ChatterRecipe of the Month Holiday 2010

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are often thought to be the same as yams, but this is not the case. They are two different vegetables from two different families. What we mostly eat in this country (especially in the South!) are “sweet potatoes” – while “yams” are more commonly found in Latin America and the Caribbean. Now interestingly the word “yam” comes from the African words “njam”, “nyami” or “djambi” meaning “to eat!” And ironically, “wild yams” are also used as a natural treatment for menstrual problems, PMS and menopause, either as a supplement or topical creams. Women go through a lot, let’s be honest, I mean it’s not exactly our dream to be rubbing “wild yam cream” all over our breasts, but if it helps reduce the mood swings and monthly emotional roller coasters, then so be it, we’ll do it!

Sweet Potatoes are one of the very best vegetables you can eat – seriously full of fiber and rich in Vitamins A and C. It is beneficial for all sorts of ailments including low blood pressure, stomach ulcers and stabilizing diabetics’ blood sugar levels. They make wonderful “fries” as well as “pies!” Growing up in England we didn’t really eat “sweet” potatoes, so it wasn’t until I came to America that I discovered this marvelous and versatile vegetable. Some years ago I remember my ob/gyn suggested that I should eat baked sweet potatoes when pre-menstrual as an alternative “sweet” snack to cookies & ice cream! So for our holiday bulletin, I found this old Creole recipe in a favorite Reader’s Digest cookery book of mine from the UK, and I thought the ingredients are not only very seasonal and an unexpected combination, but also potentially a lot less disgusting than say sweet potatoes covered with marshmallows!

Sweet Potatoes with Apples

1 lb Sweet Potatoes

1¼ lbs Cooking Apples

3 oz Butter

1 level teaspoon Salt

6 oz Soft Brown Sugar

1 level teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

1/2 cup chopped Pecans (optional)

Peel and thinly slice the Sweet Potatoes, peel, core and thinly slice the ApplesButter a casserole (or baking dish) and arrange alternate layers of the Sweet Potato and Apple slices, starting and finishing the top layer with Sweet Potatoes. Sprinkle each layer with SaltSoft Brown SugarGround Nutmeg and Lemon Juice, and dot with the remaining Butter. You can also add in some chopped Pecans right on top! Place the casserole on the lowest shelf of the oven, pre-heated to 400 degrees (mark 6) and bake for 40 minutes or until the Sweet Potatoes are tender. Serve straight from the casserole.

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