Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweetest Potatoes

What is wrong with this picture?
I actually found both Yams and Sweet potatoes (together) at my local grocery store,
(It used to be rare to find an acutal yam in a local grocery store, I guess they are more pronounced).
The only problem with these were that they were technically labled backwards.
This beautiful orange sweet potato is a great choice to start off a new recipe with. It is not only National Potato Lover's Month but, National Sweet Potato Month and I couldn't resist posting about this fabulous food. North Carolina is the leading producer of sweet potatoes and second in line is Louisiana for the United States. Native to South America, the sweet potato has been used interchangeably with it's partner in crime, the yam, which is native to Africa. They are not one in the same and in fact not related botanically. All yams in the United States are actually sweet potatoes according to the US department of Agriculture.The department also states that if the name "yam" is labeled, "sweet potato" must accompany it. The word yam, is known to come from Africa when its people referred it to our sweet potato.
 All pictures below were taken when I was living in California (last year).

Preserving Your Sweet Potatoes
 I recommend freezing sweet potatoes for a fast a easy preserving method. If you do choose to can them, you will need a pressure canner to do so (like most vegetables do). Frozen sweet potatoes can be cut into slices, cuncks which make them easy to puree later on. There are different ways to freeze your potatoes. I use this method for time reasons usually.

Here are the steps:

After cleaning the potatoes, cook them. (I put them in boiling water for 15-20 min).
Lay them out to dry and cool down on a towel. (It took ours about 20-40 mins to cool)
Peel them (they will be a little soft). 
If desired, to prevent darkening, dip whole sweet potatoes or slices for 5 seconds in a solution of 1/2 cup lemon juice to 1 quart water.
To keep mashed sweet potatoes from darkening, mix 2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice with each quart of mashed sweet potatoes
Slice how you wish.You can mash at this stage but, it is faster to mash them when you use them later.
Then bag them in freezer bags according to how much you might use in a family serving. We filled these quart sized bags half full. Just think, they will be perfect for anytime you need sweet potatoes cooked, and ready to go!

Has anyone tried real yams before?
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1 comment:

Nichole said...

Thanks for clearing up the confusion...i have always wondered about that!

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