The difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato!
True yams are tubers. They are found in Africa and the Caribbean and sometimes in Europe. True yams can grow up to 100 pounds and have a length of seven feet. Sweet potatoes are “storage roots” and rarely grow to be larger than 2 pounds each. Sweet Potato has a lighter skinned type, it is drier and is not as sweet as the “yam’. We can say that it looks like a regular white potato.
Sweet potatoes are one of the 15 foods least contaminated with pesticides. When you select yams/sweet potatoes for homemade baby food, choose those that are without brown or soft spots. Keep them in a cool, dark, dry area. Yams/Sweet Potatoes can be kept for two weeks maximum. When cooked, they can be kept refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Baking sweet potatoes is the best way to cook them because that brings their natural sweetness and good flavor while retaining the most nutrients.
Here is the nutritional Value of Sweet Potatoes (1 medium baked)
Vitamin A – 21,909 IUs
Vitamin C – 39.2 mg
Pantothenic Acid – 1.76 mg
Niacin -2.97 mg
Folate – 12 mcg
It also contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
Potassium – 950 mg
Magnesium – 13.5 mg
Iron – 1.38 mg
Calcium – 76 mg
Phosphorus – 108 mg
Sodium – 72 mg
It also contains copper, selenium, manganese and zinc
- Sweet Potato (Yam) Baby Food Puree Recipe (4-6 months +)
– Baking Sweet Potatoes for Baby Food:
Step 1: Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with a fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil – do not peel for baking.
Step 2: Put the potatoes in a 400-degree oven and bake them for 30-60 minutes
Step 3: Remove the skins when cooled, and then scoop out the “meat”. Use a liquid from your preferred source to puree the sweet potatoes.
– Boiling/Steaming Sweet Potatoes
Step 1: Peel sweet potatoes and cut into small piece
Step 2: Put the chunks into a pan with enough water to slightly cover the potatoes
Step 3: Boil until the pieces tender
- Sweet Potato Apple Mash (4-6 months +)
Step 1: Steam or bake apples and sweet potatoes together until tender.
Step 2: Make a puree
Step 3: You can also chop the ingredients in order to prepare a salad.
- Sweet Potatoes and Winter Squash (4-6 months +)
Step 1: Steam or bake winter squash and sweet potatoes together tender.
Step 2: Make a puree
Step 3: You can also chop the ingredients in order to prepare a salad
- Peachy Yam Bake (8 months +)
– This recipe can be fine for babies from 4 to 6 months if you leave out flour, sugar, wheat germ and spices.
- 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar (optional) – (8 months +)
- 3 tbs of flour
- 2 Tbsp of Wheat Germ (8 months +)
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (8 months +)
- 2 Tbs butter (if baby doesn’t have problems with dairy products, butter can be a good source of the fats every baby needs)
- 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (not for those under 2 years old)
- 4 cups of mashed sweet potatoes
- 2 cups of fresh mashed peaches
Step 1: Combine sugar (optional), flour, wheat germ and spices. Cut in butter until you achieve a texture like breadcrumbs. Add nuts (optional). Put yams and peaches in 1-1/2 quart casserole; sprinkle with butter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.
Step 2: Make a puree
- Sweet Potato Risotto (8 months +)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups of hot vegetable stock
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1½ cups arborio rice (12-ounce package)
- ¾ cup of white grape juice
- 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
- 1½ teaspoons of thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ¾ teaspoons black pepper
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350o F.
Step 2: Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half. Cut half the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch diced and set aside. Cut the remaining sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks.
Step 3: Mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook for about 30 minutes. Puree in a blender with ¼ cup of vegetable stock.
Step 4: In a large pan heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, and sauté onion and small diced sweet potatoes on medium heat.
Step 5: Cook about 3 minutes until softened.
Step 6: Add garlic and arborio rice and cook for 2-3 minutes and stir frequently. After that, stir the mixture in white grape juice. Cook and stir until it is fully absorbed.
Step 7: Then add the rest of the vegetable stock and stir until each addition is completely absorbed
Step 8: Add sweet potato puree, rosemary, thyme, butter, and Parmesan. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. You can add pepper if you want.
- Sweet Potato Soup for Baby (8 months +)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
Step 1: Mix the flour and butter to make a roux in a large saucepan.
Step 2: Add the broth and brown sugar, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir in the sweet potatoes and spices, bring to a simmer again, and cook for 5 more minutes.
Step 3: Puree the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Add the milk, and reheat soup. After that, you can serve it.
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes (8 months +)
- 8 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons of mayo
- 2 cups water and 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Step 1: In a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish put the potatoes.
Step 2: In a saucepan, melt the butter; stir in flour until it becomes smooth.
Step 3: Gradually add broth, water, and mayo.
Step 4: Cook and stir for 2 minutes
Step 5: Pour the mixture over potatoes.
Step 6: Sprinkle with cinnamon
Step 7: Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours or until tender