Monthly Archives: December 2018

Choosing the Right Potato

It’s that time of year again, when we all gather around the table to celebrate the holidays. We share in our love of food with friends, family, colleges and neighbours. It’s become a tradition that I host my family and friends for dinner every year. My guests look forward to new dishes, as I tend to change it up every year. Variety is the spice of life, and potatoes are no exception!

My kids love potatoes. The challenge for me is that one likes mashed, another prefers roasted, my son loves baked and my husband craves a simple potato salad. One potato variety is simply not suitable for all of these dishes.

Selecting the right potato for the job is key when preparing any potato dish. With so many varieties to choose from, walking into a grocery store and choosing a potato can be a bit overwhelming. Not to worry, I’m going to give you a brief Potato 101 to simplify the process

White potatoes are best suited for boiling. They are great for when you need the potato to stay firm. I choose them when cooking stews, soups and potato salads.

Red potatoes are best for roasting and will also hold their shape after cooking. They are great as a simple, flavourful side dish. The flavour and spice combinations are endless to suit any taste

Yellow potatoes are the ideal potato for mashing. Their creamy, naturally buttery flavour means there is little need for extra butter and cream. Leave the skins on to retain all of the nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C and fibre. Leaving the skins on also uses the entire potato, minimizing food waste and cost.

Russet potatoes are best for baking and make the best fresh-cut fries. The bright white flesh of the Russet becomes fluffy and dry when cooked. When fried, they become crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Remember that preparing a great potato dish doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be as simple as tossing some red potatoes with a dash of olive oil and salt and roasting them in the oven. Choosing the right potato for any cooking application is most important step.

We’ve got you covered with Holiday recipes that your family will love:

Best for Baking: Pancetta and Aged Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes

Best for Boiling: Potato Salad with Yogurt and Dill

Best for Roasting: Horseradish Aioli Roasted Red Potatoes

Best for Mashing: Garlic and Chive Whipped Mashed Potatoes

Chef Carla, EarthFresh Chef

Blue Zones: Health habits from the healthiest regions

Blue Zones: Health habits from the healthiest regions

I first heard of Dan Buettner and his Blue Zones project at the Organic Produce Summit in Monterey California this past July. He was a key note speaker and the moment he walked on stage his presentation captivated me. Who doesn’t want tips on how to live a longer, healthier life?

Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Explorer, has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity found in what he has coined The Blue Zones: places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives.

The Blue Zones gives you advice on how to live to be 100 years and older by looking at 5 spots across the planet where people live the longest. He draws lessons about what they eat and drink, how they exercise and which habits most shape their lives.

The best part? Potatoes are part of the Blue Zone eating habits – music to my ears!

Blue Zones regions are Ikaria, an island in Greece; Okinawa, an island in Japan; the Barbagia region of Sardinia (Italy); Loma Linda, a small city in California, and the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica.

So here you have Dan’s Nine Lessons from studying the lifestyles of the Blue Zone regions:

1. Move Naturally. Moving naturally throughout the day — walking, gardening, doing housework — is a core part of the Blue Zones lifestyle.

2. Purpose. The Okinawans call it ikigai and the Nicoyans call it plan de vida. Knowing why you wake up in the morning makes you healthier, happier, and adds up to seven years of extra life expectancy.

3. Down Shift. Stress is part of life, but Blue Zones centenarians have stress-relieving rituals built into their daily routines. Adventists pray, Ikarians nap, and Sardinians do happy hour.

4. 80% Rule. People in Blue Zones areas stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full and eat their smallest meal in the early evening.

5. Plant Slant. Beans are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains round out the rest of the diet and meat is eaten in small amounts.

6. Wine @ 5. Moderate but regular consumption of wine (with friends and/or food) is part of the Blue Zones lifestyle.

7. Belong. Being part of a faith-based community adds four to 14 years to life expectancy.

8. Loved Ones First. Having close and strong family connections (with spouses, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren) is common with Blue Zones centenarians.

9. Right Tribe. The world’s longest lived people have close friends and strong social networks.

For more information visit the Blue Zone website or follow them on social media!

By Stephanie Cutaia, Marketing Director