The Great Debate – Sweet Potato or Yam

How to enjoy these fabulous roots, whatever you may call them.


So what is it? Sweet Pot or Yam?

I set out to find the skinny on these potatoes, sweet vs yam, and end years of supermarket sign confusion. In the picture above, are two very distinctly different types of potatoes. Or so i thought. Turns out, neither are really potatoes. Yep. That’s right. These babies are more closely related to that pretty morning glory vine in your garden then that are to that starchy brown baked nugget of goodness. (I love me a potato covered in butter, bacon, tomatoes, and blue cheese.)

Where was I . OH yes. Morning Glories! Sweet potatoes are a cousin. Both morning glories, sweet potatoes, and regular white potatoes are all nightshades. Which in essence makes them all family. For the record the two above are both sweet pots. (I am tired of writing potatoes already). White Potatoes are from Europe, while Sweet Pots are Native to the Americas, and come in all kinds of different colors, just like the regular ol’ spud comes in different colors. Purple is fantastic btw.


So what the heck is a yam? Well a Yam is actually some gynormous root spud in the Lilly Family, from Africa and/or Papua New Guinea. Supposedly these reach up to 100lbs! And combined with peanuts make a fantastic stew. Remind me to post that one some time. Check out this Alton Brown Viddie for the Tv Generation.

Food as Medicine

Here in the US All Sweet pots and Yams, are really ALL SWEET POTATOES. To get a true African Yam, you gotta be friends with your local fancy supermarket, gourmet foods store, magician, or farmer. Good luck.

So now that we are all talking about the same thing. How do these tasty dessert like veggies influence your body when you eat them?

Warming, Moistening, Detoxifying, Grounding

      Ground and Center

Round Root = Profound grounding and centering.  Perfect medicine for needing to sit down, collect your thoughts, and get your shit together.

dirtinhands-smallIf you have not gotten into grounding yet, check it out. It’s like magic. Head in the clouds spaced out? Ground down. Heavy slow and sluggish? Drop some of those worries off into the dirt, and Ground UP!

      Pancreas Power and Energy a GO GO

Sweet pots are very nutrient dense and when cooked well are easy to digest. This strengthens the pancreas and is very Qi Building, AKA High Energy. The Sweet expansive energy, lifts you up off the sofa and gets you moving. Don’t be so hasty to toss it as a blood sugar no no. Sweet pots are full of fiber, the locks the glucose up and works like a time release pill. Unlike processed foods where the sugar all blasts into the blood stream at once, whole roots release the sugar slowly over a long period of time. For this reason, they are fantastic to use as a transition tool while trying to give up a high sugar lifestyle. Enjoy the sweet flavor, while you slowly change your taste buds off of chemical sweets. Soon these babies will be all the dessert you need.

      Damp Body and Candida a No No

These little guys are not so good for the person who has a heavy sluggish stagnant thing going on. If you think about a stinky old damp towel, and feel like you can relate, these guys may worsen the issue. Also Candida overloaded peeps should shy away as well until the yeast is under control.

IMG_2594ANNND if you are suspecting a parasitic infection any starchy root will exacerbate your situation.

Feeling a little damp? Still want that sweet pot? Fix it up with some drying spices like… Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Coriander, Cardamom.

      Protein and Farts

Proteins and Starches do not mix. The sugar in the starch will block the absorption of protein by the body. This will leave you bloated, heavy feeling, and full of farts. For this reason sweet potatoes are best left as a snack mid day, or after dinner in dessert. Never before the steak. Fruit will do this to your protein as well. That heavy saggy slop feeling after dinner is largely due to poor food combining and/or not chewing your food properly.

Things that mix well with starches are… Oils & Fats, Drying Spices, Leafy Greens, Onion-garlic Family, Mushrooms, and Cabbage-Broccoli Family.

Eating too many sweet potatoes can lead to indigestion, and swollen tummy aches. Again chew, only eat what you need, and add drying spices.

      Strengthen and Detoxify

Sweet potatoes are super high in  Vitamin A from Carotene. Plus super powered for Chakras 1, 2, and 5. Thats Pancrea, Spleen, Kidney’s, Adrenals, Sexy Organs, Lungs, Colon, Thyroid, and Skin. They are awesome for overcoming weakness and deficiency. Think malnourished children and grandma’s.

Prepare them simply to detoxify sprinkled with the above spices and a healthy dollop of high quality butter, ghee, yogurt, or coconut oil.

Ground, Energize, Moisten, Detox, and Uplift

Recipes: It’s all about Fast and Easy for me.

20 mins

2 Sweet Potatoes (any variety) Peeled, Cubed.

pad of butter

  1. Set up pot with 1 qt of water and steamer basket, put on low.
  2. Yes peel the skin off, I usually don’t eat mine anyway. This skin great for the compost or as a doggie snack.
  3. Cube the potatoes, and add to  the steamer basket. 20 minutes should do it.
  4. Place in mixing bowl. Add butter or oil of choice, pinch of salt, and mash lightly. Over-mashing makes glue.
  5. Mix in flavoring of choice.

Keep Cool, and make it spicy with a TBS Tom Paste, and Chipotle Seasoning of your choice.

Warm up with dried ginger and honey.

Stay dry with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Detox with Cilantro, Garlic, and Lemon.


Have more time on your hands? Stuff Em’

This recipe from NYTIMES looks fantastic and I am totally gonna make them for dinner tomorrow night.


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