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Purple Potatoes for Healthy Lefse

Almost two years ago, Chuck Hays wrote a blog titled “8 Unconventional Tips for Making Purple Lefse”. He uses Vitelotte Noir potatoes to get the purple color, and he steams them, never boils them. He doesn’t mash or peel or rice the Vitelotte Noir but simply puts the cooked potatoes, skins and all, through a meat grinder using a screen with a 1/8-inch holes. He doesn’t chill the potatoes, and he uses olive oil in his recipe.

Stack your purple lefse between towels for cooling.

I thought about purple lefse recently when I was reading a health-and-diet book (How Not to Die by Michael Greger, M.D., with Gene Stone). There was a section about sweet potatoes, a “superfood,” according to the author, because they are packed with nutrients and high in antioxidants. So, of course, I have put sweet potato lefse on my long list of lefse things to try.

The author also wrote that potatoes with blue or purple flesh were better than plain potatoes in reducing inflammation and increasing “the antioxidant capacity” in the bloodstream of subjects in a scientific study. “Blue potatoes may have ten times more antioxidant power than regular white ones,” writes Greger. “The most exciting purple potato study to date had people with hypertension eat six to eight microwaved small purple potatoes a day, and they were able to significantly bring down their blood pressure levels within a month.”

Finding blue or purple potatoes for lefse is the problem. I found some last fall in a Minneapolis co-op, but a produce guy said I’d have to wait until next fall when local growers start providing these special potatoes. Until then, I have to go online.

The Vitelotte Noir contains the antioxidant anthocyanin that gives this spud its unique color.
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