IS A YAM A SWEET POTATO? OR IS A SWEET POTATO A YAM?
While both yams and sweet potatoes are flowering plants (angiosperms), they are not related. A sweet potato is not a type of yam and a yam is not a type of sweet potato. Yams are native to Africa and Asia, and thus over 90% of yam crops are grown in Africa. They are closely related to lilies. There are many different varieties of yams which vary drastically in size. They are also usually starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.
On the other hand, sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family. These potatoes can range not only in size, but in skin color and flesh color. Varieties of sweet potatoes are grown in the United States.
Sweet potatoes are a fiber-rich root vegetable. There are over 6,000 varieties of sweet potatoes internationally. So think 'out of the box' besides the sugary marshmallow dishes that appear at the Thanksgiving table and consider this easy sweet potato side dish.
- 1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 TB. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-1/2 TB. lemon juice
- 1 TB. orange juice
- 1 tsp, minced garlic ( 1 clove)
- 1/2 tsp, each cumin, ground coriander, paprika and cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup almonds
- Optional 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley or 2 TB.fresh mint
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad.
- In a large bowl mix olive oil, lemon and orange juice, garlic and spices. Add in cubed sweet potatoes and mix well.
- Spread sweet potatoes out evenly on baking sheet. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast 15 minutes, add in almonds and cranberries. Return baking sheet back to oven and roast about 5 minutes more or until potatoes are crispy and tender.
- Garnish with mint or parsley and almonds.