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Will your traditional Christmas dinner boast of sweet potatoes or yams? Most likely whatever you call that orange-colored root vegetable, you will serve sweet potatoes. A good number of people think of sweet potatoes as yams, regardless of their true identity. Even if it’s sold as a yam, in the United States almost all of this valued vegetable, regardless of color or shape, will be sweet potatoes.

Yams, grown primarily in the Caribbean, have a different taste, texture, and appearance. Sweet potatoes vary in color from the well-recognized bright orange interior to white and even purple. Noted for its high content of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber, it is also high in antioxidants but considered low in calories. It’s all that sugar and butter lathered on them that make the calorie count go ballistic.

Sweet potatoes are a great choice on holiday menus and a versatile addition to any meal from main course to desert. For the holidays, try plain baked sweet potatoes. Bake a batch of medium-sized potatoes about one hour in a 350o oven. Eat straight from the oven or use for varied dishes.

Treat yourself and your holiday guests to a taste-tempting breakfast. Slice peeled baked potatoes lengthwise and heat. For a special treat, brown slightly in butter and serve with turkey bacon.

If you prefer a sweetened dish with your holiday dinner, cut lengthwise, place in a baking dish, drizzle with lite maple or plain syrup and heat in oven or microwave. This will satisfy a sweet tooth yet have a lot fewer calories than those rich casseroles with extra goodies

In addition to all the nutrients, sweet potatoes are economical this time of year and often on super sales. Take advantage of this great food. Whether you call it a yam or by its correct name, nothing beats a great sweet potato.

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