The yam is a special kind of potato with a sweet taste. It is distantly related to the familiar potato, but not inferior to it in popularity in the kitchen.

The yam contains fewer carbohydrates than the regular potato. Its bright orange flesh looks beautiful in many dishes. It has a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of carrots or pumpkin. The leaves of the yam are suitable for use. They are similar to spinach and are considered a specialty in many countries around the world.

In nature, yams grow in tropical humid climates. It has the appearance of tubers, but they are actually the plant’s highly sprawling lateral roots. They can weigh up to 10 kg. The yam is a herbaceous liana. The stems of the plant look like creeping stalks from 1 to 6 meters long and are rooted in knots. The roots are white, long, thickened, and form edible tubers of various colors. Their flesh is dense and can be white, orange, cream, purple, yellow, and scarlet in color.


Sweet potatoes appeared in Europe at the end of the 15th century on the ships of the sailors of Christopher Columbus. The origin of sweet potatoes is South America. Now sweet potatoes are very popular in the United States. On the American market, sweet potatoes are marketed as yams, but in reality they are yams. It was mistakenly called the yam, although it has nothing to do with this fruit. What they have in common is the look of the tubers and the sweetish taste of the potato. While yams grow on vines, yams are a root vegetable. It is served as a side dish to turkey at Thanksgiving.

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In many tropical and subtropical countries, elongated tubers of yam are a staple food. In New Guinea, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, the Solomon Islands, it is the mainstay of the diet of the inhabitants.

It is grown in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. In China, India, Indonesia, yams are grown in large quantities. China is the world leader – they harvest up to 80-83% of the global crop, which is about two-thirds of all world production. The yams are also widely grown in Israel. It is grown in the republics of Central Asia and Georgia.

In terms of importance and prevalence in the world, yams can be compared to potatoes and cassava.

The Difference from the Potato

Outwardly, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the yam from the potato. But there are differences between the two:

  • The yam is a tufted plant; the potato is a nightshade plant.
  • The tubers do not have eyes and do not contain solanine, as potatoes do.
  • The caloric value of yams is 3 times higher with any cooking method.
  • The yams have a sweet taste and higher content of sucrose and fructose, but have a lower glycemic index.
  • The potassium content of yams is 6 times higher.

Features of Batat:

  • The yam contains much more starch and nearly three times as much sugar as the regular potato.
  • It raises blood sugar levels very slowly.
  • It is low in fat but high in minerals and vitamins.
  • The beta-carotene content of sweet potatoes is almost as high as that of carrots. Beta-carotene is best absorbed when yams are eaten with little fat.
  • No other low-fat food contains as much fat-soluble vitamin E, which protects cells from premature aging, as the yam. 100 grams of sweet potatoes provides one-third of your daily vitamin E intake.
  • Large amounts of potassium regulate the body’s fluid balance: it flushes out excess water and can lower high blood pressure.
  • Yams have more fiber than regular potatoes. Therefore, it is good for satiating the body.
Source: Pixabay

Useful properties:

  • making up for vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies;
  • the ability to saturate the body quickly and permanently;
  • a positive effect on intestinal peristalsis;
  • weight normalization;
  • strengthening the walls of blood vessels;
  • prevention of myopia;
  • stimulation of hematopoiesis;
  • improvement of memory and attention;
  • lowering blood pressure;
  • increase metabolism;
  • improvement of mood.

Batat can replace apples, grapes, carrots, beets for intolerance of fiber. Used in the treatment of neurotic disorders, anxiety and depression.

Harmful properties

  • The harm of yams is due to the large amount of sugar in its composition – with frequent use can lead to weight gain.
  • The vegetable causes increased gas formation in the small intestine.
  • Although yams have almost no effect on blood glucose levels – people with diabetes are recommended to eat them in very small quantities.
  • At an exacerbation of chronic colitis should not eat yams.

