The sweet potato, commonly called a yam in parts of North America (although they are not actually yams), belongs to the family Convolvulaceae, as does bindweed. It has a large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous root that is an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). It is even more distantly related to the true yam (Dioscorea species), which is native to Africa and Asia.
Baked sweet potatoes are sometimes offered in restaurants as an alternative to baked potatoes. They are often topped with brown sugar and butter. In Dominican Republic sweet potato is enjoyed for breakfast.
Sweet potato leaves are a common side dish in Taiwanese cuisine, often boiled with garlic and vegetable oil and dashed with salt before serving.
The young leaves and vine tips of sweet potato leaves are widely consumed as a vegetable West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia for example). Sweet potato leaves and shoots are a good source of vitamins A, vitamin C, and B2 (Riboflavin).
Steamed/Boiled chunks, for a simple and healthy snack, chunks of sweet potato may be boiled in water or cooked in the microwave.
Sweet potato chips can be sliced, fried, and eaten just like potato chips or French fries.
Raw sweet potatoes can be eaten as well, most easily in chip form. They taste somewhat like a sweet carrot.
Sweet potatoes became popular very early in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, spreading from Polynesia to Japan and the Philippines. One reason is that they were a reliable crop in cases of crop failure of other staple foods because of typhoon flooding. They are featured in many favorite dishes in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and other island nations. Indonesia, Vietnam, India, and some other Asian countries are also large sweet potato growers. Sweet potato, also known as kelang in Tulu is part of Udupi cusine. Uganda (the second largest grower after China), Rwanda, and some other African countries also grow a large crop which is an important part of their peoples' diets. The New World, the original home of the sweet potato, grows less than three percent (3%) of the world's supply. Europe has only a very small sweet potato production, mainly in Portugal. In the Caribbean, a variety of the sweet potato called the boniato is popular. The flesh of the boniato is cream-coloured, unlike the more popular orange hue seen in other varieties. Boniatos are not as sweet and moist as other sweet potatoes, but many people prefer their fluffier consistency and more delicate flavour.
We have recently started to take delivery of a weekly organic fruit and vegetable box which has of course heightened our interest in the 5 a day fruit and vegetable regime. This simple app will show you what makes up one of your 5 a day portions of vegetables. You'll be surprised how small the quantities are in some instances. You'll be able to eat healthier and feel all the better for it.
Select a fruit or vegetable from the picker below to see what its daily portion consists of
What are you waiting for? Pick your fruit and veg now!
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned Ackee
2 Globe Artichoke hearts
7 spears of tinned asparagus
5 spears of fresh asparagus
One third of an Aubergine/Eggplant
3 heaped tablespoons of barlotti beans
3 heaped tablespoons of black-eyed beans
3 heaped tablespoons of broad beans
3 heaped tablespoons of butter beans
3 heaped tablespoons of cannellini beans
4 heaped tablespoons of French beans
3 heaped tablespoons of kidney beans
3 heaped tablespoons of pinto beans
4 heaped tablespoons of runner beans
3 heaped tablespoons of soya beans
2 handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
3 whole bottled beetroot
3 whole fresh baby beetroot
2 spears of broccoli
8 Brussels sprouts
3 heaped tablespoons of butternut squash
2 handfuls of sliced cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of shredded cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned carrots
3 heaped tablespoons of fresh carrot slices
8 florets of cauliflower
3 sticks of celery
3 heaped tablespoons of chickpeas
One fifth of a head of Chinese leaves
Half a large courgette
5 cm (2 inch) piece of cucumber
4 heaped tablespoons of curly kale
Half a karela (bitter melon)
1 leek (white portion only)
3 tablespoons of lentils
1 cereal bowl of lettuce (mixed leaves)
1 handful of mange-tout
3 heaped tablespoons of marrow
3 tablespoons of frozen mixed vegetables
2 tablespoons of dried mushrooms
16 medium Okra
1 medium Onion
3 heaped tablespoons of pak choi (Chinese cabbage)