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sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes
a.k.a.

yam (though not technically correct)

what is it?

Sweet, moist, and typically orange, this root vegetable is often and incorrectly called a yam. (True yams are starchy and dry with a white flesh and thick dark skin and are not available in most grocery stores.) A Thanksgiving favorite, sweet potatoes have thin, edible skins and come in many shapes and colors, from the more common orange-fleshed varieties to yellow- and even purple-fleshed ones. The deep-orange sweet potatoes are usually moister and sweeter than their yellow counterparts. Highly nutritious (they're rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and good carbohydrates), they're good baked, fried, sautéed, and braised and used for soups and in stews.

kitchen math:

1 medium potato = 6 oz. = 1-1/4 cup medium (1/2-inch) dice

don't have it?

Butternut squash can substitute in some recipes.

how to choose:

Sweet potatoes come into season in late summer and are available right through spring, but they're at their best in the fall and early winter. Choose firm, unblemished sweet potatoes and handle them with care, as they bruise easily. If baking the, look for uniformly sized ones so they will cook at the same pace.

how to store:

Stored in a dark, cool place with good air circulation, they'll keep for months. They will get drier, but they're still perfectly good. Baked sweet potatoes keep well in the fridge for a week or longer, so you can have them on hand to mash or use as twice-baked, in a soup, or just warmed up whole and brightened with a knob of herb butter or a spoonful of pesto.

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