Tips on Baking Yams
Yams and baking yams has become a favorite dish in many parts of the world, especially in the southern United States. These orange sweet potatoes were first introduced in the south many decades ago, and because producers did not want any confusion with regular potatoes, they began to call these sweet potatoes, yams. Although these two plants are very similar, they are not exactly the same.
The word yams, is derived from the African word "nyami", and it is this word that was used when referring to this sweet potatoes like plant. In the United States yams are a potato like food that has orange flesh. Although yams and sweet potatoes are very much alike, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the word yam be present on all packaging of this food.
Sweet potatoes and baking yams are a great food source for those people who like to be health conscious. At one time yams were mainly prepared as a holiday treat, but today people are paying a lot more attention to their health and yams have become a year around dish in many parts of the world.
There are as many ways to prepare yams, as there is to prepare potatoes. Baking yams with herbs and spices make a very delicious dish, but there are several ways in which you can use yams. People use smashed yams to feed babies; in addition to using yams in salads, breads, deserts, casseroles, and even in main dishes. Yams are really a fantastic way to add color as well as nutrients to any dish.
Yams can be baked or boiled, and they keep well in the freezer for later use. To freeze yams for later use you will first want to wash them, and then boil or bake them until they have become just slightly soft. If you are boiling them, it is important that you drain them as soon as they are ready so they do not become overdone and mushy. You will then need to let the yams cool completely before placing them in freezing bags.
Some helpful hints for baking yams include baking large batches; this will save you a lot of time and energy.
- When you freeze large batches of yams you will have plenty available whenever you need them to add to different dishes, without the problem of preparing them for each dish.
- Canned yams are easier to use in some recipes, but not all. In many cases the partially cooked and frozen yams will work much better, especially for baking yams.
- Reducing calories in some of your favorite yam recipes is fairly easy. Simply reduce the amount of sugar or butter you use in your recipe by about 25%; you should still have a great tasting dish, but with only one fourth of the calories and fat.
- Baking yams to serve with meals really isn’t difficult, when it comes to baking whole yams you may want to bake them in their skin. Simply wash the yams and wrap them in tin foil or place them on a baking sheet. Unlike regular potatoes, the meat of the yams will ooze out of the skins as they cook and this could get a little messy. You may also want to coat the skins with butter, or you can even wrap bacon strips around the yams and hold them in place with toothpicks. Bake yams at 350F for approximately 1 hour.
- Baking yams that are peeled and cut into smaller pieces does not usually reduce baking time very much. If you plan to add other ingredients such as spices or marshmallows, you’ll want to use this method to bake the yams. Place the yams in a baking dish; after you have added all ingredients you’ll want to cover with foil and back at 350F for about 45 minutes.