Goshen News Article: Sweet Potatoes and Yams

I can’t say that I’ve ever put much thought into it, but if someone had asked me during my first 30 or so years of life, if sweet potatoes and yams were the same thing, I would have said yes. More accurately, I would probably have said, “Well, yeah. Duh.” But now, I know better.

The tubers that you buy, canned or fresh and slave over for Thanksgiving are sweet potatoes.

What your picture when you hear the word yams, are not yams. Yams are actually not native to North America. They’re typically grown in tropical climates. They’re also, tougher, darker, more fibrous, and can grow to be much, much longer than a typical sweet potato. Up to seven feet long and up to 150 pounds.

Sweet potatoes are also more nutritious than yams, with ridiculously great amounts of Vitamin A (beta-carotene). They are also great sources of Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, fiber, and Vitamin B12. They have few calories, and no fat, although adding a little bit of fat helps your body better use all of the Vitamin A, and that can be as simple as adding some olive oil or similar while you are cooking it. Easy and tasty!

People typically only know the ubiquitous sweet potato dish present at every Thanksgiving meal, since back when the Pilgrims decided to drown those babies in marshmallows, but they are much more versatile than that, and can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. Sweet potato fries have recently become a thing, but that’s only the beginning. Branch out with your sweet potatoes, and try something new.

This is a great recipe. You can’t go wrong with warm sweet potatoes that are soft and tender in the middle and lightly crisped and caramelized on the outside. These are roasted with a marinade of honey, coconut oil and cinnamon. It’s a heavenly scented combo.

HONEY-ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH HONEY-CINNAMON DIP

INGREDIENTS:

Sweet potatoes

2 large or 3 medium/large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and trimmed into 1-inch chunks

3 to 4 tablespoons honey

3 to 4 tablespoons coconut oil in liquid state

1 tablespoon cinnamon, or to taste

pinch salt and pepper, optional and to taste

pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, ginger, allspice; all optional and to taste

Creamy Honey-Cinnamon Dip

heaping 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt or sour cream (light versions okay)

2 to 3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1 — Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet or spray with cooking spray; set aside.

2 — Slice potatoes into 1-inch chunks and put into a gallon-sized Ziploc.

3 — Open bag and add honey, oil, cinnamon, optional salt and pepper to taste, optional seasonings to taste, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat. Really manipulate the potatoes around inside the bag, pushing the ones on the top to the bottom and vice versa, to equally distribute the honey, oil and spices.

4 — Using your hands, transfer potatoes to baking tray, arranged in a single flat layer and not touching, if possible. Tip – Don’t dump potatoes from bag onto baking tray because excess marinade will get onto baking tray and it will be prone to burning. Save any remaining marinade in Ziploc bag to be added halfway through baking.

5 — Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, remove from oven, and flip potatoes over using tongs.

6 — If desired and if there’s extra marinade, lightly and evenly drizzle potatoes with what remains from Ziploc bag.

7 — Return tray to oven and bake for about 15 to 20 more minutes, or until fork-tender and done. Keep a close eye on potatoes in the final moments of baking so they don’t burn. Baking times will vary based on oven variances, the potatoes and how thick they’re cut, how full the tray is, and how well done you like them. While potatoes finish baking, make the dip.

8 — Add all dip ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Transfer to ramekin if desired for serving. Dip will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe from Averie Cooks: http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/09/honey-roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-cinnamon-dip.html