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Green Areas in Sweet Potatoes Are Safe to Eat

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Question: Recently, perfectly good-looking sweet potatoes when baked and opened seemed to have green areas and in one instance an entirely light green color. Is this the same toxic substance as in regular potatoes?

Answer: No, according to Bob Sherman, University of California Farm Adviser for Merced County. The green color is oxidation and should not affect either the quality or flavor of the sweet potatoes.

Sherman also reports that the Garnet variety of sweet potato sometimes has a dark streak in the center. This is pigment and does not affect the flavor; however, an effort is being made to propagate future crops from potatoes without this characteristic.

Q: I have a recipe that calls for kosher salt, but cannot find it in the grocery stores. I can find rock salt. Is it the same? Will you discuss the differences between table salt, kosher salt and rock salt. And where can I find rock salt?

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A: You should be able to find kosher salt in the Jewish food section of supermarkets; rock salt near where regular table salt is stocked. The following salt definitions are taken from “Cooking A to Z” (Ortho Books: 1988) edited by Jane Horn.

Common or Table Salt--Most table salt, which is fine grained, contains additives to keep it from clumping. Iodized salt is supplemented with iodine to reduce the incidence of goiter.

Kosher Salt--This coarse-grained salt has no additives and is about half as salty as table salt. Some cooks prefer it for salads and uncooked dishes because they like its texture. Others object to the texture and use it only where it will dissolve, such as in soups or water used to boil pasta or vegetables.

Pickling or Canning Salt--More finely ground than table salt, pickling or canning salt has no additives that might cloud pickles.

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Rock Salt--Coarse-grained rock salt is crystallized salt found in rocks. It is less refined than table salt. Because it is used, along with ice, to pack around the outside of ice cream freezers to speed the rate of freezing, it is sometimes referred to as ice cream salt.

Sea Salt--As its name suggests, sea salt is obtained from sea water; its texture can be coarse or fine. The best varieties come from England, France and the United States and have a fresh, light taste.

In response to the March 1 “You Asked About . . . " column requesting a recipe for egg substitute, E. Donohoe of North Hollywood shares the following from “Family Heart Kitchens” by the Oregon Health Sciences University.

LIQUID EGG SUBSTITUTE

6 egg whites

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 tablespoon oil

6 drops yellow food color

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Combine egg whites, milk powder, oil and food color in mixing bowl, blending until smooth. Store in jar in refrigerator up to 1 week. Makes about 1 cup.

Note: Substitute freezes well.


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