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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 17, 2010

A Visual Guide to Yams and Sweet Potatoes (plus How They Fit Into a Primal Eating Plan)

By Mark Sisson
174 Comments

Quick. What’s a suitable, Primal source of post-workout carbohydrates? If the title of this post and the picture to the right didn’t give you a hint then ask your nearest Primal enthusiast and they’ll tell you without batting an eye, “yams and sweet potatoes”. If, for whatever reason, you need some extra carbs “yams and sweet potatoes” is the answer. Everyone knows this, but is it true?

That’s what I’ll be exploring in today’s post. But first, what are yams and how do they differ from sweet potatoes?

In the United States, most tubers sold as yams are actually members of the sweet potato family. Your Garnets, your Jewels, the “yams” with the rich orange flesh and reddish-brown exterior, are, botanically, sweet potatoes. In fact, it’s quite likely that the vast majority of my readers – even the active ones including more carbohydrate in their diets – have never tasted a true yam. The reason for this discrepancy is simple marketing: back in the mid-20th century, when orange-fleshed sweet potatoes were introduced into the United States, they were labeled “yams” to avoid confusion with the common white-fleshed sweet potato Americans were already enjoying. “Yam” was derived either from the Spanish “name” or Portuguese “inhame,” both of which come from the Wolof word “nyam,” which means “to sample” or “to taste.” Another African language uses “yamyam” for “to chew,” which should give you some idea of the starchy tuber’s importance in local diets – as well as the level of mastication required for its consumption.

Sweet potatoes, or Ipomoea batata, are native to South America, where they were domesticated at least 5000 years ago. They’re also common in Polynesia, and radio carbon dating of sweet potato remains in the Cook Islands places them at 1000 AD, with most researchers figuring they date back to at least 700 AD. The Peruvian Quechua word for sweet potato is kumar, while it’s called the remarkably similar kumara in Polyenesia, prompting speculation that early South American voyagers actually introduced the tuber to the South Pacific. At any rate, they’re delicious, they’re eaten everywhere, and they have a lengthy tradition of being consumed by healthy people.

Real yams hail from the Dioscorea family of perennial herbaceous vines and include dozens of varieties, some of which grow to over eight feet long and weigh nearly two hundred pounds. Now that’s a carb refeed!

Anyway, since most of us will be coming across sweet potatoes either disguised as yams or labeled correctly, let’s direct our attention to the various properties of the different sweet potato varieties.

Sweet Potatoes

The Classic Sweet Potato

This is probably what most of you picture when you think of a sweet potato – light tan skin, slightly yellow interior. It’s creamy, almost like a Yukon gold potato, and slightly sweet.

Basic sweet potatoes are strong sources of beta-carotene, manganese, and copper. A small one has 22g carbs and 3g fiber (food for your gut flora), making it the perfect post-workout snack. Amazing with cinnamon.

The “Yams”

Garnet, Jewel, Beauregard: these are the orange fleshed, reddish-brownish-orangish skinned sweet potatoes masquerading as yams. They’re even more common than the standard sweet potato, sweeter, and contain a bit more water (you can hear it escape when you bake them). These guys cook surprisingly well in a microwave. Pop ’em in, heat, mash lightly, load with butter and enjoy. You can expect to see quite a bit of them this coming Thanksgiving.

Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato

These are my current favorites. They are white skinned with a deep, brilliant purple interior that becomes velvety smooth and incredibly sweet when baked. Even better, the purple pigment is due to the vast numbers of anthocyanins – the very same beneficial antioxidant pigments that provide blueberries their brilliant color and health benefits. According to this entirely unbiased source, Okinawan sweet potatoes contain 150% more anthocyanins than the same amount of blueberries. That sounds reasonable, and a good general rule is the purpler the potato (or bluer the berry), the greater the anthocyanin content.

