Super spuds

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By Jan Bilton

Surprisingly, China and India — major rice eating countries — produce almost one third of the world’s potatoes. Up until the 1990s, potatoes were considered to be a cook’s ‘best friend’ in Europe and North America. The acceptance of spuds not only in Asia but in Africa and Latin America means we can add interest to our meals with stir-fried and curried potatoes and more.

And a hectare of potatoes yields two to four times more food than a hectare of grains and they are up to seven times more efficient in utilising water. Great for the planet!

Although spuds contain 17 per cent carbohydrate per 100 grams (a boiled potato has just 85 kilocalories per 100 grams), they also contain a balanced source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, B-group vitamins, antioxidants, potassium, iron, magnesium and protein. They are almost fat-free — unless of course you top them with lashings of butter or sour cream.

BABY BACON BITES

I love these served as nibbles or for adding interest to everyday meals. I used Piccolos Bite Size Medley as some of the spuds are purple through and through. Colours add interest.

Baby Bacon Bites

12 baby potatoes

4 long rashers streaky bacon, cut into thirds

1 teaspoon each: flaky sea salt, oregano

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a roasting pan with baking paper.

Wrap each potato in a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place in the roasting pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Sprinkle with the salt, oregano and five-spice. Serves 4.

  • Jan Bilton is an award-winning, professional food writer. For more of her recipes visit her website here.

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