a teaspoon of heavy cream (you can leave it out to
save calories if you like)



Once your potato salad mix is ready...

9. Add your bacon bits, diced red bell peppers and parsley.
We use real bacon for our bacon bits. It just tastes better.

10. Use a regular ice cream scoop. Place one scoop on each
cone. Garnish with peppers, nuts, bacon bits. Voila!  These
potato cones are great to serve before you serve your main
dish, just to keep the gang happy and patient. Kids,
grandkids, friends and everybody else will love them!

Take a look at our gallery of different kinds of potato cones.
Sweet potato cones for Thanksgiving and Christmas, more
white potato cones and more.
Story of the Potato Ice Cream Cones. This recipe is a family favorite
of our Editor, Anita Lee. The recipe for the cones is from her
grandmother, Lucille. The idea for using the egg crates came after
we tried many other ways to stand up the cones. None seemed as
simple or as natural as the egg crates.
Easy Recipe for Potato "Ice Cream Cones".