In the United States, grocery stores offer both sweet potatoes and yams, which are not botanically related. Except that here, they are one and the same. The “yams” sold in the United States are orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Real yams are starchy and drier than sweet potatoes and have a rough and shaggy exterior. The problem is that white-fleshed sweet potatoes arrived on American shores first, so when the orange-fleshed versions put in an appearance, they were labeled as “yams” to avoid confusion. In the end, Americans have become more confused than ever.
On the plus side, the orange-fleshed sweet potato (AKA “yam” in the United States) is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is responsible for the orange color. Beta carotene protects cells from pesky free radicals and is also converted into Vitamin A.
But all that aside, sweet potatoes are delicious — especially in the form of sweet potato fries, which make a regular appearance (and disappearance) at our house. These fries are crispy on the outside and soft, sweet, and rich on the inside. And since the olive oil they are tossed in enhances the absorption of the beta carotene, eating these super fries is a win-win situation all around.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin strips
6 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch/arrowroot powder/wheat flour/rice flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Place sweet potato strips in large bowl; toss with olive oil.
3. Add remaining ingredients; toss well to combine.
4. Place the sweet potato strips on the baking sheets, in one layer.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden.