Sweet Potatoes | In A Village

When they brought a starving little boy to me one morning in the village,

Trying To Reverse Malnourishment w/ Only A Few Simple Ingredients? Or – Are You Just Hungry Looking For A Nutritious Casserole Mixing Sweet & Savory Flavors For A Holiday? Try This “The Best Sausage & Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Stuffing” Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

I didn’t know what-to-do.  

I mean – I had been trained-  

I knew – what do do.

I knew that – just like the soldiers that freed the Jews from Nazi concentration camps in Europe,

-that you have to be careful to watch for re-feeding syndromes.

I knew how to diagnose malnutrition.

I knew to look for the swollen belly and skinny limbs, and big eyes with beautiful long eyelashes.

I knew to look for sores.

I even knew – that sweet potatoes were one of the best foods to feed those hungry little bellies – to reverse those conditions.  As are oranges in combination with other starches and sugars.

What I didn’t know – is where the sweet potatoes were hiding –

-from the thousands of hungry bellies in the village.

cutting potatoes | pinteresting against poverty
Peeling Potatoes | Practicing Photography In A Village

There is something to be said for the bravery of the woman who left him there – because she bravely felt like I could help – more even than the hospital that refused him as a patient,

-putting the burden of his health and survival on others.

There’s something to be said, about the wind as it goes out of your own chest – and the responsibility of your own fast-paced heart,

-as well as the child’s palpitations.

Over the years, we’ve worked with many – too many – starvation syndromes.

Get To Know Your Potatoes: Try This Three Potato Soup Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

From carrying babies on our backs from the fields for miles and miles – not sure if the little being’s heart was strong enough to handle the mere effort of being carried – to having them brought by desperate parents or relatives to our doorstep – or being led out into the dark corners where hungry babies are hidden so that they are not killed for their appearances, or violated as a false cure for HIV.

It isn’t easy to carry children in so much of a hunger condition – that their muscles in their necks are so weak they can’t hold up their own heads.

It doesn’t take a day of trained labor for even the newest volunteer to be able to diagnose the difference between marasmus and kwashiorkor.  

The children – depending on the severity of their malnutrition – can’t handle food.  Ironically enough – they are most in danger of dying – after you feed them.

It’s like putting bacteria into a bowl that can’t digest it – after a while, it goes bad inside their bodies if the fibers intestines are too acidic to absorb the meal.

And yes, they even want to eat.

Try Sweet Potatoes – Or Other Potato Varieties In This Guinness Beef Stew Recipe & Read About The Irish Potato Famine | Gimme Some Oven

Your own stomach does flip-flops when they begin to vomit and heave – or even just gently fall asleep on whatever soft cushion you’ve found for them soon enough after swallowing.

But sweet potatoes – oh, sweet potatoes – help.

Sweet potatoes grow attractive looking vines – and are related to the flower morning glories.

Sweet potatoes are not easy to find in grocery stores or villages because they tend to be named differently in several different regions -“Yams, batatas” and many more known names that can’t even be shared on this blog for how few vernacular-speaking cultures actually use those simple local terms.  Despite the confusion, if you insist – you are likely to locate a local source nearby.

And – sweet potatoes grow in easily in pots – and in fields.

Oh, so easy pots.

Most people in subtropical nations don’t know that.  It’s a good thing to teach any hungry mother or child. Just cut up a few potatoes so that the eyes are separated and plant the roots.  They will grow even if you leave the whole potato in a dark corner.

Sweet potatoes are common in vegan meals.  There are few foods more comforting than potatoes, and few more nutritious than this sugary subtropical variety.  Potatoes in themselves are interesting as a topic of conversation, and worth looking into – especially if you are working in a village.

Besides simple starches, raw sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), while having moderate contents of other micronutrients, including vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and manganese (table).[36] When cooked by baking, small variable changes in micronutrient density occur to include a higher content of vitamin C at 24% of the Daily Value per 100 g serving (right table).[37][38]

The Center for Science in the Public Interest ranked the nutritional value of sweet potatoes as highest among several other foods. (Wikipedia)[39]

Starving children – are no different than normal children.  Due to their conditions – they may also be picky eaters, or they might have lost the will to eat – or be malnourished because of already-existing failure-to-thrive.

So it helps and is reccommended – to have nice recipes to throw in the oven, or over a fire – even if you are in a village – to battle malnutrition as well.

Displaced and otherwise stressed children – are more likely to consume the life-saving nutrition their bodies need, if it tastes good.

And more likely to respond to emotional healing – and bonding – if their meals are prepared with care.

Here on this page are a few sweet potato recipes twinkling around the edges – .

Click on any picture for the recipe – all of which call for simple and few ingredients that can be found in almost any region of the world and are comforting anywhere you find them – even if they are difficult to peel.

Try This Favorite Sausage Sweet Potato & Apple-Thanksgiving-Stuffing Recipe & Share Our Post With Your Friends | Gimme Some Oven

* More updates to this post are coming soon.

