Food/ Recipes

Simple Sweet Potatoes

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When I first moved to South Korea I though the Korean obsession with sweet potatoes was a little disturbing. I would find sweet potatoes in the strangest places, like on pizza. I didn’t understand it, probably because my palate was accustomed to the salty and sweet foods from “Standard American Diet.”

Once I cleaned up my eating habits my refined palate adored the Korean sweet potatoes. My previous sweet potato experience involved casserole dishes at Thanksgiving dinner, (you know the dish, full of marshmallow fluff and brown sugar). So I couldn’t really compare the sweet potatoes in Korea to the sweet potatoes in America, until now.

The Sweet Potatoes in South Korea are better, much better. (Sorry).

Another fun fact is that most people, (and even grocery stores), use the term sweet potato and yam interchangeability, but they are NOT the same. Here is an article that explains the difference: What’s The Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams? Still confused? Yeah, me too.


My favorite sweet potatoes have orange flesh on the inside. The Korean name for it is hobak goguma (호박 고구마), “pumpkin sweet potatoes“. I have not found this variety here in America, (yet). Sob Sob.

The “chestnut” style sweet potatoes in Korea is called is “bahm gog”. I found some the other day that are “close” in taste. (It made me happy). They are actually called Japanese yams, but I think they might really be sweet potatoes. They have a purplish skin, and are pale on the inside. I used them in a side dish the other day and I was pleasantly surprised by how SWEET they were.


They are called yams but ….


This recipe is SO easy, it might be my new “go to” recipe if I need to put something together for a pot luck at the last minute.

1.5 lbs of Japanese Yams
2-3 small carrots
2 TBS Organic Coconut Oil (I use Tropical Traditions)
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Wash, peel, and dice the sweet potatoes (yams). I cut them pretty small.
3. In a bowl mix the diced root vegetables with the coconut oil and salt.
4. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 350F for 40 minutes.

That’s it. It’s so easy and so delicious!! They are sweet with no added sugar!

I made this dish once before with the purple sweet potatoes and carrots too. That worked out well, but I have NOT been able to find that variety of sweet potatoes again. It is very frustrating. The purple variety is also naturally sweet and they make fantastic sweet potato chips. (I might just have to start growing my own sweet potatoes).

Ideally, I would want to bake this dish using three different types of sweet potatoes, instead of using carrots. Honestly, I just throw the carrots in there to add some color to the dish. I think it would taste even better if it was ALL sweet potatoes. (I know, I am obsessed, I think I lived in Korea too long).

The coconut oil in this recipe is really well hidden. Honestly. My husband does not like coconut oil and he said it was good. So if you are trying to sneak more coconut oil into your family’s diet, this is a quick and easy recipe you can try.

Let me know what you think! Could you taste the coconut oil?

Sweet Potato Side

I know, it doesn’t look fancy but it is so delicious!! For a similar taste but better presentation use the purple sweet potatoes!


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