About this Recipe
Is a yam and a sweet potato the same thing? You will see recipes that show the yam as the sweet potato or the sweet potato as the yam. To make things even more confusing generally one is bright orange in color and the other has an almost white colored flesh, but that being said, they can also have different colors inside. So which is which? Grocery stores often don't even label these two items correctly, in fact most North Americans don't really understand the difference between a yam and a sweet potato.
Did you know that the yam and the sweet potato come from different families. Yams are tubers, like a potato from the Dioscorea family. They can range in color which is partly why there is so much confusion. They can be white, orange, purple or pink inside. The outside skin is rough.
The sweet potato is from the Convolvulaceaea family. These are edible roots just like a beet or a carrot. Typically they are the bright orange inside that you see in the supermarket, but they can also be white inside. They have a smooth skin on the outside.
Sweet potatoes have taped ends, lighter skin color and the flesh is usually a light yellow but can also be a dark orange.
Yams have a lighter flesh and a dark skin that is sometimes rough in texture. Yams are very light and sweeter in flavor to the sweet potato which seems odd because the sweet potato has less calories than the very sweet yam.
When cooking the two, because yams are more starchy than a sweet potato they cook nicer with more butter and oil. There is good nutritional value and fiber in both, so no matter which one you choose you are making a good healthy food choice.
1. Always be sure the oven is up to temperature before you put the yam fries to bake.
2. Select nice looking yams that don't have dark bruises on them.
3. Baked yam fries taste sweet and stay a softer texture. They do not get crispy like a regular potato.
4. Using parchment paper makes for easier clean up. Don't stack the potatoes. They cook more evenly if just one layer.
1 yam (about 10 inches long)
1 Tablespoons pure coconut oil (heat to melt)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Peel the yam and cut into fries. We used a Mandoline Slicer to cut our fries.
3. Melt the coconut oil if it is in solid form.
4. Place the cut fries into a mixing bowl. Add the melted coconut oil and the salt. Stir in to coat all the fries evenly.
5. Spread out single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.
6. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until done. Toss them once or twice while they are baking just to be sure the fries bake evenly. Our oven bakes low so at at the 15 minute mark we raised the temperature to 450 degrees F. and kept an eye so they would not burn.
7. Serve hot.
We chose to bake these yam fries rather than to deep fry them. Deep frying offers a different texture which many people look forward to with certain foods. When you deep fry the high temperatures create a nice crispy outside and offer a softer texture on the inside. Cooking in oil always adds extra fat to a food. Deep frying requires fat for the cooking process whereas you can bake your fries with just a very sparse amount of oil. Oven baked fries will generally be softer in texture to deep frying.
In Grandmother's Kitchen, we believe everything in moderation. Eating should be a thing of joy and not guilt. We enjoy cooking with all sorts of methods for special occasions and events. On a day to day basis, we eat mostly live food,and believe strongly in making good day to day food choices that benefit our bodies, but we enjoy a great feast with deep frying, decadent baking and various foods from all parts of the globe as much as anyone else. Joy and laughter are great food for the body as well as a nice little walk and some fresh air as often as possible.