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The Value Of Carbohydrates In The Diet

( Originally Published 1918 )

Potatoes as a source of carbohydrates. The choice, cost, care. composition, food value, and cooking of potatoes, baked squash, steamed squash.


Carbohydrates.- A third class of food-stuffs required by the body is known as the carbohydrates, or sugars and starches. This class of foods is used as fuel, for the production of heat and energy in the body. Excess of carbohydrates may be stored in the body as fatty tissue.

Potatoes.—Potatoes are a cheap source of carbohydrates. They are also valuable for their mineral matter and for the large quantity of water which they contain_ Three fourths of the potato is water_ The framework of the potato is cellulose, which is an indigestible carbohydrate material. Potatoes have only a small amount of cellulose, however, and they are comparatively easy of digestion. When dry and mealy, they are most digestible. When used for a meal, potatoes should be supplemented by some muscle-building food, such as milk, cheese, eggs, fish, or meat.


At some previous period the teacher should have discussed with the pupils the use of potatoes and learned from them the different ways in which they cook them in their homes. She should determine upon some recipes for the lesson that will increase the variety of ways in which potatoes may be served and that will improve the methods used in the homes.

Each pupil should be asked to bring one or two potatoes fur the lesson. The best methods of cooking and the means of securing variety should be emphasized.


Mashed Potatoes

6 potatoes 1 hop. butter

1c. hot milk or cream 1 tsp. salt

Wash and pare the potatoes, boil, drain, dry, and mash (with a potato masher) in the sauce-pan in which they were cooked. Beat them until very light and creamy; add hot milk, butter, and salt, and beat again, reheat, and serve. Serves six to eight.

Browned Potatoes

Wash, scrub, and pare potatoes of a uniform size. Parboil for 10 minutes, then put in a dripping-pan with the meat or on a rack in a baking-pan.

Baste with fat every 10 minutes, when the meat is basted. Allow about 40 minutes for the potatoes to cook.


Scrub and pare a potato. Examine a thin cross-section.

Grate the potato. Remove the coarse, shredded portion. Examine.

Examine the liquid and note any sediment.

Heat the liquid and stir until boiling. How has it changed, Examine the portion of the grater. How has the colour changed ?

Baked Squash

Wipe the shell of the squash, cut it into pieces for serving, remove the seeds and stringy portion, place in a dripping-pan, and bake in a slow oven for three quarters of an hour (until tender). Serve at once.

Steamed Squash

Prepare the squash as for baking, put in a steamer over boiling water, and cook for 30 minutes or until soft Then scrape the squash from the shell, mash, and season with butter, salt, and pepper.


Discuss the composition and structure of the potato. Read over and discuss the recipes that are to be used.

Make assignments of work. After the potatoes have been put on to took, have the class examine a raw potato, following the directions given.

If one of the recipes requires the use of the oven, be careful to have the potatoes for it prepared first and as quickly as possible. It may be necessary to proceed with another class, assigning one pupil to take charge of the baking. Special attention should be given to the careful serving of the potatoes.

Home assignment.—Before the next lesson, each pupil should he able to report that she has cooked potatoes at home, using the recipes learned in class.

Household Science in Rural Schools:
The Value Of Carbohydrates In The Diet

Fruits And Vegetables


The Planning And Serving Of Meals


Soup Recipes

Eggs And Egg Preparation

Simple Desserts - Custards

Batters And Doughs


Read More Articles About: Household Science in Rural Schools

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