Ingredient: Sweet Potatoes


» Jump to recipes using Sweet Potatoes as an ingredient

image imageIs there a difference between sweet potatoes and yams?  Why yes, yes there is.  For the purposes of our site, we tag recipes with Sweet Potatoes and Yams and unless otherwise noted in the recipe posts, they can be used interchangeably in the recipes presented.  Since there is a difference, let’s see if we can clear things up.

A true yam is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the Caribbean. It is rough and scaly and very low in beta carotene.

Depending on the variety, sweet potato flesh can vary from white to orange and even purple. The orange-fleshed variety was introduced to the United States several decades ago. In order to distinguish it from the white variety everyone was accustomed to, producers and shippers chose the English form of the African word “nyami” and labeled them “yams.”

Even though the USDA requires that orange-colored sweet potatoes always be labeled “sweet potato,” most people still think of sweet potatoes as yams regardless of their true identity.

Here is what we have put together for you from CSA365:


Sweet Potato-

  • Description

These tubers have a rough brown skin with a sweet orange flesh.  Look for sweet potatoes that are firm.

  • Preparation

Scrub the sweet potatoes skin well or peel before using them.  Sweet potatoes can be boiled, bake or even microwave them until tender.  Recent studies have shown that keeping baking temperatures low when cooking sweet potatoes helps to maximize the sweetness.  Keep temperatures between 325 degrees and 340 degrees.

  • Storage

Store your sweet potatoes at room temperature, or better yet, a cool dark cabinet or pantry is ideal.  Sweet potatoes can store 3-6 months.  A tip to help your sweet potatoes last longer is to individually wrap them in newspaper before storing.

  • Nutrition

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A.  They also contain vitamin B6, C, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, potassium, alpha and beta carotene, antioxidants, and fiber

Recipes Using Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Apple Cobbler

This recipe from Southern Living provides a tasty and unique use for apples and sweet potatoes. There are several liberties that can be taken with the ingredients (I used half of the called for refrigerated pie crust, none of the orange juice and much less of the sugar, for example). A dollop of freshly whipped cream really brings this one home!

Asparagus and Potato “Cake”

This was the result of a creative moment, but I have no regrets about the way it turned out! Potatoes and/or sweet potatoes provide the starchy middle that keeps things together, and the asparagus provides the springy gimmick. The rest of the ingredients are pretty flexible, so make it your own and have fun!

Grill it!

Toss sweet potatoes or other veggies with olive oil before grilling, to prevent them from sticking to the grate. Season your veggies with whatever flavors you feel like, experiment!