Several studies show potential benefits to purple sweet potato anthocyanins: suppression of mouse brain inflammation; alleviation of brain aging; reduction in cognitive deficits, inflammation, and oxidative damage in aging mouse brains; potential suppression of neurodegenerative cell death, as in Alzheimer’s; protection against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in mice. In human males with borderline hepatitis, a beverage infused with purple sweet potato anthocyanins “significantly decreased the serum levels of hepatic biomarkers”. Plus, the long-lived, fairly healthy Okinawans have traditionally used Okinawan purple sweet potatoes as a staple food. All the evidence seems to support their status as a healthy, delicious tuber.

There’s another variety that looks extremely similar but has a lightly violet interior streaked with white. It’s starchier and far drier than the Okinawans, and it doesn’t taste nearly as good. If you go looking for Okinawan potatoes in Asian supermarkets (which is the only place I’ve been able to find them consistently), inspect them carefully before buying. I once saw an old Chinese woman at one of these places snap the end of each potato off with her fingernail to check the color inside; this method works well, is relatively inconspicuous, and it’s a good way to make sure you’re getting the true Okinawan sweet potato. Just look for the deep purple flesh.

Japanese Sweet Potato, or Satsumaimo

Another Asian market mainstay is the satsumaimo, or Japanese sweet potato (can you tell I’ve been availing myself of the local ethnic markets?). I actually don’t care for this one. It’s just too sweet. Once you get it into the oven and the sugars start caramelizing, it becomes way too much for my palate. It’s honestly like eating dessert, which probably makes it sound pretty alluring for some. Look for purplish skin with a light interior (that turns golden brown with caramelizing). Give it a shot with some salty butter and maybe a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg if you want something sweet.

Yams

Dioscorea rotunda/cayenensis – The Common African Yam; “White Yam”; “Yellow Yam”

This is the true yam, with over 200 varieties in existence. Traditional preparation takes many forms, but the most common method is peeling and boiling. Fufu is mashed yam mixed with sauces, usually palm oil based. There’s also the practice of drying raw yam and smashing it into a powder, or flour, or, I dunno, maybe a big pile of starch granules (sound familiar?). This is called elubo. Though folks in the States and Europe rarely see it, it’s one of the most widely cultivated crops on the African continent, and by far the most popular yam in terms of sheer numbers. Look for it in African or Caribbean markets.

D. alata – The Purple Yam; “Water Yam”; “Winged Yam”

The purple yam was originally cultivated in Southeast Asia and is now the most widely distributed variety. It’s grown in Africa, Asia, the Pacific islands, the Caribbean, and it’s even wormed its way into the southern United States as a highly invasive marauding species. I suspect this may be the imposter I encountered when looking for Okinawan sweet potatoes, although the purple yam has its own benefits: one study found replacing rice with D. alata in the diets of postmenopausal women improved blood lipids (reduced LDL oxidation) and helped normalize sex hormones (increases in sex hormone binding globulin, estrone, and estradiol; a reduction in the total testosterone::SHBG ratio). A similar study with true sweet potatoes instead of yams did not have this effect. I’m not a postmenopausal woman, but maybe I’ll give it a shot next time.

D. opposita – “Chinese Yam”; Japanese “Mountain Yam”

This is cultivated in China, Japan, and Korea, but it’s made its way into the southern US, also as an invader (PDF) – though US Chinese yam plants don’t appear to bear any edible yams. Too bad. It’s one of the only true yams edible raw (the Japanese serve grated raw D. opposita after lightly soaking it in a vinegar-water solution to neutralize the oxalates in the skin). The Chinese, who call it shanyao, have used it as an herbal medicine for thousands of years in the treatment of liver and kidney disease. In rats, shanyao extract seems to decrease liver and kidney damage related to alcohol abuse and acetaminophen abuse. I’ve seen this in Asian supermarkets here in LA, but have never tried it myself. It’s quite tasty served alongside sashimi, however.

For all these tubers, my go-to method of cooking is to toss a handful in the oven at 400 degrees F and check on them after about an hour. Some people prick them a couple times before cooking, but I usually don’t. If you’re in a rush, wrap them in paper towels and heat them in the microwave for a couple minutes before finishing them in the oven. If they’re oozing goo (listen for the squeal of escaping steam) or soft to the touch, they’re probably ready. That goo burns, so make sure you use either foil or a cookie sheet to protect your oven. This method has served me well for any sweet potato or “yam” I’ve come across. Some may take a little longer, some a little shorter, but the poke, prod, and goo methods are reliable and field-tested.

