by Cat, Nov 2013 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
See also: Root Veggies (About)
While a true yam is not related to the sweet potato (and is generally not found in US markets), the darker orange colored sweet potato is called a yam. And that is the meaning intended here. Both the light-colored, and orange colored sweet potatoes can be prepared the same way; however, the ‘yam’ is sweeter.
Yams are rich in beta-carotene (vitamin-A precursor); vitamin C; vitamin B6; and important minerals: manganese and potassium. Like most root veggies, they also have a healthy amount of fiber (in the form of inulin). (21)
The yam can be baked much the same as a regular potato, or you can peel and bake them with a bit of butter and water or fruit juice. Both versions are detailed here.
Plain Baked Yams
This recipe is adapted from The Freckled Foodie blog (2).
- Line a baking sheet with foil (optional) and preheat oven to 425 – 450F.
- Pierce through the skin of the yam in several places all around the yam(s) with the tines of a fork (to avoid explosions in the oven), and place them on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Using tongs, turn each one over, then bake another 20 – 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer yams to a cooling rack, scraping off blackened drippings. Let them cool just a bit so you can cut them into serving portions; or, if they are small, leave them whole and cut a slit along the top, to serve.
Savory Baked Yams
This is my own recipe, and my favorite way to prepare this wonderful, sweet veggie. Highly recommended method if using purple yams, as they provide the most nutrients if they are steamed.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Butter bottom and lower sides of a casserole dish.
- Peel yams and cut crosswise into 2″ sections. Arrange sections in casserole dish.
- Add enough filtered water, unsweetened cranberry juice, freshly-squeezed orang juice, or fresh apple cider to be about ¼” deep in the casserole dish. Sprinkle yam pieces with ground coriander, cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg, depending on what savory flavor you want; Unrefined sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper. Dot with more butter.
- If the casserole dish does not have a lid, fit a piece of waxed paper over the top of the dish then aluminum to hold the waxed paper in place; otherwise, set lid in place. This is to allow the yams to cook in steam.
- Bake in preheated oven about 1 hour, until tests fork-tender.
- Serve as is, or mash them to serve.
- Worlds healthiest Foods on sweet potatoes: whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
- Freckled Foodie blog on baking a sweet potato: thefreckledfoodie.com/how-to-bake-a-perfect-sweet-potato/