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Hey Jude, I'm a f'an of sweet potato t'oo; but the ones I eat come from Coles Vegie Dept.

Anyway, a year or so ago I discovered that a quick and easy way of cooking sweet potato'e's is to simply throw them onto the turntable of Mickey the Microwave (LG) and turn on the heat.

No preparation required. No wrapping, no piercing with a skewer, nothing. To date I haven't had one explode, although they hiss a bit. I give them a couple of minutes and then probe with a finger to make sure there is 'give' all the way through. If not, I just zap them for a little longer.

At present I've got a fine looking specimen patiently sitting on top of Mickey waiting to be cooked. It is 20cms long and 6cms diameter at its widest point. Haven't tried anything larger than that.


Hi Jude, my husband grew up in New Guinea and also loves sweet potato. Now we all eat it as a staple vege and love it too. I had diabetes during pregnancy and it is a much better choice than potatoes or pumpkin as it has a low GI. I think I'll try the cooking method above from Tjilpi but it sounds a bit scary. I am interested to hear more details of how you grow these. We unfortunately have a smallish garden but would like to try growing them ourselves. It will be interesting to see how your "sweets" turn out.


We use them a lot. I've always liked them. My husband wasn't a fan, but he's got diabetes now and eats more of them than white potatos now. I nuke them if I haven't got much time, but I do prick them first. If I have the time, I pop them into the toaster oven. Of course, in the US they're standard holiday fare, too, for our Thanksgiving dinners, where they get dressed up in one of two ways, neither of them particularly healthy - but really good.

A co-worker who's from Mexico brought us up a box of candy made from them. Very good, too. Sweet potatos are my favorite part of a veggie tempura, but again, not a lot of health benefits to something that gets deep fried, I guess.

Now, for the question that I've never had answered in a truly satisfactory way - is there a difference between sweet potatos and yams?

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Jeez Jude, Pat has enjoined you in a taxonomic war.

Yams, Sweet potato'e's, Kaukau, Taro, the little things we used to dig up in the schoolyard at Urangan State School in Queensland and say "Blackfella food"?

It had to happen.

What genus, what species?

What dialect of Australian/UKers/Yank/Southern US/Southern English/Northern English/ Ugandan English/Mexlish/Nigerian English etc are we speaking here?

(Where is Elck, Abdul of Acerbia, anyway?)

It's up to you.

You've got to nail it for Linnaeus.

Glad I don't have my own blog to be accountable to!



We always prick our spuds or kaukau before Microwaving too, Pat. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and yams (Dioscorea alata) are different. By comparison, yams are dry, floury and flavourless. I don't go much on taro either, but we grow them because the leaves are so attractive.

S. potato is easy to grow S-Sider. Any hidden corner of the garden will do, or between fruit trees like ours. Just plant a tuber or cutting from a variety you like, mound over with plenty of mulch and keep damp, not wet. They prefer full sun and a lighter soil enriched with compost or manure.

I quite liked the sweet potato brownies I made because I like the taste of carob as well as the strong spice flavour of ginger and cinnamon, but they are not nearly so more-ish as the real thing! (and would certainly not be a good propostion for your next school fete.)


Jude, I've just done a bit of research on Pat's question. It seems that in the US there are two varieties of the species Ipomoea batatas - one called Sweet Potato and the other called Yam. I found it of interest that batatas is an Arawak word. I only learned of the Arawak through following M's Caribbean adventure on the web. The Arawak were the first Amerindians seen by Columbus on the island of Hispaniola. Which explains why the Irish say "badadoes"!!

Unfortunately I also found the following not so good information for diabetics: "In sweet potato there are 50% more calories per unit weight than in Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum) but less protein."

Here is the URL for that info:


You spoilsport, Tj. I suspected that about the calories, but didn't want to be told. Why then would diabetics be told it was preferable to eat sweet potato?


Presumably because Sweet Badadoe is said to have a low GI - Glycaemic Index. The GI of a food is a measure of the rate of absorption of the sugars contained in it. The slower the rate of absorption, for a given amount of sugar, the easier it is for the pancreas to handle the increased need for insulin, and for the tissues to handle the increased need to store or use the extra sugar.

Talk of GI is all the go at the moment. It gives people permission to eat things, once they have checked out the GI.

I prefer the philosophy of "Don't hardly eat anything!", but that does not sell well, and people don't like the grammar.


Thanks SugarBabe. That's almost exactly what I would have said myself about Sweet Batatas.


Thanks for the research. This is fascinating. The reason he switched to mostly sweets is the white thing...white potatos do turn to sugar faster. The calorie thing probably balances out because he doesn't put anything on the sweet potato, but does put a bit of..used to be butter, but now is Smart Balance on baked potatos. The only problem with that is, due to some new medication he's taking, he's not supposed to have too much of foods that are overly high in potassium, and sweet potatos are good sources of potassium. Jude's "don't eat hardly anything" certainly applies to him. Only of course, diabetics have to eat regularly. Eat what regularly is another issue. He's got a number of conditions and either the conditions themselves or medications he takes for them seem to contraindicate almost every form of nutrition that exists, including a number of normally very healthy foods.


Dear Jude ,
Thanks for the info on growing sweet potatoes - we will certainly try it. As far as baking brownies go, I might look into it when I've had a chance to recover from the last lot of baking I did.They do sound better for your health than regular brownies.

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