So~Just What is Arrowroot

Many have asked me what is Arrowroot? I say “it’s a plant in the ocean!” To their amazement & confusion they ask what? & where?…so here is the low down on Arrowroot.

For your information I sent to some of you the ingredients for a fabulous deodorant made in your home using 1/2 cup arrowroot, 1/2 cup baking soda & enough coconut oil to make the consistency you like for applying this mixture to your armpits~ about 5 tablespoons. No one who has tried this in our group of friends & family, including men with very stinky B.O. love it & it works..no staining, no shirt residue nada anything negative. The point here….IT WORKS FOR EVERYONE! It’s inexpensive & well it has arrowroot in it!…

found at PassionateHomeMaking.com

At the Frontier Natural Products page on arrowroot this is what you will see on it:

Product Notes: Our product contains 100% pure starch obtained from the roots of the arrowroot plant. It does not contain gluten and is considered a “safe food” by Celiac research and support groups. It is also referred to as arrowroot flour in many recipes.
Quality Notes: Tapioca and other starches are sometimes mislabled as arrowroot. We microscopically check the structure of the starch cells of our arrowroot to insure it has not been adulterated with other starches.
Origin: St. Vincent Island
Processing Notes: Arrowroot starch is made by washing the harvested roots, grinding them into a pulp, and mixing the pulp with water. The resulting mixture is strained (to remove the fibrous material), allowed to settle, and air dried. It is then ground into a fine powder.

At wikipedia it tells why its grown in St. Vincent which is fascinating information if you need to know more, which is my love..so if this is just too boring to you..I get it..but if not, read more about it & the next time someone asks you where arrowroot is derived…well…you’ll know!…

There is also a plant grown in tropical Florida that is referred to as Arrowroot but also known as Indian Bread Root Contie or Indian bread root, Wild sago or Florida Arrowroot a.k.a. Cree or Prairie Potato-

Psoralea esculenta
Indian Breadroot

Tiny blue flowers highlight this midwestern prairie plant. The tuber was an important food plant for Plains indians.

The Indian Turnip of Tennessee, Ohio Valley & the Southern Appalachians is a.k.a Jack-in-the-Pulpit and is similar to the Indian Breadroot. other common names are Bog Onion, Brown Dragon, Indian Cherries, Indian Cradle, Marsh Turnip & Pepper Turnip.

Here’s a bit of interesting information on the land arrowroot~found at this site: manataka.org

Fry Bread’s Secret Ingredient!

Timpsula: Prairie Turnip Psoralea esculenta – also known as the prairie wild turnip, Indian breadroot, and several other names. This is one of the ingredients used in our fry bread mix. The Prairie Turnip was probably the most important wild food gathered by Indians who lived on the prairies. In 1805 a Lewis and Clark expedition observed Plains Indians collecting, peeling, and frying prairie turnips.

the month of June is called tinpsila itkahca wi, meaning the moon when breadroot is ripe.

Here in Texas there are several plants related to the Prairie Turnip. Pediomelum hypogaeum, the edible Scurf-pea, is the only species that has been mentioned as “an important food source for American Indians.” It has been found throughout East Texas and into the cross-timbers and prairies west and south of Dallas. The scientific Genius name Pediomelum gets its meaning from the Greek: Pedion, meaning plain, and melo, meaning apple. The staple food of our Native Americans the “plains apple” is still around and still providing a treat for the adventurous. Our Prairie Turnip looks somewhat like an undernourished blue bonnet and can be easily overlooked.  Its root however is a different story. What our “plains apple” lacks in blossom it makes up for in root. Take a good plant key with you, someone who can pump out a stomach, or a Lakota Sioux and  “Bon-Appetite.”   chuckle chuckle….

AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE NOT SURE>>>>>>

here is some more confusing information about what is Arrowroot~

Arrowroot, or obedience plant (Maranta arundinacea), Bermuda arrowroot, araru, ararao, is a large perennial herb found in rainforest habitats. It is cultivated for a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock), which is also called arrowroot.

and to learn a bit more on its uses & how to make it from the root read this Arrowroot

I sit here nearly two month’s later reading a book on farming in Japan. One man’s ideas of back to the old ways of farming to produce food, using natural “weeds” as food and mentions arrowroot (kudzu!)…so I had to do some homework to know more. Kudzu, the dreaded green cover in the south which strangles trees & anything in its path is known as Japanese Arrowroot one of the seven flowers of autumn.

What to do with Sweet Potato Slips

Ok, you planted your sweet potatoes in the ground as I explained in the March 2011 post. Its now early summer or for my area late May/June and the leaves for the slips have come up out of the ground. If they have not, be patient, wait.

step one~ slips from March planting having sprouted

Step two~dig the potatoes with slips in large circle around leaves keeping all together

Dig, (as you see in second photo), the potatoes from out of the ground being careful to keep all the slips/leaves attached to the potato. Carefully remove the slips at the potato with roots & any bit of potato that comes with it..(see photo 5)not necessary for production if you don’t have potato still attached.  Have a trench dug about 4 or 5 inches deep and place individual slips in the trench(photo 6). Cover with dirt, water & wait till fall. I will post the final process then. Which will include getting dirty, digging & pure excited squeals as you find your treasure of sweet potatoes~

Step three~potato after digging with slips still attached

Step four~lots of root still attached to potato

Step five~removing slips from main potato

Step six~ trench & slips

Step seven~slips being put into dug trench

Step eight sweet potatoes growing from slips after separation.

Go ahead & plant the left over potato which the slips were taken from. Sometimes it takes off & grows more slips thus more potatoes. Don’t dig it up though, leave it to grow as it is.

Step nine, used potato minus the slips~even small potatoes produce well

In the meantime, as leaves grow, you can eat them as you would spinach/cooked or raw. Be careful not to pull all the leaves or you  won’t have sweet potatoes! The leaves grab the sunshine allowing potatoes to grow. Kind of like biting the hand that feeds you…resist~