The Versatility Of Yam: A Background, Recipes, and Preparation Guide

The Versatility Of Yam: A Background, Recipes, and Preparation Guide

Published by Efe on 26th May 2022

Yam is a versatile tuber that is often overlooked in favour of more popular vegetables like the potato. However, yams offer a wealth of health benefits and can be used in a variety of recipes. In this article, we will provide a background on yams, discuss some of their health benefits, and provide several recipes that you can use to incorporate yams into your diet. We will also explain how to prepare them properly so that you can enjoy their delicious flavour and nutritional benefits! Get your yams here.

Background on Yam

What is Yam?

Yam is a root vegetable that is closely related to the sweet potato. Yams are native to Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and have been cultivated for centuries. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their skin can be white, yellow, brown, or purple. The flesh of the yam is also white, yellow, or orange.

Yams are an excellent source of carbohydrates, dietary fibre and antioxidants. They are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and B complex, as well as minerals like potassium and manganese. Yams have a low glycemic index, which means that they are slowly digested and absorbed by the body, and do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Health Benefits of Yam

The health benefits of yams are numerous. Here are just a few:

- Yams are a good source of dietary fibre, which aids digestion and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

- The carbohydrates present in yams are slowly digested and absorbed by the body, providing a sustained source of energy.

- The antioxidants present in yams help to protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.

- The vitamins and minerals present in yams support the immune system, improve vision, and promote healthy skin and hair.

- The low glycemic index of yams makes them an excellent choice for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.

How to Prepare Yam

Yams can be prepared in a variety of ways. They can be baked, boiled, roasted, or mashed. Yams can also be added to soups, stews, and casseroles. When selecting yams at the grocery store, look for tubers that are firm and free from blemishes. Avoid yams that are soft or have been stored for a long time, as they will not be as flavourful.

Baking Yams

To bake yams, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the yams thoroughly and slice them into thin rounds. Place the yam slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and golden brown.

Boiling Yams

To boil yams, wash them thoroughly and cut them into small pieces. Add the yam pieces to a pot of boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain the yams and add them to soups, stews, or casseroles, or mash them with a little bit of butter for a delicious side dish.

Roasting Yams

To roast yams, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the yams and slice them into thin rounds. Place the yam rounds on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and golden brown.

Recipes made with Yam

Now that you know how to prepare yams, why not try incorporating them into some of your favourite recipes? Here are a few ideas and how to prepare them:

Nigerian Yam Porridge

This dish is a staple in Nigerian cuisine. To make it, boiled yam is mashed and then cooked with water or broth until it forms a thick porridge.


- Yams

- Water or broth

- Onion

- Red palm oil

- Chili pepper

- Basic seasoning

Method of preparation:

Boil the yams and mash some of them in the water or broth when they are cooked. Cook the mashed yams on medium-low heat until it forms a thick porridge. Add onions, and chilli peppers, and use your basic seasonings. Allow it to simmer a little, then stir and add the red palm oil. Leave to cool for five minutes, stir and serve hot.

West African Yam and Plantain Stew:

This hearty stew is a popular dish in West African countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast.


- Yams

- Plantains

- Beef or chicken

- Tomatoes

- Onions

- Green peppers

- Garlic

- Ginger

- Curry powder

- Salt

- Pepper

- Coconut milk

Method of preparation:

Boil the yams and plantains until they are soft. In a separate pot, sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger. Add the beef or chicken and cook until it is browned. Add the tomatoes, green peppers, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Add the yams and plantains and stir. Pour in the coconut milk and allow the stew to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with rice or bread.

Yam and Sweet Potato Casserole:

This casserole is a delicious and easy way to use yams. It can be served as a side dish or a main course.


- Yams

- Sweet potatoes

- Cheese

- Chicken broth

- Cream

- Butter

- Onions

- Garlic

- Salt

- Pepper

- Brown sugar

- Cinnamon

Method of preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and slice the yams and sweet potatoes into thin rounds. In a pot, cook the onions and garlic in butter until they are softened. In a casserole dish, layer the yam and sweet potato rounds.

Pour the cream and chicken broth over the top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Top with cheese slices and dot with butter. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the casserole is golden brown and bubbling.

Yam and Black Bean Stew

This stew is a delicious and hearty way to use yams. It can be served as a side dish or a main course.


- Black beans, drained and rinsed

- Ground cumin

- Chilli powder

- Olive oil

- Onion, chopped

- Garlic, minced

- Vegetable broth or water

- Peeled and diced Yam

- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

- Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Method of preparation:

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they are softened. Add the ground cumin and chilli powder and cook for a minute longer.

Add the black beans, yam, and vegetable broth or water. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot.

Yam and Banana Bread

This bread is a delicious and easy way to use yams. It makes a great breakfast or snack.


- Yams

- Bananas

- Eggs

- Flour

- Baking powder

- Salt

- Butter

- Sugar

- Cinnamon

Method of preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a loaf pan. In a bowl, mash the boiled yams and bananas. Add the eggs and stir to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until everything is combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Other ways you can use Yams for your cooking

- Add roasted yam slices to salads for a touch of sweetness and extra nutrients.

- Enjoy a healthy snack of baked yam chips dipped in your favourite dipping sauce.

How to store Yams

Yams can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. To keep yams fresh for longer, store them in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cupboard. Yams can also be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you have cooked yams, they can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

Allergies associated with Yams

Although yams are generally considered to be a healthy food, some people may be allergic to them. The most common symptom of a yam allergy is gastrointestinal distress, such as cramping, diarrhoea, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating yams, it's important to see a doctor or allergist for diagnosis and treatment.

In severe cases, yams can cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention. If you have a yam allergy, it's important to carry an epinephrine injector with you at all times in case of an emergency.

Where to buy Yams and the ingredients used in cooking the above recipes

Yams can be bought from local stores, supermarkets, and online grocery stores. If you are looking for a unique and all-in-one online grocery retail and wholesale store for ethnic groceries, then you should check out our website at We sell quality grocery items; all items are available online on pre-order only, to be delivered the next day, anywhere in the UK! Shop with us today.

Wrapping Up

There are endless possibilities when it comes to recipes that include yams. Get creative and experiment with different flavour combinations. Yams are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. With a little bit of creativity, you can make yams a part of your favourite recipes. Try out some of the recipes above and see for yourself how versatile yams can be. Bon appetit!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the versatile yam! Be sure to try incorporating them into your recipes for a nutritious and delicious meal. Thanks for reading! Do not forget to get your yams ad other grocery items here