Everybody knows that sweet potatoes are chock-full o’ vitamins and fiber and minerals and all that. And probably everyone has a couple of go-to sweet potato recipes they use over and over again. Mine are microwaved sweet potatoes with butter, salt and pepper (not exactly a recipe, but it is an easy and quick way to enjoy a sweet potato) and the glazed sweet potatoes recipe I put in my Learn to Cook book. Here are some other great sweet potato recipes to try, plus scroll down for the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.
Healthy Wild Rice Salad incorporates roasted sweet potatoes and green beans for a main-dish salad, perfect for summer.
Sweet Potato Salad! This simple salad combines cubed sweet potatoes and a light herb-mustard dressing. Delicious. Fer real.
Fancier than that marshmallow casserole and healthier, too, with honeyed almonds on top instead of caramelized corn syrup and diabetes.
Sweet Potato Pie
No collection of sweet potato recipes would be complete without a pie! Monique from Divas Can Cook shares her authentic Southern sweet potato pie recipe.
What’s the difference between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?
This is a great question because I hear it often. Yams and sweet potatoes are two completely different plants and here’s the scoop:
Yams are a starchy tuber originating in Africa and Asia. West Africa still produces the majority of the world’s crop. Its flavor is bland; it is often served roasted, fried, boiled, or baked. The skin of a yam is dull and rough like a Russet potato; depending on the variety, they come in various shades of brown. Most commercially available yams have white or yellow flesh, though purple-fleshed yams exist (mostly in Asia and are used to make desserts). Yams are a good source of Vitamin K and Potassium, but must be cooked before consuming because they can contain toxic compounds. Yams are a great foil for rich meaty stews, spicy curry, and oily fish. Flavor affinities include chili peppers, tomato sauces, beans, heavily salted meats like ham and salt cod, onions, garlic, lemon, lime, raisins, oregano, cumin, and pretty much anything that goes with potatoes.
Sweet potatoes on the other hand are related to the morning glory vine and originate in Central and South America. They are now cultivated over much of world’s tropical and temperate regions. The flavor is much sweeter than a true yam, and typically have a thinner skin that varies in color from beige to bright purple. Depending on the variety (Garnet, Jewel) the flesh of a sweet potato varies from pale orange or pink to a deep burnt orange. There are some purple varieties of sweet potato as well. Sweet potatoes are known for their high amounts of Vitamin A and Beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are often used in desserts or in place of Russet potatoes, as in fries. Sweet potatoes have flavor affinities with chili peppers, cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, lime, orange, tart dairy such as goat cheese and sour cream, toasted nuts, wild rice, peanuts, smoky chipotle peppers. On the sweeter end, sweet potatoes go well with apples, apricots, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, and butter.
The reason for the misnomer of sweet potatoes as yams in parts of the US is traced back to the American slave trade. Slaves brought from Africa began calling sweet potatoes yams because of their similar appearance. The name yam is still applied to sweet potatoes today in the Southern United States.
Most US grocers carry sweet potatoes year-round. To find yams, you will likely need to look in your area’s Latin or Asian markets. Cassava (or manioc or yuca, not yucca) is yet another root food that is oft-confused with true yam.
Jerk Sweet Potatoes
The Sorted guys make this delectable vegetarian filled sweet potato entree with jerk-seasoned tomatoes, onion, and chilies and infused butter.
Sweet Potato Mash
This recipe from The Sweetest Vegan uses dates to lightly sweeten mashed sweet potatoes.
I’m really intrigued by these Vietnamese shrimp and sweet potato fritters by Helen, though the sweet potato used here looks more like a yam…
Sweet Potato Pancakes
CookingStoned has turned a somewhat healthy-sounding sweet potato pancake idea into something completely decadent by layering the pancakes with ricotta cheese.
In this recipe, I swapped out some of the butter in my biscuit recipe for mashed sweet potato. Use whole wheat flour for an even healthier biscuit.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
For a low-fat version of sweet potato fries, bake them instead.