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Sweet Potatoes or Yams

Photo credits (left to right): Photo credits (top to bottom): Flickr: NatalieMaynor; Flickr: mbrubeck; Flickr: cogdogblog

Foods Included

Sweet potatoes, Purple Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Boniato


Sweet potatoes are starchy vegetables that have a deep orange colored flesh with a sweet taste. Sweet potatoes and yams are often confused, but look similar. Unless you are shopping in an international market, you will most likely find sweet potatoes in stores.

Buy It

  • Choose medium sized sweet potatoes or yams with firm skin.

Store It

  • Store sweet potatoes in a dry, dark, cool area for as long as a month. Otherwise, use your sweet potato within the week.
  • Never place a sweet potato in the refrigerator.

Cook It

  • Leave the skin on if possible.
  • Boil for 35-45 minutes.
  • Pierce with a fork, then microwave for 8 minutes.
  • Yams are usually sweeter than sweet potatoes.
  • Season with cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg.
  • Top with nuts.
  • Serve with black beans for a satisfying dish.

Why It's Great

  • Vitamin A keeps our eyes working, our immune system strong, and our cells growing.
  • Vitamin C keeps our immune system strong and helps our bodies heal quickly.
  • Fiber helps with healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full.  Eating enough fiber has been shown to keep our hearts healthy too.
  • Potassium, a type of electrolyte, helps build muscle and keeps your heart healthy.  
  • Thiamin is a B vitamin that helps our body change carbohydrates into energy and helps us maintain a healthy nervous system.
  • Niacin is a B vitamin that helps our body change carbohydrates into energy and improves our circulation.
  • Riboflavin is a B vitamin that helps our body change carbohydrates into energy and is important for body growth and eye health.


Try It

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes, Paprika, Salt, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Canola oil, Nonstick cooking spray
45 mins
Cinnamon-Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Orange juice, Honey, Cinnamon, Chili powder, Sweet potatoes, Raisins
40 mins
Mock-Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Flour, White sugar, Milk, Vegetable oil, Sugar, Sugar, Salt, Nutmeg, Eggs, Evaporated milk, Vanilla extract, Sweet potatoes
1 hr
Sweet Potato Hash
Vegetable oil, Bell pepper, Onion, Sweet potatoes, Cumin, Salt, Red pepper flakes
40 mins
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
Butter, Onion, Garlic, Granny Smith apple, Sweet potato, Ground ginger, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper, Water, Vegetable broth, Salt
40 mins
Holiday Sweet Potatoes
Unsalted butter, Sweet potatoes, Brown Sugar, Salt, Vanilla extract, Water, Ground nutmeg, Ground cinnamon, Lemon juice
40 mins