Calories at

A raw yam contains (in 100g):
Calories 86 Kcal
Protein – 1,57 g ; Fat – 0,05 g; Carbohydrates – 20,12 g; Water – 77,28 g.


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The variety of yams varieties is thousands. The yam varieties differ in rind and flesh color, taste, texture, juiciness, and their requirements for soil fertility, irrigation, and climate.

The skin of a yam is thin. Unlike potatoes without eyes, the surface can be smooth, rough or slightly bumpy.

According to the color of the flesh, yam varieties are:

  • with light flesh – white, creamy, yellowish.
  • with orange flesh.
  • purple flesh.

The tubers of yams have different shapes and colors – from brown to orange and white. According to the color of the tuber can be distinguished such features:

  • yellow and orange – contain more provitamin A;
  • purple, violet and blue – have a lot of antioxidants;
  • white varieties – drier and denser in taste.


1.Food (table) – intended for culinary purposes;

  • Dessert varieties – have more sugar. They are used to make desserts.
  • Vegetable – contains little sugar. Applicable for stewing, cooking second dishes.

2. Fodder – used for feeding animals, watery with a fresh taste;
3. Ornamental – for landscaping.


This type of yam has a high content of glucose and beta-carotene. This affects the color of the flesh – it is a rich yellow shade or orange. The flesh can also be pink, red, purple, but sometimes white. The vegetable itself is very juicy, soft. The taste and flavor can be compared to pineapple, carrots, banana, pumpkin and chestnut. Used for cooking dessert dishes.

After heat treatment, the core of sweet potatoes becomes soft, creamy and very tender. Such tubers go well with nuts, fruits, molasses, caramel, suitable for the preparation of various desserts, sweet porridge and casseroles, and even wines.

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Vegetable yams have a lower glucose content. It does not taste very sweet. In appearance, it resembles a potato. The flesh of this yam is light in color with small spots of pink, yellow or orange. When baked or boiled, the tuber becomes soft, juicy and tender. Suitable for mashed potatoes, casseroles, side dishes and other dishes.


Do not keep yams in the cellar. Do not store yams in the refrigerator.
The temperature needed to store yams is +12°C (53.6°F) to +18°C (64.4°F) and a humidity of 50-80%. If the storage temperature is below 10°C (50°F)-12°C (53.6°F), the tubers may spoil and rot. At temperatures above 18°C (64.4°F), the yam begins to sprout. The sprouted tubers can be eaten – unlike ordinary potatoes, yams do not produce toxic substances.
Sweet potatoes should be kept at room temperature for no longer than a week or two. Then it will retain its full flavour and useful properties when cooked.

Choose only whole, healthy, undamaged, and ripe tubers for storage. The skin of the tuber should not be damaged. And the tubers themselves should not be broken. They should not be thrown and shaken violently, as dents and cracks will form, leading to rapid deterioration of the tubers.

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Short-term storage:

  1. Wipe the tubers with a rag to remove dirt from them. Do not wash them.
  2. Wrap each tuber individually in old newspaper.
  3. Place the tubers in a paper bag, basket, cardboard or wooden box. But not in an airtight plastic container.
  4. Place an apple beside the yam. This will protect it from rotting.
  5. Put the container with the yam in a cool, well-ventilated place that does not allow moisture or sunlight to penetrate. The fridge is not a good place.

This way the tubers will store well for several months.


  1. Wash the tubers clean.
  2. Peel them from the skin.
  3. Put them in water and boil them for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Do not freeze the tubers whole. Mashed potato them or cut them into pieces and put them in an airtight container.
  5. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, add to the container and mix everything well. The juice will prevent the yams from darkening.
  6. Allow the vegetable to cool completely before placing it in the freezer. Leave an empty space from the surface of the mashed yams or yam slices to the lid of the container.

Frozen yams store well for a full year or more.


  • If you leave the vegetable on the table when defrosting, bacteria will quickly begin to develop in it.
  • You only need to defrost it for a couple of hours and then start cooking.
  • Taking the container from the freezer – put it in a bowl of water. Do not open the lid.
  • You can defrost yams in the microwave. To do this, remove the lid from the container beforehand.