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty. Share our posts with your friends!  Learn more about our work and our village by watching the video below:

Love Potato Stories?  From “Faith Like Potatoes” to “The Great Potato Vodka” essay and nutritional deficiencies in potato-fed institutionalized forced-birth Romanian orphans.  Share your stories and comments here:




Pomegranates | For A Village

After trying many new fruits around-the-world,

Try This 20-Minute Pan-Seared Fish With Pomegranate Salsa (Tip: Save This Idea For A Beautiful Christmas -or- Holiday Meal)| Gimme Some Oven

I began to crave foods that were not found in local grocery stores – especially fresh produce.

As a waitress in a Mexican restaurant, I was introduced to pomegranates – in the form of pomegranate-flavored margaritas.

Soon after, I ran across a pomegranate in a grocery store.  I was thrilled.

I started to peel it like an orange, and tried to get out all of those little arils without letting them burst all over my clothes. The mess was about as terrible as the beautiful little red jewels were sweet and tangy.

I can remember the face of a neighbor, after I used pomegranates as sprinkles on the top of a fruit cup that I mirrored off of a beautiful dessert cup I was served at a business meeting in India.

He was amazed at form of the fruit, and bit into the crisp topping –
-and spit it back out.

“What are you supposed to do with all of those little seeds?”   He asked.

Try This Pomegranate Green Apple Sangria | Gimme Some Oven

I was surprised.  “Just eat them, like you do corn.”  I explained.

The growing conditions needed to produce some fruits, as well as the cost of shipping, mixed with the difficulty of shipping such spoil-able goods made it reasonably difficult – and cost-prohibitive – making fresh pomegranates a special treat during winter months.

Now one can find those sweet jugs of Pom Juice, on grocery shelves almost all year long.

I learned that the pomegranate can be grown from any of the tiny arils, and so I saved a few of mine.

Pomegranate is something we’d like to look into introducing in the village.

Pomegranates are high in vitamins C & K, with the seeds containing micronutrients, and fiber.

One Of My All-Time Favorite Sweet Salsas – Try This 5-Ingredient Pomegranate Pear Salsa | Gimme Some Oven

I hope you get a chance to check out pomegranates on your grocery shelves, today.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to get started with this fun fruit:

Pomegranates will ever be a special fruit to me, because I had a pomegranate sitting on my kitchen counter in my small apartment right next to a red candle.

My son was very sick, and we were not sure if he would survive.

I received word that day that my child was going to receive a new treatment in a hospital, and that they thought he may survive.

I remember thinking as I ate the pomegranate, that it was a special fruit, and knew of another woman who had studied the fruits that Jesus ate – and a story about a pomegranate possibly being lost in translation as the ‘apple’ consumed by Eve in the bible.

It is also important to know how the laborers that produce your favorite world produce – do they make enough income off of the foods that they are providing?  Click here to read our post on Slave-Free Tomatoes –

Chilean Plums: Know Where Your Produce Comes From, & If The Income Can Support Laborer’s Children In School | Pinteresting Against Poverty

or Chilean Plums.

Pomegranates are known as ‘apples’ in other parts of the world.

They are a messy, brilliantly-colored, highly-nutritious fruit – that I hope is made possible in the village someday.

Try These Christmas Pear & Pomegranate Tacos | Gimme Some Oven – A Beautiful Holiday Meal Idea

Share your pomegranate stories with us, today!

Chilean Plums | In A Village

On a trip, far, far away — further than I could walk,

— a trip that happened after a long walk — in a luxurious contraption called a motor car,

— I found a Chilean plum, in a grocery store.

The color was delightful, and I purchased one…

Chilean Plum | In A Village

–to bring back to the village — and feed the children a taste.  

After taking a few videos and pictures with the beautiful fruit —

–we cut it into small pieces, and set it out as a treat for a four-year-old’s birthday, passing the dish around.

The fruit was soft, and juicy, and sweet.

We were careful — to save the seed.

Hoping to see — if it might be possible — to grow something similar in the village.

We all knew that if we could get something like that seed to produce — like a good “Jack and the Beanstalk” story,  the fruit could generate income, and fill nutritional gaps — for the orphans and the widows.  

Something as simple as a good seed could also house, clothe, and educate the widow with the green thumb — or — the struggling young student with the internet connection.

On a different continent, a few weeks later — I went to a grocery store.

 I smiled when I saw the same little plums on the shelf.  My hope — was that the little barefooted children in the far off village where these fruit were produced — were able to go to school by the cost of their produce.  

Some may think that someone as far away as a fruit picker in the subtropical nations doesn’t have an impact on their well-being or daily lives —

— but the fruit was just one glowing example of how far the efforts of their simple labor were able to reach.  The cheery little fruit was brightening the produce baskets in three different corners of the world.

It’s a wonder to me, that people can walk past the fruit in their grocery stores, and really not know the lands or the people they come from.  The fruit has a shorter lifespan, and yet travels further, than most people do.

Read more about human rights and how we are fighting malnutrition with our Rainbow Garden!  

Coming Soon:  How to prepare the plum seed from the fruit.  Subscribe to read the story:

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