They keep well in the fridge for up to a week, so active folks eating more carbs can make a bunch at once for easy refeeds. Just reheat in a 200 degree oven or eat cold right out of the fridge. You can also smash the cooked, chilled tubers into a flat pancake and fry that up with some butter, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Very tasty.

Traditionally, sweet potato and yam skins are removed before consumption, so I err on the side of caution and do the same. I doubt a bit of skin is going to hurt you, though, if you decide to eat it. Most of the anti-nutrients in potatoes can be found in the skin, and it seems logical to assume the same is true for yams and sweet potatoes.

Organic or conventional?

Generally, I opt for organic, but it may not matter as much with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes consistently show up with lower pesticide residues, especially when compared to normal potatoes. As always, though, the best is locally grown in rich soil. Big farms may have good soil and growing practices, but at least when you buy from small farms at farmers’ markets, you get to meet the grower and ask them about their farm. Conventionally grown or big-time organic tubers may be perfectly acceptable, but they’ll be missing key minerals and micronutrients if the soil they were grown in is deficient and depleted. Plus, I find small farms produce tastier stuff as a general rule.

Sweet Potato Leaves

Though I haven’t seen them in any LA stores, sweet potato leaves are apparently quite nutritious and commonly eaten in some African countries. This study (PDF) did the work for us, examining the nutritive and anti-nutritive properties of the leaves. Highlights include low levels of cyanide (30.24mg/100g), phytic acid (1.44mg/100g), and tannins (0.21mg/100g); high levels of magnesium (340mg/100g), calcium (28.44mg/100g), and manganese (4.65mg/100g). Oxalate content was pretty high, though, (308mg/100g), but half that of spinach (750mg/100g). These might be worth trying and treating like spinach or kale if you can get a hold of some.

Other Health Benefits

As we all know, foods aren’t just their macronutrient composition. Micronutrient matters as well, and it’s also important to see the food as exactly that: whole food, a package deal.

You might, for example, suppose that starchy sweet potatoes are absolutely horrible for patients with diabetes. But sweet potatoes aren’t just starch; caiapo, an extract of the standard sweet potato, was given to type 2 diabetics. After five months, they displayed greater glucose control, higher adiponectin, and lower fibrinogen. Another study on diabetic patients had similar results. It’s important to note that these were using non-caloric extracts, as opposed to actual sweet potatoes, but another study found that actual sweet potatoes were beneficial to diabetic rats. Things might be different for diabetics eating actual sweet potatoes (starch included), but I think it’s pretty clear that healthy people can eat them freely – just look at the Kitavans, who eat a ton of yams and sweet potatoes.

There are thousands of varieties of sweet potatoes and yams. It would be impossible to document them all, and foolish to try. Just know this: they are healthy, tasty, safe sources of starch (if you go for that kind of thing) that people have been eating for a long, long time. If you’re trying to lose weight, keeping your intake to the post-workout period is probably best. If you’re looking for a dense source of carbs, I can’t imagine a better option. Of course, always keep your total carb intake goals in mind if and when you add yams and sweet potatoes to your eating plan. For me, and I’d suspect most people reading, keeping carbs on the low end is high priority, and thus these starchy tubers are a welcome addition only every once and awhile and in moderation when they are added.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite sweet potato variety? Favorite preparation method? Are sweet potatoes part of your diet, and if so, how often do you eat them? Share your thoughts in the comment board and thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Ganjin, deccanheffalump Flickr Photos

TAGS:  is it primal?

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174 Comments on "A Visual Guide to Yams and Sweet Potatoes (plus How They Fit Into a Primal Eating Plan)"

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Eduard
5 years 10 months ago

Wow, thanks Mark! I had no idea there are so many types of yams. I suppose it’s one of the benefits of the world we live in: variety; although not all variations create the same benefits from a primal perspective, as you’re proving us here.