Frozen yams can be cooked immediately. Do not freeze it in a glass or metal container. When storing yams – do not use a wet spoon. The presence of liquid in the container – will deteriorate the texture of the tubers and change their taste.

The yams are spoiled if:

  • rotten spots, black spots have appeared on the tubers;
  • the potato has become very soft and oozes moisture;
  • there is an unpleasant smell.

Cooking Methods

Baked yams can be eaten by themselves, with porridges or salads, or with boiled vegetables.

Cooked – in soups, mashed potatoes, boiled in pieces, in cutlets, and in other ways.

Eating yams raw in salads adds vitamins and micronutrients to the body.

Sweet varieties are used for jams, jams, souffles, and marshmallows.

Young leaves and stems of the plant after soaking or boiling can be used in salads, seeds after roasting can be ground for coffee.


Peel the tubers and cut into pieces. Fry in vegetable oil like potatoes. Then put them in a frying pan and stew in butter. When serving sprinkle with chopped parsley and dill.

Mashed potatoes

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Cooking sweet potatoes is very simple. It takes much less time to prepare than regular potatoes. Cook the yam cubes in a pot full of water for 10-15 minutes until tender. Cooking the mashed potatoes loses the taste of the yam. Therefore, it is better to cook the potatoes in a pan or in the oven.

On the grill

The taste of roasted sweet potatoes will definitely surprise any foodie. Grilled yam is very tasty, even if just a little sweet. Cut the tuber into 0.5 cm thick slices, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Then grill the slices for 5 to 7 minutes on each side. The resulting smoky flavor pairs well with sour cream.

In the oven

The easiest way is to bake yams in the oven. Although yams have a slightly sweet taste, they go great with salt and spices. You can serve baked yams as a side dish to meat, or you can serve them without anything as a diet or vegan dish.

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Sweet potatoes in the oven have an amazing flavor. The fruit sugar in it, slightly caramelized. Perfectly combined with spicy rosemary. Finely chopped sweet potatoes require 20-25 minutes when cooked in the oven. Cook whole yams from 40-60 minutes.

Sweet potato and carrot soup

You can easily use the yams to make soup. After slicing it into small cubes, cook it together with your favorite vegetables and season everything. Carrots are great for soup in combination with yams – they give it extra consistency and color.

Recipes Ideas for Sweet Potato

There are many recipes for yams.

1. Sweet potato with avocado for breakfast

#1 Sweet potato with avocado for breakfast
Source: Kirilife

The perfect breakfast. Delicious yams baked in the oven, ripe and juicy avocados, eggs and soft, slightly salty feta. The magnificent combination of all the ingredients creates an extravaganza of flavor. A delicious and nutritious start to the day.

2. Stuffed sweet potatoes with quinoa, tomatoes, beans and corn

#2 Stuffed sweet potatoes with quinoa, tomatoes, beans and corn
Source: Foodieplaza

A delicious and healthy vegetarian dish. The yams pair very well with the filling components, and the spices give the dish a special Southwestern flavor of the United States. It combines the culinary traditions of Mexico, Spain and the Native American population. You can change the components of the filling: replace the tomatoes with sweet peppers, leave out the corn or remove the cheese.

3. Sweet potatoes with chili

#3 Sweet potatoes with chili
Source: Delish

An unusual combination of flavors of sweet potatoes and spice from chili peppers. Vegetables, Italian sausage, yams, and chili are sure to warm you up on fall and winter nights for a nice dinner. The dish turns out similar to a vegetable stew, but with notes of spice.

4. Spicy chicken and potato salad “Primitive”

#4 Spicy chicken and potato salad "Primitive"
Source: Povar

Prepare all the ingredients for the salad separately. Then combine in one plate and serve. Chicken and potatoes can be baked or pan-fried. Use a ready made set of your favorite spices. You can add more spice to spice up the dish. a simple, easy and delicious salad.

