Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Sweetest of Potatoes

Fancy a slice of the action?

I love sweet potato. It may not be the prettiest of vegetables but its orange flesh pleasantly treads the line between savory and sweet. They're versatile and good for you as they're high in a range of vitamins, complex carbohydrates (which keep you fuller for longer and burn slowly in your belly) and fibre. They have also been rated the highest for nutritional value in a study that surveyed common vegetables. They're delicious whether they're roasted, boiled or mashed but be sure to have a little fat (such as a dressing of olive oil) with your potato to encourage your update of the precious beta-carotene that its naturally bursting with.

So, the sweet potato. An all round winner? Hrm, maybe not. If you head to your local supermarket or grocer, you'll be faced with roots that have winged their way to the shelf from America. The US of A. That means that if your potatoes came from North Carolina (the leading sweet potato growing state), they will have travelled over 3,700 miles to get to your dinner plate. My research shows that sweet potato season runs from September to March so maybe the suppliers see the US as the answer to summer shortages but it still seems crazy to me to be shipping them all that way. I'm no expert but I wonder how much of the nutrients are lost during transportation.

Anyway, The Boy and I got talking about this subject and he (being particularly passionate about these orange beauties) challenged me to grow my own. Baring in mind that we don't have a garden, this is likely to be difficult. I doubt that we have the space to grow potatoes on our window sills and the distict lack of soil makes growing them on our driveway sound a bit far fetched too. Having done some reading, it seems that I'm a bit late of the starting blocks too as tubars need to be started in February to be ready for September. Ho hum!

Still, the dates have been put in my diary and that gives me plenty of time to work out how (and where!) I'm going to grow them. I do love a challenge, don't you?

1 comment:

Lamiadrielan said...

Potatoes happily grow in a bag I hear =)So the garden waste bags are perfect, especially seeing how Oxford doesn't collect it any more, my bag is redundant!
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