Potato gratin is just another way we have to enjoy new spuds recently harvested from our green garden. We have a glut right now in midsummer so we are eating less bread and cornmeal to keep our starches well under 150g per day.
Neither Helen nor I are obese but still we do minimise the carbs; the virus is nailing those with raised blood-glucose.
We only eat new potatoes; those from cold-storage are certainly fattening and in any case farmers use a nasty herbicide called Paraquat to kill off the haulm just before reaping. Traces are certainly found in the spuds. It's banned in many countries, and should be here too.
Many would suggest that I am on the edge of a food neurosis called orthorexia; I don't deny it. The upside is that our new potato gratin tastes better than any other and, having a full complement of fibre from the skins, means we both have happy tums.
When you turn down an invitation to dinner because your hostess might have used this or that in her cooking, then you are indeed on the edge of this serious psychological disease. The green journey is indeed full of pitfalls but so many blessings too; not least is a life without medication.
There is no need to peel new potatoes. You should be able to scrape the skin off with your thumbnail.
There are two ways to bake potato gratin and my advice is to try both; I am unsure whether there is any nutritional benefit of one over the other. Both methods start with washing your freshly-lifted spuds and slicing them thinly.
Both methods have their merits.
So try both ways and see which you prefer. The ingredients are identical.
Potato gratin means first slicing the spuds and pre-boiling them before popping the dish into the hot oven.
Using spuds that are not precooked is an option; if you want to be fancy the French call it Potatoes Dauphinoise, sometimes not even using cheese. The starch forms a thick creamy-sauce.
I particularly like using new potatoes because you can slice them thinly with a crunchy sound which you'll only recognise when you give up on those from cold-storage.
And secondly the combined effect of the new potatoes having less starch, and the fat in the cream means this is far less likely to affect your blood-glucose. Nevertheless keep the portions small to limit the glycemic-load. Being able to slice them thinly means they will cook faster.
Our motto is slow food, cooked fast; it must be tasty, nutritious and quick. You are actively busy for only half an hour. Not having to peel new potatoes is a huge saving in time and nutrients; much of the vitamin C is found right under the skin, for example.
Ever conscious of the effect of our dishes on the waistline we only eat new potatoes and limit the portion size; and have no other starches with the meal.
Your potato gratin has ample portions of starch, fat and protein, but by all means enjoy it with a meat dish; and a brightly-coloured green salad.
If you are carrying too many pounds then I strongly recommend you learn about testing for pre-diabetes at home. If your blood-glucose has not returned to around 6 two hours after the meal, then I would avoid potato gratin altogether. For you it's a killer; literally.
The sulforaphane for diabetics will help ameliorate the fear of this nasty disease; it's found in dark-green leafy vegetables. That is why we have them at least once a day and usually with every starchy meal.
Precooking your potato gratin, either by boiling or in the microwave simply reduces the overall time in the oven. Remember important-nutrients may be lost in the water, so keep it to a minimum; or save it for some gravy.
Those using solar power must get the oven with their potato gratin properly hot before the sun's energy begins to fade; the lithium-batteries will cope with the intermittent heating needed thereafter.
We need around 30 grams of fibre every day from our food to satisfy the bugs in the colon; this undigested starch from our meals is what they feed on. Only 5% of folk in the Western world are meeting this criterion; it comes as no surprise that many suffer terribly from constipation and a host of bowel-diseases.
Your average potato, with the skin on, will provide about 6 g of fibre; it really is a good source. Now you know why we eat only new spuds; the peel is essential for a happy tum.
The optional hummus adds a little extra vegetable-protein and yet more fibre; it's all about making delicious, nutritious food with a low glycemic index.
We need have little fear of dishes that are high in fibre, fat and protein; it's the refined carbs that are the killers.
I learned from a diabetic patient that new spuds don't spike his blood glucose like those from cold-storage; the net carbs are much lower. Nevertheless test yourself after a helping of potato gratin.
We sear the chilies or peppadews on a fork over an open fire, or in our woodstove; in much the same way you would toast a marshmallow.
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