This past weekend, we had a little surprise visit from our administrator’s (Sr. Rebecca) brother and sister-in-law. Along with the gift of their mere presence, they also brought us a bag of special spuds – purple potatoes!
We’d never seen the like before. The visitors assured us that they taste just like any other potato; if you were blindfolded, you’d never know the difference.
Wednesday afternoon, Sr. Christina set to work with one of our residents who loves to “keep busy,” waiting eagerly to see the lady’s reaction when she discovered that they were purple potatoes. Soon, others in the activity room were being shown the never-before-seen specimen.
Every Thursday, we have mashed potatoes as part of the lunch menu. So it is that Sr. Rebecca is planning to cook up and mash the peeled potatoes to see what kind of reaction she gets.
Purple potatoes, though deep violet on the inside, have ink-colored skins. They are good for baking or mashing, being dry and starchy.
They are rich in a certain antioxidant called anthocyanin which is also found in berries and pomegranates, helpful to the immune system and in preventing some cancers. Purple potatoes also have energy-rich properties, lots of vitamins, proteins, fiber and antioxidants. They can help with your blood pressure and prevent blood clots as well. Purple potatoes have been grown for hundreds of years in areas like Peru and Bolivia.
There are even recipes available for using these pretty little gems, including home-style green beans and purple potatoes, purple potatoes with caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms, mashed purple potatoes, and roasted purple potatoes and cauliflower.