Eric
Eric
5 years 10 months ago

My favorite way to eat sweet potatoes:

Chop them into small squares (like with home fries), coat with a little olive oil, season with sea salt, pepper, cumin(critical spice), red pepper, chili powder, garlic powder…whatever spices you like, and roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or so. Think oven baked french fries made with sweet potatoes. Delicious! Hardest part is chopping them up while raw…gives you a good primal workout!

ceiba
ceiba
5 years 10 months ago

This is how I do it too, except when I have more time I dice a couple of slices of bacon, fry them up, and toss the sweet potatoes with the bacon and its grease instead of olive oil. Add some diced red onions to the pan along with the spices and it’s heaven!

Carol
Carol
5 years 10 months ago

My favorite way to eat sweet potatoes:

Chop/slice in to home fries and season with a little olive oil, crushed chili pepper flakes and free or dry Thyme. Bake in a heated 375 degree over for 30 minutes. Enjoy………..so awesome

Rodney
Rodney
5 years 10 months ago

I only see the orange fleshed varieties here in VA. I obviously need to look beyond the traditional grocers.

Are there regional differences in the availability of these varieties? I want to try the lighter colored versions,including true yams, to see if they are less sweet. Asian grocers are not to be found nearby.

Mike Y
Mike Y
5 years 10 months ago

In addition to the Asian grocers here in Baltimore, I have also found good varieties at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Wegmens. Also, if you ask (and know what you are looking for, specifically) Trader Joe’s will often order stuff for you that they might not normally carry.

Melyssa
5 years 10 months ago

Wow, I love me some sweet potatoes. I get a bag of organic sweet potatoes at Trader Joe’s almost weekly. That and brocolli. They are just so yummy and naturally sweet.

I can eat them plain. Sometimes with a dab of butter, or sprinkled with cinnamon. SO good. I like them fresh. I can’t seem to eat the ones in the cans. They’re too sweet for me, and probably not as healthy.

It’s pretty neat to see the different varieties. Thanks for sharing.

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 10 months ago

I agree that the purple ones are absolutely delicious. They seem to pair esepcially well with virgin coconut oil. YUM!

Cindy
5 years 10 months ago
This was a super informative (and yummy) post! I have cut back on my yams this season but I have a few in my “squah box” in the pantry and I will probably be baking a couple tonight now for sure. They are my go to dessert most days when I want a sweet treat. MY FAVORITE WAY to eat them is to slice them in quarters…place a bit of olive oil in my hands and oil them all over, a light sprinling of sea salt (skin side) and let them bake at 350 degrees for maybe an hour…they get… Read more »
Tara
5 years 10 months ago

When I was in Nigeria a couple of years ago, one of the traditional foods in the village was “pounded yam” and while I was confused at the time, this article now explains why their yams looked NOTHING like what I was used to seeing. Thanks Mark!

Jim Arkus
5 years 10 months ago

Great post! That Okinowan sweet potato looks great. I’ll have to hunt a few of those down around here.

Peggy
Peggy
5 years 10 months ago

oven-roasted wedges with balsamic drizzle…

Malcolm
Malcolm
5 years 10 months ago
Excellent post!! Couple of add’l points… All tubers are super high in potassium and act as good alkalinizing vegetables. Richard Wrangham has a great book out called Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human that argues that the big change in tooth/jaw size at 1.8 million years ago (Homo habilis to Homo erectus transition)was due to our learning to control fire and thus use the abundant previously inedible tubers found in the open, dry savannah, as a stable source of calories- the staple of their diet basically. Meat and aboveground fruits and vegs were too variable in abundance to be… Read more »
The Primal Palette
5 years 10 months ago

A lady at work shared some Okinowan sweet potatoes with me and they’re delicious. Very filling too, if you’re used to low starch Primal eating.

R Dunn
R Dunn
5 years 10 months ago

I didn’t see any couch potatoes.

StephenAegis
5 years 10 months ago

Well done- however as this is a Primal site it makes sense

Honkey
Honkey
5 years 10 months ago

I roast sweet potato discs at 400F with olive oil, S&P, some garlic powder, and most importantly, ROSEMARY. Delish.

