Sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. While many people use the word "yam" to describe red-skinned, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, a true "yam" is actually a rough, brown-skinned, white-fleshed root native to Africa that is now widely grown in the Caribbean. Why the confusion? When orange-fleshed sweet potatoes were introduced to the United States, marketers differentiated them from white potatoes by labeling them with the English form of the African word “nyami” ("yam"). Sweet potatoes need a long, hot growing season, so in the U.S. are largely grown in Southern states, with North Carolina the No. 1 producer. Depending on variety, sweet potatoes vary from orange to white to even purple.
* For storage, farmers "cure" sweet potatoes at high heat (85-90 degrees F) and high humidity for a few weeks to keep them edible for up to a year. Once you get yours home, store them in a loose bag in a cool, dark place and they'll keep about three weeks.
* Do not substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes in a recipe. They can complement each other but are not interchangeable because they have different starch contents.
* Scrub well before cooking, so that you can leave the skins on! Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A that is mostly stored in or near the skin.
RECIPE of the week:
"Day After" Salad
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* Juice from half an orange
* 1 T. zest from orange
* 1 T. grated ginger
* 1 T. honey
* Salt & pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 baked sweet potato
* 2 roasted beets
* 1 cup steamed green beans, chopped
* 2 cups arugula
* 1 T. plain sesame seeds
1. In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Set aside.
2. Cut sweet potatoes and beets into chunks, then add to bowl with dressing along with arugula. and beans. Incorporate all ingredients by combining lightly.
3. Garnish with seeds. Serve, and enjoy your cleaned-out refrigerator!