Effect of Cooking on Food Value of Potatoes

The following conclusions are taken from Minnesota Experiment Station Bulletin No. 43:

"(1) In order to obtain the highest food value, potatoes should not be peeled before cooking.

"(2) When potatoes are pared before cooking, the least loss is sustained by putting them directly into hot water, and boiling as rapidly as possible. Even then the loss is very considerable.

"(3) If potatoes are pared and soaked in cold water before boiling, the loss of nutrients is very great, being one-fourth of all the albuminoid matter. In a bushel of potatoes, the loss would be equivalent to a pound of sirloin steak."

Plain Boiled Potatoes

Select potatoes of uniform size. Wash clean in cold water, using a vegetable brush. Rinse and pare, removing a thin paring, and taking out the eyes, if necessary. As soon as pared, rinse in clear water, and put to cook in such a quantity of boiling salted water that it will be nearly boiled away when the potatoes are soft. Drain off the water which remains, remove to the back of range, throw a white cloth over the potatoes to absorb the moisture, and they are ready to serve. A medium-sized potato will cook in about twenty-five minutes. To cook potatoes in their skins, follow the same method. Potatoes which are pared before cooking will give the whitest and nicest-looking mashed potatoes, but they have less food value than those pared after cooking. Potatoes are as nice steamed as boiled and probably have greater food value.

Emergency Potatoes

Select potatoes with a smooth skin and of medium size, scrub them, cover with boiling water, and let boil about ten minutes, drain off the water and put potatoes to bake. They will then bake quicker, and be almost as good, as when wholly cooked in the oven.

Baked Potatoes

Select and wash as above. Put to bake on the bottom of a clean, moderately hot oven., When done, take each potato in a cloth, and squeeze until it breaks a little, allowing the steam to escape, or pierce each with a skewer or fork. Serve at once.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Prepare and bake as white potatoes. Serve as soon as done, as they become soggy if allowed to stand.

Browned Sweet Potatoes

Pare cold baked or boiled sweet potatoes, and pour over them a mixture of water, sugar and butter, using one-quarter cup of water and one tablespoonful of sugar and one of butter for three potatoes cut in half length-wise. Bake until browned.

Mashed Potatoes

Wash, pare, and remove imperfect parts from potatoes, and put to steam, or put to cook in a small amount of boiling water, allowing one teaspoonful of salt to each pint of water, and boil rapidly until done.

Do not allow pared potatoes to stand in cold water, as this detracts from the food value. When the potatoes

are soft, mash fine. A wooden masher is best for this, and a wire one is best for stirring. Measure the quantity of potatoes by the eye, and for each pint add half a tea-spoonful of salt, a little pepper, hot milk to moisten, and butter enough to give a good flavor, then stir and beat with wire masher until light and creamy white. Use cream instead of milk and butter if you have it.