When it comes to veggies, I’ve been having a hard time digesting them, which I️ loathe because I️ actually really love vegetables of all kinds. Thanks, once again, endometriosis; it’s so kind of you to disrupt my GI tract. But, despite l endo pain, I’ve still been forcing myself to eat a variety as much as I️ can tolerate, because duh, we have to eat to survive.
Today, i figured sweet potatoes would be a good way to sneak in vitamins and minerals, and hoped they’d be somewhat mellow to digest. Sweet potatoes are that one veggie i can never decide if i actually like or not, so today i changed it up with my seasoning on them, and they were SO GOOD. I also find that i prefer yams > sweet potatoes, so i wanted to research the difference – besides just the color – (and share this yummy roasted sweet potato + yam recipe with you). So, if you don’t care about the geeky nutritional info, skip below to the recipe.
If you’re still reading, here’s the low-down on yams vs. sweet potatoes via Library of Congress (https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html)
“Although yams and sweet potatoes are both angiosperms (flowering plants), they are not related botanically. Yams are a monocot (a plant having one embryonic seed leaf) and from the Dioscoreaceae or Yam family. Sweet Potatoes, often called ‘yams’, are a dicot (a plant having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea or morning glory family” (Library of Congress, 2017).
Yams are closely related to lilies and grasses. Native to Africa and Asia, yams vary in size from that of a small potato to a record 130 pounds (as of 1999). There are over 600 varieties of yams and 95% of these crops are grown in Africa. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier (Library of Congress, 2017).
The many varieties of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are members of the morning glory family, Convolvulacea. The skin color can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either ‘firm’ or ‘soft’. When cooked, those in the ‘firm’ category remain firm, while ‘soft’ varieties become soft and moist. It is the ‘soft’ varieties that are often labeled as yams in the United States (Library of Congress, 2017).
Why the confusion?
In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the ‘soft’ sweet potatoes ‘yams’ because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, ‘soft’ sweet potatoes were referred to as ‘yams’ to distinguish them from the ‘firm’ varieties (Library of Congress, 2017).
ay, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term ‘yam’ to be accompanied by the term ‘sweet potato.’ Unless you specifically search for yams, which are usually found in an international market, you are probably eating sweet potatoes (Library of Congress, 2017).
Anyway, regardless if you like one of the other, here’s the Roasted Sweet Potato and Yam Recipe:
Ingredients:* If meal prepping these to use all week, consider doubling the recipe 1-2 large organic yam(s), peeled and cubed
- 1-2 large organic sweet potato(es), peeled and cubed
- Ground Paprika
- Ground Garlic Salt
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Turmeric
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Black Pepper
- Avocado Oil, 2-4 tablespoons
Directions:Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Line a large baking sheet (that has edges) with non-stick foil
- In a medium sized bowl (or right on the sheet) add sweet potatoes and yams in one layer so none are overlapping
- Add oil and seasonings. There are no “official” measurements for the seasonings. Just lightly sprinkle a thin layer atop the potatoes and mix together
- Lay potatoes back down on the sheet to one even row where none are on top of another
- Bake @400F for 30 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through
- Remove, let cool, and serve as a side, in a Buddha Bowl like this (arugula, over-hard fried egg, yams and sweet potatoes, avocado, and pork) or in a soup like my Savory Fall Soup.