The potato is the tuber of a plant that is a native of the Andes from Chile to as far north as New Mexico. It was scarcely known until the seventeenth century, but since that time has been widely cultivated, and now produces a large portion of the food of civilized man.
There are many varieties of the potato, differing in size, color, and quality. The varieties usually cultivated are the common white, or Irish, and the sweet, or yellow, potato. Of these the sweet potato contains the more food properties, having a total nutritive value of over twenty-seven percent.; while the total nutritive value of the Irish potato is about twenty-four per cent. The potato has the highest nutritive value of any of the vegetables. It consists principally of starch, but also contains potash, salts, and a small percentage of albuminous material, which are needed in the blood. The potato, when properly cooked, should be dry and mealy; then it is easy of digestion, as the starch cells have burst, and can be digested by the saliva; but if it is soggy and heavy. it is hard of digestion.
The reason why some people think potatoes are hard to digest is because they are combined with other foods which make it seem so. When eaten with fruits or dairy milk, there is a disturbance in the digestive canal, which is laid to the potato, but really belongs to the poor combination of foods. When eaten with nuts, grains, or other vegetables, the difficulty will be obviated.
The potato should be cooked until it is mealy, and this is best done by putting to cook in boiling water, being careful not to cook too long, or they will get watery; but they should be thoroughly done, or the starch cells will not have been bursted, and can not be reached or acted upon by the saliva.
Select medium-sized, smooth potatoes, scrub them well with a vegetable brush in several waters. Drop them into boiling water, and cook until tender; then drain, place back on the stove, and let them dry, raising the kettle and shaking to let the steam escape until they are mealy and the skins crack. Serve at once in their jackets, with nut gravy made of raw peanut milk.
Pare and slice 4 medium-sized potatoes, and mix with them 2 tablespoonfuls of minced celery, using only the white and tender part of the celery. Cover the whole with nut milk, made from almond or peanut butter. Season with salt to task: and bake or stew until tender. Serve hot.
Take 6 medium-sized potatoes, pare and slice them, and place a layer in the bottom of an oiled baking dish, sprinkle with flour and salt. Then add another layer of potatoes, etc. Pour over all enough nut milk to cover it. Place in the oven and bake slowly until tender. A grated onion or celery salt may be added if desired.
Take 1 cupful of mashed potatoes, 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful of nut cream, and salt to taste. Beat the yolk of the egg light, and add to the mashed potatoes with the cream and salt. Beat until very smooth and light; add the white of the egg whipped to a stiff, dry froth, carefully folding it in; turn into a greased baking dish, and brown in a quick oven