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4 • November 2016 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC. & Prosper! Eat Well INDISPENSABLE VEGETABLE by Executive Chef Ron Skaar ~ ronskaar@comcast.net ~ 707-490-7636


Cloverdale, CA. rived in England before the ~ A native of northern South America, sweet potato remnants have been found


in Peru dating back to 8,000 B.C. T e sweet potato was do- mesticated in South America over 5,000 years ago and from there, spread to the Caribbean. T e Sweet potato reached


Polynesia by prehistoric times, probably by seafaring islanders who visited the coast of South America. From Polynesia the plant spread across the Pacifi c to Hawaii and ultimately New Zealand. Members of Christo- pher Columbus 1492 expedi- tion to the New World were the fi rst Europeans to taste the sweet potato. Aſt er bringing it back to Spain, it quickly spread to Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium. Sweet potatoes ar-


century the sweet po- tato was established in the Philippines. From there it blos- somed in China and eventually


became


featured in many fa- vorite dishes through- out Japan, Korea, Indo- nesia and Vietnam. T e sweet potato was trea-


sured by Native Americans and wildly cultivated dur- ing colonial times. It was the chief means of substance for the


early homesteaders and


for the soldiers during the Revolutionary war. One colo- nial physician described the


Louisiana in the early 1700’s. Louisianans called their sweet potato yams to diff erentiate them from other sweet pota- toes grown elsewhere. True yams they are not. Sweet pota- toes are related to the morning glory, while yams belong to the


fi rst Irish potato and immedi- ately became a rare and expen- sive delicacy (it took 200 more years for the Irish potato to be accepted as food in England). By the end of the 15th


sweet potato as the “vegetable indispensable”. A Dutch ex- plorer representing France discovered the sweet potato in


lily family. By 1920 per capita consump-


tion of the sweet potato was almost 30 pounds. In 1930, for some reason, the U.S. De- partment of Agriculture re- quired that the word yam always


the sweet potato in retail


accompanied establish-


ments. Now, sweet potatoes are en-


joyed primarily on T anksgiving and per capita consump- tion has slipped to 3


pounds. Which is a shame, since the


sweet potato is one of the most nourishing vegetables avail- able. Each tuber is rich in com- plex carbohydrates, dietary fi ber and supplies over 90% of vitamin A with tons of beta- carotene plus large amounts of vitamin C and B. It is


one


of the few low-fat foods that contains ample amounts of vi- tamin E. T ere are two basic types of


sweet potato: the starchier dry- fl eshed with tan skin and light colored pulp and the moist- fl eshed with dark red-brown skin and deep orange fl esh, which dominates the market. During cooking the sweet po-


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


6 ounces thick-sliced bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces 1 pound Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into ½ inch dice 2 tablespoons chopped pars- ley


2 tablespoons minced chives 1 teaspoon chopped thyme


DIRECTIONS: In a medium saucepan of salted boiling wa- ter, blanch the sweet potatoes, drain well. In a large skillet add the bacon and cook over mod- erate heat until crisp. With a


4 • November 2016 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC. Weird Facts & Fun Trivia - 2


Fry Bread was designated as the Offi cial Bread of South Dakota in 2005.


Breadfruit (Artocarpus communis) is a tall tropical evergreen tree of the mulberry family, native to the Malay Archipelago, and a close relative of the jackfruit and Osage orange. They have been found throughout the South Pacifi c since prehistoric times, and today are a staple food in many of the Pacifi c islands, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and parts of Africa.


In the U.S. breakfast is the most frequently skipped meal. About 58% of Americans do not eat breakfast every day.


tato fl esh converts to maltose, a sugar that is one third as sweet as table sugar. Slow bak- ing produces the most maltose. T e tubers will keep a month if stored at 55-60 degrees in a dry space, never refrigerate. T e accompanying recipe is


a pretty easy yet unique way to prepare sweet potatoes.


SWEET POTATO HASH BROWNS Ingredients:


slotted spoon, transfer the ba- con to paper towels to drain. Add the oil and onions to the skillet and cook until browned, about 12 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occa- sionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until browned on bottom, about 2 more min- utes. Stir in the bacon, parsley, chives and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.


Toss the beets, edamame and scallions to coat. Set on top of greens and garnish with ba- sil before serving. Makes four servings.


“People don’t really change, they just adapt to circumstances.” ~ Ruth Ahmed


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