Yams are healthy and nutritious tubors that are often used interchangably with sweet potatoes. While these vegetables are different than sweet potatoes in texture and taste, they cook similarly and can be added to any meal or menu. There are also different types of yams to choose from, and experimenting with different varieties in the same recipe can add even more distinction to the taste.
Boiled and Mashed
Yams boil and mash just like regular potatoes or sweet potatoes. Peel the yams and cut them into inch long pieces. Add them to boiling, salted water and boil until fork tender. Drain off the water and mash with butter or milk until creamy.
Roasting is a great way to cook yams with other vegetables. Substitute them for white potatoes in roasted mixed vegetable casseroles. Blend chopped yams with zuchini, eggplant, tomatoes and onions and toss with olive oil, salt and spices. Roast in a very hot oven until the vegetables are tender.
Frying yams is a popular way of cooking these starchy vegetables, and there are many ways to do it. Slice the yams very thin to make homemade yam chips, or make thicker slices for a tasty fried side dish. Pick different oils for frying to give the yams a slightly different flavor each time. Follow the directions on your fryer to get the texture you desire.
Baking is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to prepare yams. Place them right into the oven as they are, or wrap them in aluminum foil first to speed the cooking process. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour, then slit their tops or cut them into smaller pieces.
Use yams to create a colorful, nutritious, and delicious pasta substitute for a wide variety of entrées or side dishes. Yam pasta is especially tasty for pasta salads or dishes that don't require heavy sauces. Use a mandolin to cut the yams into very thin, long strips. Cook them on the stove top in butter and chicken broth until tender and use them in place of traditional pasta.
Grilling yams gives them a smoky, bold flavor with a crisp outside and a rich, soft interior. This is the perfect dish to go with a barbeque dinner in the summer or any time of year. Slice your yams into one inch pieces, brush them with olive oil, and place them directly on the grill until tender.
If you can't get outside to grill, broiling your yams gives them a similar taste and texture, while preparing them in a very short time. Julienne or slice the yams into thin pieces for faster cooking, coat them in olive oil, and arrange them on a tray beneath the broiler. Broil on high for five to 10 minutes, then flip them over and broil for an additional five minutes until cooked through.
Flavorful Yam Options
With so many options for cooking yams, it's easy to add this flavorful vegetable to any menu. Try your hand at making candied yams or substitute yams in sweet potato recipes for a little twist. No matter how you prepare them, they will be a tasty addition to dinner tonight.