Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing. Want more Paleo sweet potato recipes? Yams have a tough, bumpy sin that is dark brown and textured like the outer shell of a coconut, or like a tree trunk. Many westerners have likely never tasted a yam before, as they are much more popular in and prevalent in the culinary traditions of African and Asian countries and are hard to find in the states. Though often confused, sweet potatoes and yams come from plants that are not even closely related. Some grow to about the same size as a small sweet potato, while other varieties can produce massive crops as large as 130 pounds. So when farming these sweet potatoes, it has been said that the farmers would refer to the softer variety as yams (since it resembled what they knew as yams back in Africa). Boiling Sweet Potatoes. Yams are sweeter than the sweet potato, grow much larger and are also nutritionally inferior. (6). Like yams, the differences vary little between the varieties. It is commonly referred to as Candied Yams but is most often made with sweet potatoes. Yams and sweet potatoes are in fact two different root vegetables. Poke a few holes into each potato with a fork or knife, place in microwaveable dish, and microwave on high for 5-10 minutes. Unlike traditional white potatoes, sweet potatoes are usually harvested by hand because they scrape and bruise easily. Okinawan: The Hawaiian purple sweet potato called Okinawan produces potatoes whose flesh is spotted and streaked with purple instead of having completely transformed. And so the name stuck. Though often confused, sweet potatoes and yams come from plants that are not even closely related. Poke a few holes into each potato with a fork or knife, and then bake in an oven preheated to 350-375 F (175-190 C) until a fork goes in easily (this takes approximately 45-90min – exact time depends on how large the potato is). Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. They cook very differently. I lived on this island off the Southern coast of China for 3 months, and I survived in large part on sweet potatoes (in addition to salted duck eggs, roasted duck, and fresh fish!). Did you know that yams (Dioscorea alata) and sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are two completely different vegetables? Try turning ... Baking Sweet Potatoes. They decided to market the new varieties of sweet potatoes as yams in order to distinguish them from the hard varieties, as well as the produce that was brought into Louisiana markets from other states. Though sweet potatoes and yams are both root vegetables that are highly nutritious in their own way, the similarities between the two basically end right there. This makes white sweet potatoes really tasty when they’re used in dishes like gnocchi that allow the chef to adjust the moisture level of the dish with a bit of flexibility and freedom. Nutrition: Unsurprisingly, their nutritional content is no different. Despite their similarities across various categories, yams and sweet potatoes still have plenty of areas where they differ from one another. Firm sweet potatoes have golden skin and pale flesh and are most commonly labeled as sweet potatoes. When you see sweet potato on a menu in the U.S., what likely comes to mind is orange-fleshed sweet potatoes… Required fields are marked *. NUTRITION – Data from Whole Foods. The sweet potatoes with the lighter skin and yellow insides are softer. In the information below, statistics for sweet potatoes and yams are provided for the raw vegetables unless otherwise specified. Sweet potatoes are easier to find in America, and are slightly more nutritious than yams, which are more common in African and Asian countries. The same serving of yams has 80 calories, 19 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber. After being cooked, firm varieties of sweet potato stay very firm, while soft varieties become both soft and moist, perfect for cooking and eating. Yams usually have white or light beige flesh and skin that is brown and stringy, similar to the outer shell of a coconut. In addition, no statement on this website has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and any product mentioned or described on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Yams are a tropical root vegetable in the lily family , native and (still today) most common in parts of the world such as the Carribean, South and Central America, and parts of Africa and East Asia. Round ( “ fatter ” ) than the stokes purple variety, is! 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