Before I went paleo I ate a lot of white potatoes. Now, I eat
But with fairly typical cracker ingredients looking like this:
Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Malt Extract, Yeast Raising Agent (E336, E500), Emulsifier (E322:Soy), Milk Solids
That's a high price to pay for a vessel for a bit of cheese….
So I've been experimenting with my dehydrator, and have come up with these paleo crackers. Yes, the main ingredient is white potato. But these would work just as well with sweet potato or parsnip. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- sea salt &black pepper
- Boil the potatoes as you would to make mashed potatoes (this helps to breakdown the starch)
- Drain, and mash in with the olive oil
- Add in the rosemary and season.
- Spoon a spoonful of the mixture onto a dehydrator sheet and use the back of the spoon to shape into whatever cracker shape and size you prefer.
- I dehydrated for about 16 hours on 145 degrees - but please check regularly and adjust accordingly!
- You an also make these in an oven if you don't have a dehydrator (but please research times and temperatures carefully!)
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What’s your favourite part of Aloo Gobi? Is it the blend of warming, aromatic spices? Perhaps the crispness of the cauliflower? Whatever it is, I’d guess it’s certainly not the potatoes. Whether you’re avoiding potatoes because they’re a nightshade, or you just don’t care for the insulin spike, you won’t miss them in this adapted Aloo Gobi. Double the cauliflower just means double the goodness – enjoy! Another example of a dish where white potatoes just really aren't necessary!
- 1 large cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Handful cashew nuts, chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 3 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- Large handful of Coriander
- Bring some water in a large saucepan to a boil. Submerge the cauliflower and cook for about two minutes, until slightly softened. Drain and set to one side.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy based pan (I use cast iron). Add the sliced onion, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and cumin seeds, and toss together for two or three minutes.
- Add the cauliflower to the pan, along with the cashew nuts, and cook for a further couple of minutes until they are both golden. Toss in the turmeric and chilli.
- Add the coconut milk to the pan. Continue to stir the contents for 5 minutes or so, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the cauliflower. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh coriander.
What's your favourite Indian dish? Have you tried making a paleo version. Many Indian dishes are naturally paleo – and even tend to use Ghee as the fat of choice – perfect!
Do you have potato-blood? I hope not because that would mean that you are terribly ill. It’s an old expression, apparently. But I digress; are potatoes really that unhealthy to eat? And do they fit in with a paleo diet?
If you read a lot of Paleo blogs, I'm sure you’ll have noticed that opinions vary significantly… here are some of the viewpoints…
Paleolithic or a bit younger?
Potatoes are a contentious subject when it comes to the paleo diet. Strictly speaking they don’t fit the bill, at least not at first sight. Cultivation of vegetables started the Neolithic era, and consuming potatoes is most likely developed during this period, not before. Raw potatoes are not the most delicious food you've ever had; you need to cook them before they become more edible (although some people do eat them raw, it’s not advisable).
A potato is also a ‘nightshade’, which would not have come into existence before the Neolithic period, like tomatoes and eggplant. Paleolithic people would not have eaten them, simply because they were not around. But we can’t be sure about this. And anyway – Paleo is a science – not a re-enactment, after all!
The fact that some people are not able to fully digest a potato, can lead to the theory that we never adapted to these foods, and therefore, are not supposed to eat them. The paleo theory that some people follow “if you can’t eat it raw, it’s not paleo” seems to be valid here. Whilst regular potatoes and white potatoes are not edible in their raw forms, sweet potatoes are (but again, I wouldn't advise it!)
Potatoes and your health
Potatoes consist mainly of starch, which isn't very good for people that are insulin resistant. Although they are a ‘pure food’, it needs to be cooked to become edible. Further processing is not necessary, as it would be in the case of grains (a much easier to define Paleo no-no).
Potatoes are 100% carbohydrate. This will increase your insulin, which is fine for some people. Athletes and those who train hard are often able to eat potatoes almost every day and have no problems with them. Potatoes are a very healthy source of carbs to refill and refuel your body (especially compared to grains and other refined carbs for example). So, it completely depends on you; but if you’re overweight, already insulin resistant, and your body isn't good in coping with glucose – then I’d leave the potatoes alone.
Whether or not you think that you should, or should not, include potatoes into your diet is completely up to you. It is very likely that the Paleolithic humans did eat raw potatoes.
If you are already overweight, it is probably best to avoid them. Because they are so carb heavy, it’s better to leave them alone and replace them with other paleo foods that are just as nutritious, but with less carbs.
If you are sensitive to nightshades, be careful. Nightshades can cause serious bowel and digestive problems to people who are sensitive.
Should you consider to have potatoes in your diet, you might like to consider the points below:
- Peel the potato! Most of the toxins are located in the skin. Removing the skin, removes the risk
- Buy organic potatoes. Potatoes have the tendency to suck up the toxins from the ground. Since the modern human uses toxins to make foods grown, it’s better to buy organic potatoes that are not drenched in them.
- Green potatoes are bad. They contain saponins, which are toxic. Don’t eat the green ones!
- Potatoes break down to glucose. When you are trying to lose weight, potatoes are definitely banned from the menu.
I’d be very interested to hear what you think about Potatoes and Paleo? Do you eat them? Or avoid them altogether? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Perhaps you avoid nightshades yourself, or have noticed a lot of people do? Is there any reason for avoiding them?
Nightshades are in the Solanaceae family, which comprises 2,800 types of plant. The common nightshades include potatoes (which aren't consumed on a Paleo regime, so I won’t be talking about them), tomatoes, all types of peppers/ capsicum, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, paprika and cayenne. Sweet potatoes are related, but belong to the Convolvulaceae family, so aren't classed as a nightshade. Similarly black pepper is not classed as a nightshade as it belongs to the Piperaceae family.
Nightshades contain alkaloids, which the plant produces as a defence mechanism. Some alkaloids have been shown to interact with nerve activity and inflammation, which may impact conditions such as arthritis and gout, as well as gut irritation. Many people have no sensitivities to Nightshades, but those that do may find avoidance very beneficial. Cooking decreases the alkaloid content by up to 50%, so for those with border line sensitivity, this can be a good option.
If you think you may have a sensitivity, eliminating nightshades for 30 days before reintroducing should give a clear indication as to the effect these plant have on you. If you find you do have a sensitivity, you might chose to avoid them on a more permanent basis.
Do you eat Nightshades? Do you have a sensitivity to them?
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