Shanna
Shanna
4 years 9 months ago

That is exactly how I eat them, too!

Solovus
Solovus
5 years 10 months ago

Anyone know of any good sources for the Okinawan purples? Preferably a source you have personally used and delivers to the East Coast of the US….

Furan
Furan
5 years 10 months ago

Very nice post, Mark 🙂
I have yet to taste sweet potatoes… never had the occasion before.

I like the way the japanese ones look 🙂

Alison Golden
5 years 10 months ago

Thanks for this. Every time I go in Wholefoods, I am fooled. What is a yam? What is a sweet potato? Only last night I fed my kids a sweet potato, my husband said it was yam and now I see I was right all along. The people in WF don’t know what’s right either.

Joseph
Joseph
3 years 7 days ago

I work at whole foods in the produce department and I did actually know this. Haha. It’s really difficult to explain this to people. Ill be referring to this article from now on. 🙂

Erica
5 years 10 months ago

I don’t really eat them, too carby for anything except periworkout. I do pumpkin and spaghetti squash instead with the occasional delicata.

Javier
Javier
5 years 10 months ago

we make fufu in the Caribbean too. you can make it out of yucca as well.

AdrianaG
AdrianaG
5 years 10 months ago

Fufu is also made with green plantain in Cuba.

Honey B.
5 years 10 months ago

Ooohh that’s exactly how I make them – slightly different spices! So good! Just this last time I did use the Japanese version and I have to say I did like it a lot. Sweet tooth!

at
at
5 years 10 months ago

One of my favorite sweet potatoes, I don’t think was mentioned here. It has a yellow skin and yellow flesh when cooked. It’s not overly sweet, but has more of a savory kind of flavor. It also has a more dense flesh, almost like a potato. So it’s not as mushy as the reddish/orange ones.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
5 years 10 months ago

Ooh, I’ll be looking for that purple variety!

I agree about the Japanese sweet potato. If I want something that sweet, I’ll have some chocolate pudding.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years 10 months ago

The japanese ones need different recipes.

Baked they are desserts, even in Japan. If you want to eat them with hearty dishes you need peel them first and cook them in a sour+salty broth.

Jessi
Jessi
5 years 10 months ago

I ate lots of true sweet potato leaves as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa. If you grow your own, just pull off a handful or two of leaves, and saute in a bit of butter or coconut oil. The leaves will soften up nicely and exude some mucilaginous stuff (like okra), be prepared. Pumpkin and winter squash leaves of all types were also regularly eaten, some winter squashes were planted solely for their leaves!

Matt D.
Matt D.
5 years 10 months ago

I’m curious to know if anyone has ever used sweet potatoes in a crock pot (slow cooker) in lieu of potatoes. I just bought an entire grass-fed steer and with all of the roasts I am in need of some more ingredients for my slow roasts. Thanks

Falcon
5 years 10 months ago

Yes! Cooking sweet potatoes in a slow cooker works wonderfully 🙂 I always add them toward the end so they’re not too mushy (for recipes 6+ hours).

Kim
Kim
5 years 10 months ago

Me? I’m a yam fan! I love to chop, boil and mash. Load ’em up with butter, add S&P and enjoy! I actually find sweet potatoes to be too sweet tasting for me. But the yams I buy are much more mild flavored.

Stephen
Stephen
5 years 10 months ago

Interesting. In New Zealand we call this vegetable a yam… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oca

It is a completely different family of vegetable again! Usually boiled or roasted it has a beautiful slightly tart flavour.

(P.S. Here in NZ we usually refer to sweet potatoes by the traditional M?ori name of k?mara).

What’s in a name eh? 🙂

Paul
Paul
5 years 10 months ago

At home in Australia we call them Kumara as well, must have got it from you guys.

collegecaveman
collegecaveman
5 years 10 months ago

Fantastic post! I’ve been eating white rice for my post-workout carb meals since your recent post on them, but I much prefer to eat a non-grain source. Gonna go stock up on some of the orange-reddish kind!

Kevin
5 years 10 months ago

As a kid, I despised sweet potatoes with a passion. My little chubby self loved standard russet potatoes though.

