How to store yams: Don't plan on keeping sweet potatoes for more than a few days at home. Any needless handling causes bruising and shortens their shelf life. Remember their tropical origins and keep them at a cool room temperature with good air circulation, not in the refrigerator. -from Alice Waters.
Sweet potatoes are rich in potassium, beta-caotene, fiber, vitamin C, and have trace amounts of folic acid.
Sweet Potato/Yam history from Garcia Produce
Silver Dollar Sweet Potatoes, from The Garden of Eating, by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz
2 TBS melted, unrefined coconut oil or EV olive oil
2 tsp. apple pie spice or ground ginger or cinnamon, or as needed
4 large or 6 medium sweet potatoes (2-2 1/2 lb.)
Preheat oven to 400F. Put oil in custard cup and set out spices. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes with bristle brush. Pat dry. Remove rough sections and any soft or black spots. Peel if desired. Cut into 1/3-inch thick rounds with sturdy vegetable or chef knife or use a mandoline for potato chip-like texture. Cut in 1/2-inch thick rounds for softer, French fry-like texture.
Working quickly to keep sweet potatoes from oxidizing, lightly brush cut surfaces with oil, dust with spices, rub spiced halves together and arrange on 2 large cookie sheets or shallow baking pans. (For easy cleanup, line with unbleached parchment paper.) Bake 15 minutes. Flip slices with metal spatula if desired, and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, until just tender. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers and use within 3 days.
Sweet Potato Fries: Omit spices. Use only enough oil to lightly grease baking pans or line with unbleached parchment. Gently beat 3 to 4 large egg whites until frothy. Slice sweet potatoes, promptly add to egg whites, and turn to coat thoroughly. Arrange on prepared sheets and bake.
Baked Spiced Sweet Potato Halves: To save time, cut raw sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Rub or brush cut sides with oil or ghee and dust with pie spice or cinnamon. Rub 2 spiced halves together to spread seasonings. Place cut side down on baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment for ease of clean up. Bake until bottom side is golden brown and tubers are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size.
Sweet Potato Puree with Roasted Garlic
Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables
1 head garlic
2# sweet potatoes
2# russet potatoes
2 cups milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
First roast the garlic: Wrap the head in foil, put in a preheated 400 degree F oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until completely soft. (Test with the tip of a knife.) When cool, cut the top free from the head, separate the cloves, and set aside.
Peel and quarter the sweet potatoes and russet potatoes. Put them in a pot with a steamer insert. Season with a teaspoon of salt and steam over medium high to high heat until cooked, about 20 minutes. Drain, add the unpeeled roasted cloves of garlic, and puree through a food mill, using the fine disk. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over low heat. Scald the milk in a separate saucepan and add from 1 to 2 cupes to the potatoes, depending on how dry they are. Then add the extra-virgin olive oil to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or keep warm in a double boiler. Serves 6 to 8.