5. Peanut butter sweet potato soup

#5 Peanut butter sweet potato soup
Source: Tina-tawiki

Tastes a bit like carrot soup. You can try substituting yams for carrots – it will work just as well. Coconut milk gives a light, creamy flavor to the soup, and the nuts and spices are spicy. Incredibly flavorful soup.

6. Sweet potato fries with sloppy Joe

#6 Sweet potato fries with sloppy Joe
Source: Firstandfull

Homemade, spicy, sloppy joe tomato sauce applied to crispy fried sweet potato slices. Braise ground beef in the tomato sauce. It will complement the tender sweetness of the roasted sweet potatoes. A quick, easy-to-make dish.

7. Baked sweet potato fries

#7 Baked sweet potato fries
Source: Gimmesomeoven

The fries really come out crispy. They have a light garlic seasoning. It gives a salty-sweet balance. They are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan. You can top with grated parmesan cheese, herbs, your favorite seasonings.

8. Paleo sweet potato breakfast

This paleo sweet potato breakfast is packed with flavor, satiety, nutrition, and the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors. Pan fried sweet potatoes topped with stuffing, herbs, apples and cranberries. A delicious eggless breakfast option.

9. Stuffed sweet potatoes with cheese

#9 Stuffed sweet potatoes with cheese
Source: Yoli-bg

Delicious sweet potatoes with two kinds of cheese. A terrific combination of ingredients will delight you with creamy flavor and aroma. The texture and color of the potatoes will remind you of pumpkin, but only outwardly. Beautiful, juicy, nutritious dish.

10. Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows

#10 Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows
Source: Delish

Sweet potato casserole is a special dish for Thanksgiving dinner. The addition of marshmallows to the sweet potatoes makes this dish creamy and delicious. The casserole will decorate your holiday table and delight your guests with its extraordinary taste.

11. Sweet potato bread

#11 Sweet potato bread
Source: Savorthebest

Delicious aroma while the bread is baking. The warm spices and delicate moist bread will please even the pickiest of gourmets. This is a quick bread, made very easily and without yeast. It is so versatile that you can serve it for breakfast or dessert. The bread stays moist for several days.

12. Sweet potato gnocchi

#12 Sweet potato gnocchi
Source: Delish

An interesting dish visually, just as delicious, unusual and nutritious. You can serve the gnocchi boiled or fried, or in a caramelized sauce of bacon fat, butter, maple syrup and bourbon. You can add roasted parsley or any herbs when serving.

13. Mashed sweet potatoes

This mashed sweet potato is very creamy and perfect with chicken, meat and fish. You can serve the potatoes as is or add any number of toppings to create sweet and savory flavors: candied bacon, garlic and herbs, brown sugar brulee, caramelized apple.

14. Chili and honey roasted sweet potatoes with lime juice

#14 Chili and honey roasted sweet potatoes with lime juice
Source: Killingthyme

Sweet, savory and the perfect side dish or appetizer. This recipe will cheer you up with a little chili powder, a dab of honey and a drop of lime juice. The flavor is mesmerizing. The feeling of fullness and wholesomeness is at its peak.

15. Cheeseburger with bacon and sweet potato chips

#15 Cheeseburger with bacon and sweet potato chips
Source: Delish

A delicious, yummy, juicy and nutritious cheeseburger. The potato chips add an interesting light crunch, the bacon complements the cheeseburger with a smoky flavor. The combination of the cutlet, sauce, vegetables with bacon and yam chips will definitely win you over.

Alex Bayev Photo
About me:

Hi, I'm Alex. I love to cook and bake, and I'm always looking for new recipes to try. I started this blog — to collect and share most delicious and easy recipes in one place. I remember, how many questions recipes raised to me, when I started cooking. To make sure that doesn't happen to you, I take step-by-step photos of the cooking process for every recipe so you can see how all the steps are supposed to go together, even if you're not following my recipes exactly.

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