These days, it’s pretty much the opposite. My wife and I have sweet potatoes maybe once a week (chopped into long “fries”, roasted in the oven with evoo or butter and salt/pepper & cayenne). They’re one of our favorites!

Buddy duvall
Buddy duvall
3 years 6 months ago

When we were kids in the 40’s we would take a cooked sweet potato and biscuit to school for lunch cotton share croppers never had much money. But plenty home grown fruits veggies and meat all organic

tess
tess
5 years 10 months ago

i just HAD to go eat a sweet potato for my lunch, this post was so inspiring…. to me, sweet potatoes are like the nut-based breads i make these days — in large part, a vehicle for eating BUTTER.

Ashley North
Ashley North
5 years 10 months ago

Awesome post!!
I’m a busy stay-at-home mom who likes to stay active and is still nursing a 16 month old. Sweet potatoes have been an amazing source of quick and effective energy when I feel the need for some extra carbs. I generally pop a fake ‘yam’ in the microwave, set it on high for 5-9 minutes (depending on the size) and eat it mashed with butter and cinnamon. It’s fast and VERY delicious and satisfying. I’ve found that I can safely fit them in to my Primal eating plan about 3-4 times a week.
This post made me hungry!! 🙂

stephsariel
stephsariel
5 years 10 months ago

where in the LA area can you get purple sweet potatoes? I’d love to make some fries out of them!

Erik Cisler
Erik Cisler
5 years 10 months ago

Try an Asian supermarket, like Ranch 99. San Gabriel Valley is full of stores that carry them. Hawaii Supermarket is absolutely worth a trip; they’ve got cheap NZ lamb, too.

Nijiya is another option; there’s one on Sawtelle in West LA and one downtown – http://www.nijiya.com/

Robin
5 years 10 months ago

As usual, you have inspired me to try something new. A trip to the Asian food store is definitely in store. I bet my kids would love those purple sweet potatoes. Especially if we made them into oven-baked chips like we do with the orange ones. That would make a nice veggie side-dish for kids who like finger foods!

Betterways
Betterways
5 years 10 months ago
I eat them for breakfast. And I love them with spicy (cayenne) seasoned salt and pumpkin seeds for protein. For sweet potato leaves, just grow your own. Throw a sprouting sweet potato in a pot and it will produce greens all summer long. It’s a very attractive plant and makes good ground cover that blocks a lot of weeds. Then in the fall, you get some free sweet potatoes. They are a bit stringy and they wilt fast. And wilt to nothing when you cook them, more so even than spinach. They are not my favorite. But still, it’s a… Read more »
Jordan Figueiredo
5 years 10 months ago

Great post Mark. I am a big fan of sweet potatoes, and have increased my consumption of them considerably. Since going primal I have lost over 50 lbs, and consider myself in the maintenance stage now. My activity level is through the roof, so I am definitely looking for good carbs to eat. I think the Okinawan purple sweet potato sounds amazing! Thanks for the tips.

Cheers,
Jordan

Faith
Faith
5 years 10 months ago
My favorite cooking method, which is also super fast, is to cook the sweet potatoe in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until almost done. Then I slice them thin and cook them in a HOT skillet with coconut oil. I sprinkle them with garlic salt. Cook both sides. I like them almost burned. They are yummy, yummy! And to the person who asked about the slow cooker, I frequently use sweet pototoes in my crock pot. They are great. They do tend to break down a little faster than white pototoes, so if you are going to cook your meat… Read more »
Fai
Fai
5 years 10 months ago

‘Garnet, Jewel, Beauregard’ – These are sold as sweet potatoes, not yams in England. I have some at home right now, and I bought them as sweet potatoes.

richard
richard
5 years 10 months ago

I cut the sweet potato into rounds..microwave them for three minutes…baste them with olive oil and finish the on the grill or broiler for a nice roasted taste..and fairly quick too…!

Allison
Allison
5 years 10 months ago

My husband and I love sweet potatoes! One of our favorite dinners is to shred a medium sweet potato on a box grater. Cook in a pan on med-high with coconut milk, oil, salt and onions. When they’re almost done and crisping up, add crushed garlic and sausage. Then cook a couple eggs over easy with it. So delish!

