The versatile, tasty potato

All types of potatoes are classified as an earth food because they grow below the ground.

by Stan Kalson — 

There is a love affair between Americans and the potato, and cooler weather rekindles memories of potato recipes that fill and nourish. Controversy surrounds the white potato’s nutritional benefits — some believe that a large percentage of the population is allergic to it.

Others feel that when eaten in moderation, the white potato is the basis of a healthy diet. Still other nutritionists recommend raw white potato juice as a blood builder. Most utilize the large variety of white potatoes and vary their meals with its kin, the sweet potato and yam. For versatility, include the latter in your fall and winter diet.

All types of potatoes are classified as an earth food because they grow below the ground. This quality provides a grounding effect for many individuals. Have you ever noticed how you feel after eating potatoes?

In the cooler months this heavy feeling comforts our bodies. The same plate of potatoes consumed during the hot summer months creates a sluggish digestion. If a lighter feeling is desired, eat more airy and/or water foods like melons, vegetable salads and fruits.

The most healthful ways to prepare potatoes are steaming, baking or boiling. Fried potatoes taste good but are usually hard to digest. The many variations for preparing potatoes stagger the imagination.

Be aware that potatoes are a starchy food, and for best digestion combine with salads and other vegetables. Many people consume potatoes with protein, which creates a poorer food combination. Healthful, simple food combinations provide better assimilation of nutrients. Consuming a large variety of foods at one meal creates fermentation in the digestive tract, which may cause gas and bloating. Explore the concept of simple food combining for improved health.

Here a few delicious ways to prepare the versatile potato:

Potatoes, Onions and Greens


  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sliced greens (chard, kale, spinach)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Season, to taste


In a large pot combine potatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil. Sautè for a few minutes until potatoes and onion are coated with olive oil. Add water. Bring to a boil, and then lower the temperature to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add greens and salt to the pot. Cover and cook until all is tender. Delicious served with a green mixed-vegetable salad.

Potato Patties


  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • sea salt, to taste


Boil potatoes in jackets. Peel and mash through sieve. Add onion, parsley, egg, flour and salt. Mix well, and form into patties. Dredge in flour, place on a cooking sheet and bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) until brown. Serve with favorite green salad.

Sweet Potato Puffs


  • 10 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 onions, cut into chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked millet
  • 5 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Add 3 cups water to a large pot with steamer tray in place. Add potatoes, and cook for 15 minutes or until soft (if water evaporates, be sure to add more). Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the seasonings, garlic, onions, celery, peppers and carrots. Sauté for several minutes until the vegetables are tender. Mash the potatoes well. Add the millet, tahini and seasoned sautéed vegetables, and mix well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a cookie sheet. Drop the sweet potato mixture by the tablespoonful onto the cookie sheet. Be careful not to flatten the mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and bake for 20 minutes.


Stan Kalson, founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc has been active in the Greater Phoenix holistic community for 31 years. or 602-287-0605.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 5, October/November 2008.

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