Sweet potatoes are a staple food for many, including those on a paleo diet. While some paleo dieters allow regular potatoes, others swear them off completely. If you’re looking for a paleo potato substitute, sweet potatoes or cauliflower fit the bill.
These sometimes strange tubers come in a large variety so I thought I’d take a minute to explain the main differences and which ones work best for certain recipes. I’ve also included a simple sweet potato fry recipe so you can taste test them for yourself.
Sweet Potato vs Yams
Okay fist off. Yams are a very starchy tuber with a thick and fibrous skin. They are actually unrelated to Sweet potatoes and are hard to find in the US. They have a rough brown skin and a dry white interior.
Sooo, if you’ve seen ‘yams’ at your local grocery store they are probably just a red/orange sweet potato. From my research the orange fleshed sweet potatoes got labeled as yams because they needed a way to differentiate them between the white fleshed sweet potatoes. It sounds silly to me, why couldn’t they just call it a red sweet potatoes? Any way that’s where the confusion began.
Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors, both inside and out, and it can be hard to know which sweet potato you should get because they all vary slightly in flavor and texture.
As a rule the red and orange skinned varieties are sweeter and will stay more moist when cooked. While the white and purple skinned varieties are dry and starchier. They also are usually a little less sweet than their orange/red counterparts.
What do I use?
Depending on what my grocery store is carrying…..
I like using Hanna (tan skin with white flesh) or Japanese (purple skin with white flesh) sweet potatoes in stews or for mashed potatoes as they are not as sweet and can replace normal potatoes in recipes a lot easier. I once made my paleo stew with red sweet potatoes and it was almost too sweet to eat! Switching to Japanese sweet potatoes fixed the overly sweet problem.
I use orange flesh varieties like the Garnet or Jewel for healthy hashbrowns, or fries. They have a beautiful color, stay super moist, and are perfectly sweet.
I’ve also recently discovered an all purple sweet potato that’s popular in Hawaii. I wasn’t a fan of it for fries as it was very starchy and dry with a good earthy flavor. They remind me of black beans in texture and I loved adding them to my Taco bowl (recipe coming soon).
I highly recommend buying different varieties from your local store and giving them a try. It’s the only way to truly find your favorite.Print
Simple Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are an awesome treat that are so easy to make. Season them with salt and pepper or go crazy with the spices to create your own signature flavor.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
- Cuisine: American
- 3 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 2 TBS Avocado oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 425F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges about 1/4″ wide and thick.
- Toss the wedges in avocado oil to coat them. Then place them on the baking sheets, allowing room between each wedge, or they won’t cook properly. Sprinkle with salt evenly.
- Bake fries for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving (this is also the time you can add additional spices if desired).
Keywords: Baked, dairy free, Fries, Gluten free, Paleo, Sweet potato, Vegan, Vegetarian