Sweet Potatoes Facts and Fallacies

No holiday meal is complete without stimulating, interesting conversation. So while you serve your guests one form of sweet potato or another, use these facts and fallacies to stimulate their brain! It will be a welcome diversion from the usual family arguments!

  • True/false 1. Like other potato dishes, sweet potatoes don’t freeze that well.
  • True/false 2. The yam and sweet potato are so close to each other botanically that they have the same amount of beta-carotene in them.
  • True/false 3. The sweet potato is from the morning glory family.
  • True/false 4. One difference between a sweet potato and a yam is the skin. A sweet potato has a smooth skin while the skin of a yam is rough and scaly.
  • True/false 5. Sweet potatoes turn out waxy if baked in the microwave.
  • True/false 6. Sweet potatoes can be made into a sweet custard pie.
  • Answer 7. What takes longer to grow: a sweet potato or a yam?
  • True/false 8. You can whip butter with apple and make apple butter. You can also do the same with sweet potatoes.
  • Answer 9. Which is imported from the Caribbean: sweet potatoes or yams?
  • True/false 10. When making freshly baked sweet potatoes, you must add high calorie ingredients to make it taste better.
  1. False. Sweet potatoes and sweet potato dishes actually do freeze well, better than white potatoes. The composition of the carbohydrate in the vegetable is what determines the freezing ability, and sweet potatoes have a carbohydrate composition perfectly suitable to freezing.
  2. False. The sweet potato has a higher amount of beta-carotene than a yam, according to the USDA food data bank.
  3. True. The sweet potato and yam are from two different families. The yam is from the Dioscoreacea family while the sweet potato is from the Convolvulaceae family, or better known as the Morning Glory.
  4. True.
  5. False. Sweet potatoes can be cooked in a microwave oven with no real perceivable difference in flavor. Don’t forget to pierce them with a fork and place on a paper towel, about one inch apart. Turn them over and rearrange after half the cooking time. Cooking time depends on the number of sweet potatoes in the microwave at one time.
  6. True. The ingredients of a great sweet potato pie include grated orange rind, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, eggs, milk, butter, pecan topping, pastry shell and sweet potatoes. The pecan topping can be made with egg, corn syrup, light brown sugar, melted butter, maple flavoring, and chopped pecans.
  7. Yams take 6 months to one year to grow; sweet potatoes only take 3 to 5 months.
  8. True. One recipe for sweet potato butter included these ingredients: garlic cloves, freshly ground pepper, butter, sea salt, sweet potatoes, carrots, olive oil, chopped parsley, vegetable broth, chopped cilantro. What flavor!
  9. Yams. Sweet potatoes are grown in the USA.
  10. To bake a sweet potato, simply poke a few holes in it, and insert into a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes depending on size. Just add butter, or salt and pepper and you’re done!

Delicious, versatile, nutritious and loaded with fiber, sweet potatoes or yams will compliment a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. These vegetables can even be a tasty, healthful treat by themselves and make good snacks.



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