Mashed ‘Sweet Potatoes’ (AKA Yams)

Ashley Walton —  December 3, 2012 — 2 Comments

I learned the hard way that while people throw around the terms “yams” and “sweet potatoes” interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. Wanting to make what’s commonly called “mashed sweet potatoes,” I bought something at the store labeled “sweet potatoes.” When I returned home and peeled the “sweet potatoes” I found that they were hard, white potatoes– not what I was looking for. So on the second trip to the store, I bought yams, and these were right on. Peeling them revealed their soft, orange flesh. Score!

To make mashed yams, you’ll need:

  • 2 medium-sized yams
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • vegetable steamer

1. Peel and chop up the yams into 2-inch chunks.

2. Steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Mash sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add 3 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp of brown sugar. Mix.

4. Place the remaining butter and brown sugar on top of each serving for extra buttery, sugary goodness. Enjoy.

Ashley Walton


Ashley has 15 years of experience in content, she has led teams of 80+ content creators, and she has taught numerous university courses on media. She's the founder of Content Maven, and at the end of the day, she hopes to make the world a better place, one piece of content at a time.

2 responses to Mashed ‘Sweet Potatoes’ (AKA Yams)


    It’s pretty easy to distinguish between yams and any other kind of potatoes; yams are pointy, prolonged and when fresh have a sweeter smell.

    The proper name for the yam is actually Batata in many languages.
    Contributing to the confusion is the fact that Batata in other languages is the word for the ordinary potato.

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