Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The humble potato – not just for eating.

The potato is a vegetable that is known around the world and doesn’t really need an introduction. However, I came across an interesting article of surprising uses for this humble tuber, which surprised even me.  I thought to share it with you.

The potato evokes some memories of my family farm where I grew up.
  We were planting potatoes, which means we put them in pre-opened deep furrows and then cover them up with soil and leave them to their own devices till their harvest – they need very little care
We had a lady visitor from Freiburg (Capital of the Black Forrest) who came along to the paddock. When my father told her that the seed potatoes are put into the furrow and get covered up with soil, she asked perplexedly, “How do you find them again?” To which my father replied: “We put strings on them,” which she would have believed had my father not told her that he was joking.

The funny thing about potatoes is, since we all grew up with them, we think we know all about ‘em. In fact, there is a lot of misinformation about potatoes; sometimes people think of them as a fattening starch, when in reality, they’re a healthy, fresh vegetable.

More and more, studies are showing they are a perfect fit for a healthy diet, assuming you go easy on the butter and sour cream. So-called “low-carb diets” love to malign potatoes. In fact, research shows potatoes are a great tool in weight loss. They are low in calories and are full of fibre, potassium and vitamin C.

Potatoes are a hardy staple of numerous dishes across a whole range of cultures.
You can eat them mashed, roasted, fried, baked, sautéed, or as part of a salad or soup and they are the fourth most consumed crop in the world, after rice, wheat and corn. But as it turns out, potatoes have many other uses outside of your cooking pot. Some of them are remarkably useful, others are great fun to try, but all of them are bound to surprise you! Here are some ways you can employ your potatoes outside of the dinner table. To learn something from the “Tater People”, Click here!  - Werner


Surprising Uses for Potatoes.
1. Remove Stains.
Foods like turmeric, berries and beetroot are fabulous additions to any meal, but they have a habit of leaving their traces all over your hands. It can take a lot of scrubbing with normal soap to remove these stains, and it's really hard to reach underneath your nails. Don't fear though, just keep half a potato back when preparing the dish and rub it over the affected area to magically remove the blemish! Make sure you get right under your nails too. This will work well on grass and ink stains as well.

 2. Make a Hot or Cold Compress.
This is one you might have read about in books, and it's been used for centuries. Potatoes retain their temperature for a surprisingly long time so if you are out and about on a cold night, keep a couple of hot potato slices in your gloves or pockets. Similarly, if you need to keep cool, use a frozen or chilled potato. If you want to ease aches and pains, then make a hot or cold compress using potato slices inside a sock.

 3. Clean your Windows.
Windows Potatoes make for a terrific non-toxic glass cleaner. Take a raw, uncooked potato and rub if over your windows, car windscreen or even eye glasses, before wiping away the juice with a clean cloth. You will be left with gleaming glass, without damaging your hands or leaving the smell of chemicals up your nostrils. This works well on clear plastic like swimming or ski goggles as well.

 4. Use Potato Juice for Your Ailments.
Ok, so potato juice might not sound like the yummiest mixture in the world, but it has been used for centuries to fight various ailments. It is considered effective against ulcers, sprains, gout, sciatica, heart burn and bruising. The juice is rich in vitamins and it's dead easy to make. Just put a couple of potatoes in a blender, zap them for thirty seconds and you're done. Add carrot or cinnamon juice to improve the taste and you have your own home made medicine.

 5. Remove Warts.
Warts are a rather unsightly annoyance, and if you get one, you will want to rid of it. There's no need to go and have it lasered off though, just treat it with a raw potato. Carefully rub the cut end of the potato across the wart, and leave juice on. Repeat the process every day until the wart is banished for good!

 6. Shine Your Silverware.
If your cutlery is cloudy and your trinkets are tarnished, why not use a potato to restore their sparkle? You can rub a raw potato over the items if you like, but I find it best to soak them in potato water. This also means you don't have to use extra potatoes to perform the task, simply use the water from the batch you have boiled for your dinner. Add any peeled skins into the water for great results.

