Potatoes, A Bladder-Friendly Veggie – Fresh Tastes by Bev
By Bev Laumann, Author of A Taste of The Good Life: A Cookbook for IC & OAB
“Potatoes again?” I can remember complaining to my mom as I plunked myself down in the chair for dinner. I scowled at the mashed potatoes on my plate. Potatoes were ok… but at six years old I saw them as one boring vegetable. I can still see my mom’s smile as I announced that when I grew up I’d eat nothing but enchiladas and chocolate cake.
Well, some things just don’t change. I still hanker for spicy enchiladas and rich chocolate cake (and sometimes I sneak a bit anyway). Of course for me, a big part of the attraction for such foods (then as now) is the old “forbidden fruit” thing– I simply can’t eat them whenever I want. But that doesn’t mean that the foods I CAN eat are required to be boring.
With the emphasis on healthy cuisine these days, chefs across the country are experimenting with unusual flavor combinations, pungent herbs and aromatic spices to lend exciting new flavors to what most people consider bland vegetables. It’s not hard to find intriguing and tasty potato recipes. For instance, in her recent cookbook, “50 Best Mashed Potatoes”, Sarah Reynolds devotes the entire volume to innovative recipes for that old potato standby. Anything but humdrum, her recipes prove that just about any food can be made flavorful with a bit of ingenuity. (If you’ve been used to boxed quick mashed potatoes, by all means try the homemade variety! The fluffy, creamy goodness is well worth the extra few minutes of preparation time. You may avoid bladder pain from some unfriendly preservatives like BHA and BHT as well.)
Colorful and Vitamin-packed Though we often associate them with the Irish, potatoes actually are a New World food and have been cultivated for centuries by the natives in South America. If you’ve ever seen the potatoes these indigenous peoples harvest its hard to believe they are related to what’s in our supermarkets. Native potatoes come in a rainbow of colors (including lavender and black) and are unusual shapes and sizes (some are as small as marbles).
Four of the most common cultivated types of potatoes in the United States are russets (the baking potato), long whites (good for boiling and cold potato salads), round whites and round reds (these last two are frequently served with the skins left on). The last two types are often sold in stores as White Rose or Red Rose potatoes. “Spring” or “new” potatoes are simply a small size of the round red or white varieties. Making inroads in the marketplace are some relatively new varieties that are worth trying. Some of them show their native heritage and have the curious inside or outside coloring. They also may have slightly different flavors. Yukon Gold is quite popular– when you serve it you’ll see why it’s aptly named.
Potatoes are good bladder-friendly sources of vitamin C too. According to the American Dietetic Association, they are also good sources of dietary potassium (so are broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes)