The Jewel Yam is Actually a Sweet Potato.
Jewel Yam
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The Jewel Yam is actually a Sweet Potato, not a true Yam, and a member of the Convolvulaceae family along with other herbaceous perennial vines, trees and shrubs. Jewel yams are cylindrical in shape, with tapering ends. Jewel Yams have a rough semi-thick skin with a reddish/pink tinged pale orange color. The interior is brilliant orange. The flesh of the Jewel Yam is moist and starchy.

Season

The peak season for Jewel Yams is September to March.

Availability

Jewel Yams are available year round.

Purchasing

When purchasing Jewel Yams look for Jewel Yams in the regular room temperature produce section. Pass by refrigerated Jewel Yams. The cold negatively impacts their flavor.

When selecting room temperature Jewel Yams look for ones that don’t have cracks bruises or soft spots and that are firm.

Storage

Jewel Yams do best stored in a well-ventilated, cool but not refrigerated, dark place. They should be stored loose (in a bin or bowl) away from any heat sources like the oven. If they must be bagged, avoid plastic bags, and poke a few air holes in the bag for circulation. Stored properly they can last up to 2-4 weeks.

Culinary Uses

Jewel Yams taste terrific, and can be BoiledStir Fried, SteamedPuréedBakedMashedStuffedDeep Fried and Pan Fried. Basically, they are easy to work with and prepare and can be used in a multitude of dishes, including many that call for regular potatoes. Just keep in mind that the Jewel Yam will impart a little extra sweetness.

Boiling Jewel Yams has been shown to be a very healthy way to cook them, preserving the bio-availability of the beta-carotene, especially in children.  Boiling Jewel Yams also lowers the Glycemic Index (the amount of blood sugar in the blood stream) as compared to Roasting or Baking them.  The only drawback of boiling is that some of the water-soluble vitamins may leech off into the boiling water.

Stir-Frying, especially at lower temperatures like 200° F (93° C), is another good choice because fat (even a small amount like 3-5 grams) helps the body absorb the beta-carotene of the Jewel Yam.

Portion Size

Allow 2-3 oz of Jewel Yams per person.

Pairings

BasilBay LeafCilantroParsleyCinnamonClovesCorianderCumin, Curry Powder, Dill, Nutmeg, PaprikaPepperSaltRosemarySageSugarBrown SugarTarragonVanilla, Apples, Bananas, Bell Peppers, Chile PeppersChives, Coconut, CranberriesGarlicGingerKaleLeeksLemonsLimes, MushroomsOnions, Oranges, Pears, Persimmons, PineapplePotatoes, Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Beans, Chestnuts,  HazelnutsPeanutsPecansWalnutsButterCreamCrème FraicheYogurtChickenDuck, Pork, Ham, BaconProsciutto, Bourbon, Brandy, Whiskey, Sweet Wines, MolassesHoneyOilsOlive OilPeanut OilSesame OilVinegarsBalsamic VinegarCider VinegarRice Wine VinegarWorcestershire SauceStocksChicken Stock

Nutritional Value USDA
YAM,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 118
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 9mg
17%
Potassium 816mg
9%
Total Carbohydrate 27g
16%
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition

The Jewel Yam is the energy storage organ of the plant, and as such, is comprised mostly of nutrients and Carbohydrates. Jewel Yams also have a high level of Beta Carotene.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes