Sweet Potatoes,Yams and Taro

Types of Sweet Potatoes,Yams and Taro

Types Selection and storage

In Australia Sweet potato is orange skinned with orange flesh, or browny cream skinned with white flesh, or purple with white flesh. The orange sweet potato is also called the Maori name of kumara. Yams and Taro are not of the same family as sweet potato. The Yam is a tropical root originally native to Africa and now grown worldwide. There are over 150 varieties of this starchy vegetable, with interior colors ranging from white, to purple, to brown.Taro refers to a family of root vegetables native to southeast Asia. The root and the leaf of the Taro plant are used and considered a staple in African, Oceanic and Asian cultures. Taro is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants. Choose firm, smooth sweet potatoes, yams and taro without soft patches, or brown spots. Store in a cool, airy, dark place. Do not refrigerate.


Sweet potatoes and yams are available all year round.


The browny cream skinned variety is moister than the other types, has a chestnutty flavour and as it can be fibrous is best for baking. The orange skinned variety bakes drier than the other two varieties. The purple skinned variety is a good all round sweet potato. Both the purple and orange varieties can be baked, boiled, fried steamed or pureed. The orange variety is the one used for candying and puddings. Yams and Taro are used in the cooking of the Pacific Islands; they can be baked whole or pureed. Sweet potatoes are good with brown sugar, maple syrup, oregano, rosemary, oregano, tumeric, coconut milk, cream, cinnamon, bacon, chicken and turkey.

Nutrition Information

Sweet potatoes are a relatively low in fat low GI, a good source source of vitamin A, as well as fibre, protein, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Taro is High in Dietary Fibre, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. Yams are high in fibre and a good source of potassium, which is beneficial in maintaining normal blood pressure.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are also called Kumera and can be gold, red, white and purple. Gold and red sweet potatoes are generally sold as regular sweet potatoes while white and purple are distinguished by colour. Gold and red varieties have red/orange flesh while white and purple varieties have white flesh and moister flesh. Sweet potatoes are a low GI starchy vegetable which are very versatile. They do not need to be peeled or scrubbed and are good, roasted, mashed, boiled and made into chips.


All year round, with different varieties available at different times of the year.


Yams are an staple food of many countries in Africa as well as Asian varieties being used throughout parts of Asia and the Pacific.   Yams have brown skin and starchy white flesh. They are very versatile they can be barbequed, roasted, fried, grilled, boiled, mashed and are used in savoury and sweet dishes.


All year round.

Yam Beans

Similar in taste and texture to an apple this native native of South America can be eaten raw or cooked. To use remove the fibrous brown skin.


All year round.