Sweet Potatoes (are not yams.)

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  • They're not yams. Yams are starchy tubers typically grown in Asia and Africa, while sweet potatoes are an entirely different species of root vegetable, typically grown in the Americas. 

  • It's not your fault if you're confused. If you're in a grocery store and you see a yam, there's a good chance it's a sweet potato. Grocery stores mislabel them all the time, but know that sweet potatoes have a much higher nutrient concentration.

  • They're really good for you. They're low in fat, high in fiber, calcium, folate, potassium, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and the list goes on.  Their glycemic index (this number indicates a food's effect on your blood sugar!) is only 17 compared to a white potato at 29.

  • They don't belong in the refrigerator. It changes their taste and texture, causing them to get bitter. Keep them in a cool, dark place until you're ready to use them.

  • North Carolina has dibs. Not only are sweet potatoes the official state vegetable, but NC is also responsible for more than 40% of the country's total supply. GO HEELS.

  • Grow your own. Sweet potatoes only take 100 days to grow, and they're pretty undemanding in terms of water + fertilizer needs. So if you have the space and want to give gardening a try, these would be a good choice.