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You can buy yams from June until October, with limited supply available in late autumn.


Storage and Handling

Store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating.



  • The yams that are grown in New Zealand originate from the South American Andes where they are an important vegetable crop known as oca



  • The sweet tubers are quite small, often about the size of your thumb
  • They are pink-orange in colour and have a slightly shiny and ribbed surface
  • Other varieties are available that are sweeter, slightly smaller and coloured yellow, apricot and gold
  • New Zealand yams are very different from the tropical yams grown in other countries
  • In America, and hence American recipe books, the vegetables known as ‘yams’ are in fact sweet potatoes like our Beauregard kūmara


Growing Facts

  • Plant in October and November
  • Yams need a longer growing time to produce tubers. They can be harvested from around May
  • Plant in similar manner to potatoes
  • Yam plant leaves look like clover

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 135g - red yams, unpeeled, boiled and drained

Avg Quantity per serving Avg Quantity per 100g
Energy (kJ/Cal) 336/81 249/60
Protein (g) 1.57 1.16
Fat, total (g) 0.28 0.21
- saturated (g) 0.042 0.031
Carbohydrate (g) 16.86 12.49
- sugars (g) 5.99 4.44
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.54 1.14
Sodium (mg) 0.0 0.0
Folate (µg) 58.52 43.35
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.297 0.22
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 117.03 86.69
Potassium (mg) 487.71 361.27
Riboflavin (mg) 0.162 0.12
Thiamin (mg) 0.08 0.06
Niacin (mg) 0.55 0.41
Iron (mg) 0.45 0.33
Zinc (mg) 0.297 0.22
Vitamin C (mg) 0.84 0.62
Calcium (mg) 4.74 3.51
Vitamin E (mg) 0.0 0.0
Selenium (µg) 0.0 0.0

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 8th Edition, Plant & Food Research

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