You may wonder why on earth I’m posting a recipe for potato salad now that summer is over. Well, I finally perfected my potato salad for an end of summer party last week, so it’s time to share it! Potatoes are one of those foods that waiver on the line of healthy/not-so-healthy in the Paleo sphere. The reason potatoes have any issues in my book are that they are very high in starch. Since I work to keep my blood sugar happy, I don’t consume too many potatoes, but I do enjoy them weekly. Soaking your potatoes in a salt brine can help to make them more digestible by starting to break down the starches.
Years ago, I worked at a restaurant that took the time to soak their potatoes used for baked potatoes. They used a salt brine to break down the starches and that made for the best baked potato I had ever eaten. This practice is very traditional. Another issue with potatoes is the acrylamide factor, and one that is dealt with through the traditional methods of soaking and properly preparing. Here is what Kathleen Mills says about acrylimides on the Pickl-It site;
“Acrylamide is formed by a heat-induced reaction between sugar (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and asparagine. Known as the Maillard reaction, this process is responsible for the brown colour and tasty flavour of baked, fried and toasted foods.” Food Quality News
In 2002, the European factory-food industry was shaken by the discovery of acrylamide, described as “a neuro-toxin, genome-affecting, possible carcinogenic compound”, created during the baking of gingerbread.
Over the next few years, other high-starch foods—French fries, chips, pan-fries, latkes, and even some canned black olives—were also found to contain questionable levels of acrylamide. (Friedman 2003; Dybing and others 2005)
“Acrylamide formation in potato tubers is mainly determined by the contents of glucose, fructose and not by the content of the asparagine.” —Amrein
As spontaneous, natural fermentation methods reduce the potatoes’ glucose and fructose, acrylamide formation will be disrupted.
Unlike an open-bowl water-only soaking-method which leaves a thick residue of starch in the bottom of the bowl, there will be no starch in the Pickl-It (Pickl-It.com).
That’s because the Pickl-It environment supports a healthy community of lactic acid bacteria, which are very efficient at breaking down
and reducing sugars and the starch, leaving only clear brine and not undigested starch-sludge.
I must confess, I have not always properly prepared my potatoes. Now, that I am more informed, all it takes is a little planning in advance and a few minutes of prepping the potatoes and popping them into an anaerobic vessel. Part of the work for this recipe is done in advance, not such a bad thing. I also like how my potatoes turn out and I seem to tolerate them better this way.
All that said, to preface my recipe and why I create it in the method I do. I also use a probiotic rich dressing with the potato salad, so it really becomes a complete meal in one in a sense. Loaded with good fats, protein from the eggs, and optional bacon, low starch carbs and a starchy carb, and the probiotic benefits of the dressing and you’ve got yourself a pretty healthy side dish or quick lunch.
- 2½ pounds mixed purple & white fingerling or red bliss potatoes
- 6 hardboiled eggs
- 1 cup sour cream (preferably homemade) plus /14 cup olive oil, OR 1¼ cups of probiotic rich mayonnaise (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. tarragon
- 1 tsp. dill
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
- Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise:
- 1 to 2 large organic egg yolks (no whites)
- ½ teaspoon salt (2 grams superfine grind), more to taste
- 1 tablespoon filtered water
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice (add more to taste at end)
- 1 cup olive oil (choose light and non-peppery), or ¾ cup olive oil & ¼ cup sesame oil
- Options: Pinch of mustard powder, pepper, and/or garlic
- Wash potatoes, cut out any bad spots and place in a 3 liter Pickl-It with a 3.5% brine. (Find how to make the brine with this brine chart below).
- Let the potatoes sit for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Remove potatoes from the Pickl-It and boil in a pot of water until fork tender. About 10 minutes or so. (Note - The potatoes will be very salty, no need to salt your boiling water).
- In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, but not the bacon.
- Stir to incorporate well.
- Allow potatoes to cool to room temp. (Tip: I place mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes, so I don't have to wait forever).
- Place the potatoes in whatever serving bowl you will use and stir in the dressing.
- Top with crumbled bacon if desired.
- This keeps for several days refrigerated.
- To make the mayonnaise:
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature, otherwise, it can be difficult to get the mayo to emulsify.
- Combine yolks, salt, water and lemon juice into processor. Blend for 30 to 45 seconds.
- Add the oil slowly while processor is on. It helps to measure out your oil into a cup that pours well in a wire-thin stream.
- When the emulsion becomes creamy, increase the speed with which you add the oil in a thin stream. When all the oil is incorporated, add remaining lemon juice to taste. If the mayonnaise is too thick, add some filtered water. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Add to Pickl-It and close the lid. Add airlock with water and ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours in 3⁄4 Liter Pickl-It with airlock away from direct light. Move to fridge.
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