Why wait for the holidays to bring yams to your table? You can serve this tasty, nutritious, and super-versatile veggie year-round in recipes from quick breads to fries.
Generally, in the United States, orange-flesh sweet potatoes are labeled yams while the pale variety, with light yellow skin and flesh, are labeled sweet potatoes. However, vegetables sold as yams in one market may be sold as sweet potatoes in another. Fortunately, yams and sweet potatoes can be used interchangeably, and both are considered superfoods by nutrition experts.
Yams (that is, orange-flesh sweet potatoes) are available year-round, but their peak season is winter. When purchasing, look for small to medium yams that are smooth, firm, and free of soft spots. Store whole, unpeeled yams in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week. Do not refrigerate yams, as they can dry out.
Tip: One pound yams equals about 2 medium yams or 2-3/4 cups cubed.
Yams can be used in many ways. For side dishes, they're often boiled or baked (peeled or unpeeled). They can be added to soups, stews, and braises. Sometimes boiled yams are mashed to serve as a side dish or for use an ingredient in quick breads and pies.
Read on for instructions on how to cook yams in popular ways, as well as for recipes for using yams.
How to Boil Yams
To boil yams, follow instructions for How to Boil Sweet Potatoes.
How to Mash Boiled Yams
Tip: In a pinch, you can use canned sweet potatoes for recipes that call for boiled and mashed yams or sweet potatoes. For 2 cups mashed yams or sweet potatoes, drain one 17.2-ounce can whole sweet potatoes, if necessary, and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or electric mixer on low speed. Measure the amount needed for the recipe.
How to Bake Yams
Baked yams make a simple and nutritious side dish for anything from meat loaf and steaks to grilled chicken and fish. Here's how to do it.
How to Microwave Yams
Short on time? Here's how to use your microwave to get your yams table- or recipe-ready in minutes.
How to Make Candied Yams with Marshmallows
This is it: Our recipe for the classic yam side dish -- the one with marshmallows. It's so easy but always a hit at family gatherings. This recipe serves four.
1. Gather the Ingredients
2. Prepare the Yams
3. Bake the Yams
Tip: If you like, you can add 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Walnuts and pecans work especially well.
How to Make Yam Oven Fries
Here's how to make yam fries in your oven for a more colorful, tasty, and nutritious alternative to regular french fries.
Tip: Cut each fry to an even thickness. Because yams contain more sugar than regular potatoes, they tend to burn easily and cook unevenly if cut too thin.
How to Add Yams to Oven-Baked Pot Roast
Like other root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, yams can be added to pot roasts during the cooking time to make hearty and warming one-dish meals. Here's how.
How to Add Yams to Soups and Stews
Cubed yams make a colorful, flavorful addition to soups and stews. Slice the yams into 1-1/4-inch cubes and simmer in the soup or stew during the last 20 to 25 minutes of cooking or until tender. Looking for ideas? Try yams in this recipe for Pork and Sweet Potato Stew.