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Sweet Potatoes or Yams

Photo of sweet potatoes in a basket
Photo of a yam cut in half
Photo of 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

Holiday Sweet Potatoes
40 mins
Photo of holiday sweet potatoes in a red baking dish
Mock-Southern Sweet Potato Pie
1 hr
Photo of the prepared recipe
Sweet Potato Fries
45 mins
Cinnamon-Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes
40 mins
Sweet Potato Hash
40 mins
Photo of prepared Sweet Potato Hash
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
40 mins
Photo of the prepared recipe

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