These humble looking root veggies are nutrient packed superfoods in disguise! They are a great source of fiber due to their thick skins, though the flesh also contains fiber. They also are a good source of vitamin C & some B vitamins, though these are diminished through the cooking process. Yams contain a unique phytoestrogen that is the building block for estrogen, which is great for women entering menopause. The high vitamin B6 content is also helpful for women combating symptoms of P.M.S. The orange color of the inside of a yam tells us that it contains beta-carotene, which as mentioned in Decembers newsletter is a precursor to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is better absorbed by the body when fats are present, so feel free to drizzle on the olive oil or add a dab of butter to your tuber!
The label “Yam” & “Sweet Potato” are often used interchangeably, but they are actually different foods. Yams have a orange flesh inside, whereas sweet potatoes are closer to a white color inside their peel. There are about 200 different varieties of yams however, so they do vary greatly. Yams have been around for a long time! They’ve been cultivated in Africa & Asia since 50,000 B.C.E.
New Years resolution to cut down your sugar consumption? Eating more root veggies can help with cravings! The glycemic index of yams is lower than that of sweet potatoes, so don’t mix them up at the grocery store! A great way to incorporate more yams into your diet is by baking them in the oven. The potatoes can be cubed and roasted amongst other vegetables or alone. A popular preparation technique is to cut them long and thin as Yam Fries!
Yam Fries Recipe
- 1 medium yam
- olive oil to coat
- spices of choice
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cutting them yam into the preferred size & shape (the smaller the pieces are cut, the quicker they cook), toss the pieces in a large bowl with just enough olive oil to coat. Season to taste, tossing to evenly distribute. A simple seasoning of sea salt & black pepper is sufficient, but feel free to get creative with any spice blends you may have in the kitchen making them either sweet, savory or spicy! Place the yam pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a oven proof dish. Check after 20 minutes of baking (overbaking will result in mushy yams!) and continue to bake longer if required. Enjoy!