Carisma Potatoes – Diabetic Low GI Potatoes
When my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a few months back, he was told to avoid sugary foods along with processed food, white potatoes, white pasta, white rice, milk chocolate and, well, the list went on. Being a Dutchman he is very into bread and potatoes so he thought those would be hard to quit. He eats whole wheat bread and the occasional sweet potato, both of which are OK for him, but I knew he missed the other stuff. And then we discovered Carisma potatoes!
Carisma Potatoes – How We Discovered Them
Anyway, to cut what could be a long story short, last weekend at the supermarket I spotted something called ‘Carisma potatoes’ and couldn’t believe it when I read the package and discovered they were diabetes-friendly! Diabetic potatoes? How could it be? I decided to buy a package and see what they were like. I wasn’t sure about Carisma potatoes, since I’m not keen on most low-carb breads and candies, and I don’t know if you’ve tried low-carb ‘pasta’ but yeuch!
Carisma potatoes are oval in shape and they have a pale, thin skin. The Carisma potatoes package advises you they can be boiled, mashed or used to make potato salad. To keep them low GI, leave the skin on. The reason for this is that is how they were prepared when their GI (more about that in a minute) was tested. I boiled them, sauteed them, mashed them and also made a potato salad to try them out, and I was really impressed, as was my husband!
The texture was smooth enough to hold together when boiled or used in a salad, and they crisped up nicely after I par-boiled and then sauteed them. They mash beautifully with a bit of butter. Once I boiled them too long them added butter and milk and they mashed kind of gluey. Just add butter (or margarine if you must) and you will find they mash to a lovely puree. Leave the skins on Carisma potatoes when mashing too. You won’t taste them and they help keep the GI value down because of the extra fiber.
Overall, Carisma potatoes tasted really good and I was pleased I’d bought them! The price was in line with other varieties of potatoes too.
How Carisma Potatoes are Diabetes-Friendly
The secret here is their low GI. A food’s GI (glycemic index) is a measurement used on carb-containing foods, to see how they impact blood sugar. All potatoes are good sources of carbs, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, but Carisma potatoes have a GI of 55. A low GI is 55 or under, medium is 56 to 69, and high GI is anything 70 or above. When compared to Desiree potatoes (GI 101) or Sebago (GI 87) you can see what a difference this is. Eating low GI foods can help keep blood sugar levels low, meaning less insulin is required.
My husband eats 6 to 8 oz (up to 200g) of these with a meal and it doesn’t spike his blood sugar like regular potatoes do. I just hope they keep on selling them locally.
- 3 Carisma potatoes
- Water, as needed
- Salt, to taste
- Oil, as needed
- Fresh rosemary leaves
- Fresh chopped parsley
- Black pepper, to taste
- Wash the potatoes but don't peel them.
- Cut them into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes.
- Put them in a large pot of water and bring it to the boil.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Turn down the heat and simmer them for 10 minutes or until not-quite-tender.
- Heat some oil in a skillet, adding some butter too if liked.
- You can add some fresh rosemary here too (or chopped parsley).
- Drain the potatoes, then saute them in the skillet until golden brown and crispy.
- Add some salt partway through.
- Cut one potato cube in half to check it's tender.
- Grind in some more salt and maybe some black pepper too, then serve hot.
I served these with my favorite stuffed squid recipe, adding some salad on the side, and the crunchy, gorgeous Carisma potatoes were a huge hit! Despite their low GI, they taste just like regular potatoes. Well they are regular potatoes. They weren’t genetically modified to have their low GI. They just happen to be a low GI brand.
Where to Buy Carisma Potatoes
Many diabetics enjoy sweet potatoes sometimes, and then you have whole wheat pasta and brown rice, each of which is better than most white potato varieties or white rice and so on, but these Carisma potatoes do make a tasty alternative. They are available at Albert Heijn in Holland and Coles in Australia, but I’m not sure where else just yet. Perhaps take a look at your local store’s website if you’re interested?
- 3 unpeeled Carisma potatoes
- Water, as needed
- Salt, to taste
- Mayonnaise, as needed
- 1 chopped green onion (spring onion)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
- Black pepper, to taste
- Wash and chop the potatoes into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes without peeling them.
- Put them in a pot and add enough water to cover by an inch or so.
- Bring them to a boil then add a pinch of salt.
- Simmer the potatoes until tender, then drain them.
- Let them cool, then stir in mayonnaise.
- The amount you use depends how creamy you want them.
- Add any of the optional ingredients you want to use.
Some people like to use half mayo and half sour cream, or another kind of dressing.
If you want to add mustard to the mayo, stir it in (along with any herbs or other seasonings) before tossing the potatoes with this dressing.
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