 7. Remove a Broken Light Bulb from a Socket.
This use of potatoes is trumpeted by numerous sources! At some point in your life, you've probably faced the annoyance of a light bulb breaking as you attempt to unscrew it. You might be wondering why companies can't design bulbs that don't do this, but in the mean time, you have a trusty potato to help you deal with the problem. Cut the potato in half, and gently press the flat side on to the remainder of the bulb. When the bulb is firmly inserted, you can simply screw it out.

 8. Feed Your Geraniums.
The nutrients in potatoes will help your pot plants grown. You can either carve a small hole in the potato and plant the stem of the flower inside it, before putting the whole thing into the soil; or you can sprinkle some potato shavings into the soil around your already growing flowers to give them a fantastic, natural boost.

 9. Sort out Your Skin.
Potatoes are great for your skin, so making yourself a potato face mask once a week can reap rewards. You only need to use mashed potato mixed with water, and leave the resulting paste on your face for 30 minutes. A couple of slices of potato can also be used to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and black circles, and are a great alternative to the more widely used cucumber. The ability of potatoes to clear up minor rashes and acne have been known for centuries!

 10. Soothe a Headache.
Potatoes have been used to help ease headaches for centuries, and you will only need a few slices. You can rub them into your temples, or for more sustained relief, fix them against your forehead using a head band or bandage.

 11. Relieve a Burn.
If you burnt your fingers on a hot pan, or clipped your arm against the stove while it was still on, reach for a potato. Just 1 slice of raw potato should do the trick - apply it to the burn and fix in place using whatever you have handy.

 12. Make Some Great Personalized Art.
We all remember making potato stamps and dipping them in paint in art class at school. But don't for a second think that this practice is just the preserve of children. These great cushion patterns were made using a potato stamp. Just draw the shape you want on to the cut potato, carve out the shape and dip it in fabric paint before dabbing it over your canvas. Personalise bags, cushions, walls - whatever you like! It's a really fun and easy way to personalize your home, and is great for kids too. Click on “Source” to see a picture.

13. Absorbs Excess Salt from a Soup or Cooking Pot.
If you have over-salted your pot of soup or pasta by mistake, then throw in some potato slices or cubes to restore the balance. Leave the potatoes in while the mixture simmers for ten minutes or so, and then scoop them back out.

 14. Banish Rust from Metal.
Are your old tools or kitchen utensils starting to look like antiques? Restore them to former glories by chopping a potato in half, adding a liberal amount of soap or salt to the cut end and rubbing it over the affected surface. Rinse and dry the object thoroughly afterwards. This works great on along the edge of large carving knives!  Source
For more interesting.
About Potatoes.
Health benefits of potatoes.
Potato facts.
My thought for today.Werner
Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments. - Bethenny Frankel

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Janelle said...

Wow, another interesting posting. I had no idea that the humble potato is so “versatile“– thank you, Werner, for sharing this. I had to chuckle about the “string attached to the potatoes.”

Sally and family said...

Oh, what an interesting posting, we never knew that there were other potato uses, apart from eating them. Your postings are always interesting, informative and educational. We all relished what the “Taters” said. Keep up the good work, Werner, your blog is a real treasure trove.

Sonja said...

I have several blouses with turmeric stains, and they're virtually impossible to shift. Next time it happens, I'll give the potato a try.

Joan said...

Werner, thanks for the potato information, even though this comes under BURNS, my mother used potato on our sun burnt skin. Thinly slice the raw potato as you rub the juice over the sun burnt area. Keep slicing to reveal fresh potato juice as you cover all of the sun burn. Gives immediate relief.

Trish said...

I'm looking at potatoes in a different light!!

Renate said...

How interesting, just used the potato on some stains and it worked!
An old farmer in Tassie told me, if you don't want to put on weight cut the middle of the potato out... wonder if that is true? ...but I don't need to loose weight and neither do you.

Theresia said...

Great reading Thank you Werner

Unknown said...

Julie Dellabarca Euro Solar
Green ants hmm. My golden retriever arrived in Australia fron New Zealand for our first Aussie camping trip. Paddles very excited after his first plane trip got out of the car rolled all over an ant nest then decided my tent a great place to roll green ants off. Results Long night for Julie eaten alive by the cute little beasts and not a single bite on dog. That's payback