Kelly A
Kelly A
5 years 10 months ago

That sounds so amazing- thanks!

Steph
Steph
5 years 10 months ago

An awesome post, just as usual!!
For those who haven’t discovered this yet, Sweet potato + coconut oil/butter + cinnamon is a Bomb!!! So good!!

Mary Anne
Mary Anne
5 years 10 months ago

My spouse hates anything remotely sweet potato or yam. All the more for the rest of us! I like mine baked and dressed with butter, chives and s&p.

Tommy
Tommy
5 years 10 months ago

I love sweet potatoes. I cube them in to about 3/4″ pieces, roll them in olive oil, then sprinkle Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, and rosemary and then bake them in a 400 deg oven until soft.

Kristine
5 years 10 months ago

The classic sweet potato is my favorite!

It is delicious with melted coconut oil or coconut butter and a sprinkle of sea salt!

Another favorite is to add bit almond butter and cinnamon!

Dawn
Dawn
5 years 10 months ago

I like to make sweet potato “fries” by slicing them thin (1/4″ fries), tossing them liberally with coconut oil and sea salt and a little black pepper, then bake them for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. As long as you make sure they are all in a single layer on the baking pan (not on top of each other), they will get nice and crispy. Mmmmm!

T
T
5 years 10 months ago

Trust me on this one…

Thinly slice sweet patatos or yams.
Boil for a few minutes but do not let Them soften too much. Drain water.
Stir in Coconut Oil, Basil, a bit of Garlic.
Fry on low heat for a 5 or so minutes

It’s off the wall how good this is..

Eric
Eric
5 years 10 months ago

Dehydrate them for the best dog chews!Pet shops are selling them for a small fortune. Peel, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, the in 1/3″ slices.
Put in your dehydater @ 135* till like rawhide.Or you can slow bake at 250*.Dogs go absolutley wild for theese treats. (Ive only tried the orange flesh variety)

GirlinOz
GirlinOz
5 years 10 months ago

And don’t waste the peelings either – most of my veggie scraps go to my huskies. They adore sweetpotatoes. I’ve just turned my eldest (14 1/2) totally primal to see how he gets on and already he’s more perky.

Merrily Vincent
Merrily Vincent
5 years 10 months ago

when i lived in asia the stems of sweet potatos were sold in the market and served in restaurants. they were delicious and i became quite fond of them. however, i never saw, nor was i ever served, the leaves. so i am wondering if different varieties have different tasting leaves. the tubers of course were ubiquitous. thanks for the post.

Marc
Marc
5 years 10 months ago

I eat over a pound of yams (& Sp)a day..I´m really trying to gain some mass so no problem for now, my only concern is that my hands & feet have acquired an orangy tone, hope is nothing to worry about.

Best dessert ever: baked sweet tater with pumpkin pie spice mix, eat cold add double cream & die.

Kitty
Kitty
5 years 10 months ago

This is great Mark! I have often wondered about the differences.
Thanks guys for all the recipe tips to 🙂

Sue
Sue
5 years 10 months ago

Thanks, Mark, for another fabulously informative post. And thanks, everyone else, for all the suggestions on how to cook them sweet taters!

My two favorite ways:
1. One large onion plus one each of several different root veggies (sweet potatoes, “yams”, carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, etc.). Dice ’em all up, toss ’em in EVOO and bake or sauté until mashable. Mash. Eat. (if it’s too dry I’ll add meat juice from whatever meaty thing I just made)

2. Baked sweet potato with butter and poached egg.

Keturah
Keturah
5 years 10 months ago

My mother makes this lovely casserole of sliced yams, sausage, rosemary, garlic, and parmesan cheese. It’s pure magnificence, yet comforting too.

I also make a chili using ground beef, sweet potatoes, chipotles in adobo sauce, and other ingredients. Sweet and smoky=yum!

Jeff
5 years 10 months ago

@Keturah

That casserole dish really does sound magnificent.

Personally, I avoid the microwave and I recommend the same for anyone else.

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