Yams should not be refrigerated unless cooked. Store at 55 degrees to 65 degrees F.
Always use a stainless steel knife when cutting a sweet potato. Using a carbon blade will cause the yam to darken.
Sweet potatoes are stored in temperature and humidity controlled warehouses that extend the yam's shelf life for the entire year. So the "season" for fresh yams is 12 months. Canned yams are also available year round.
When selecting fresh yams, choose those that are smooth, plump, dry and clean.
One cup of canned sweet potatoes equals one medium-sized, cooked fresh sweet potato.
When using canned yams, add them at the end of the recipe because they are already pre-cooked.
Metal skewers are a must for root veggies such as sweet potatoes. Because the metal heats through and cooks the inside of the vegetables while the outside is seared by the coals, cooking times are shortened.
Grill on an open or closed grill over medium-hot coals until vegetables begin browning and are tender when pierced with a skewer, about 15 to 20 minutes.
True yams (from tropical and subtropical regions of the world) contain more starch and less sugar than sweet potatoes -- and they must be cooked before eaten.
African slaves in the South called the sweet potato "nyami" because it reminded them of the starchy, edible tuber of that name that grew in their homeland. The Senegalese word "nyami" was eventually shortened to "yam."
"Yam" also refers to sweet potatoes that are grown in Louisiana. When the orange-fleshed, Puerto Rican variety of sweet potatoes was adopted by Louisiana producers and shippers, they called them "yams" to distinguish them from the white-fleshed sweet potatoes grown in other parts of the country. The yam reference became the trademark for Louisiana-grown sweet potatoes.
There is a difference between sweet potatoes grown in northern states and those grown in Louisiana. Sweet potatoes produced in the northern states are mostly "firm" and tend to be drier, more mealy, and yellow in flesh. People in Louisiana enjoy the second type, "soft", which is higher in natural sugar, is more moist, and has a bright orange flesh color. Most often it is the "soft" type which is referred to as a yam.
Native Americans were already growing sweet potatoes when Columbus arrived on America's shores in 1492.
Both Louis XV's and Empress Josephine's fondness of the sweet potato encouraged two short periods of popularity for this veggie in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Orange, leafy green, and red fruits and veggies such a sweet potatoes, are full of beta-carotene/vitamin A which regulates cell production and turnover so skin's surface is smooth.
Sweet potatoes grown in Louisiana are commonly referred to as "yams".
The sweet potato is not a potato or even a distant cousin. Potatoes are tubers; sweet potatoes are roots.
Louisiana offers ideal soil and climate conditions to grow sweet potatoes.
The CSPI ranked the sweet potato at 184 in nutritional value, more than 100 points ahead of the baked Idaho potato, spinach or broccoli.
Sweet potatoes provide twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A
Sweet potatoes provide more than one-third of the daily requirements of vitamin C.
Sweet potatoes are an important source of beta-carotene, vitamin B6, iron, potassium and fiber.
Studies have consistently shown that a high intake of beta carotene-rich vegetables and fruits, like sweet potatoes, can significantly reduce the risks for certain types of cancer.
Sweet potatoes contain virtually no fat or sodium.
Sweet potatoes that are a pretty, bright, orange color are richest in beta-carotene.
It takes six to eight weeks after harvest for sweet potatoes to reach their peak in sweetness when baked.
February is National Potato Lovers Month!