Looking for a new way to cook yams? Well, you've come to the right place! In this blog post, I'll share some of my favourite tips for cooking with yams. Yam can be ready in many different ways and will taste delicious in any combination. It's perfect for making healthy and tasty meals. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to learn more!
What is a yam?
A yam is a root vegetable that is popular in many cultures around the world. It is usually long and tubular and has thick, brown skin. The flesh of yam can be white, yellow, or orange and is typically starchy and slightly sweet in taste. Yams are great fun to grow, and they also happen to be a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can be boiled, baked, or mashed and are often used in soups, stews, and casseroles. Many people confuse yams with sweet potatoes, but they are actually two different types of vegetables. Sweet potatoes are shorter and sweeter than yams and have reddish-brown skin. So if you're ever unsure which vegetable you're looking at, just remember that yams are the long ones with brown skin!
6 Tips for Cooking with Yam
Yams are easy to cook with, and they're worth it. Here are six tips for cooking with yams.
1. Choose the right yams
Selecting the right yam is just as important as choosing the right ingredients for cooking. You'll want to make sure that the yams you choose are firm, smooth, and free of cracks or soft spots. Avoid any yams with a lot of mould or fungus and those that have been harvested too small or too large. If your yam still has its leaves attached, they should be green and healthy-looking.
Similarly, avoid buying overly soft yams—this could mean the tuber has been stored for too long or it's not fresh enough for cooking use.
2. Wash them before cooking
Yams are pretty rugged, but they need to be washed and scrubbed before using them in your recipes. This is an excellent time to check for any blemishes or bruises and wash the skin with cool water and a brush. Don't peel the yam until you're ready to cook it. They have to be stored in a cool, dry place—like the ones you use to store potatoes! It's also important not to use soap or detergent when washing yams because these can leave residue on their skins that can cause discolouration during cooking.
3. Prick them with a fork before cooking
Pierce the yams with a fork before cooking them. Use the tip of a sharp knife to pierce each yam all the way through, and then place them on a baking dish or in a pan. You can also wrap each yam in aluminium foil, which works well if you are using them as side dishes for other foods such as meatloaf or chicken casserole.
If you are making mashed sweet potatoes that will be served warm, prick them with a fork first, so they don't burst while they bake in the oven—and because it makes serving easier!
4. Make your yams ready for eating using any of these methods
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Also, pierce the yams with a fork several times, then bake them until they're soft and fluffy, usually about an hour to 90 minutes depending on their size—when they're done, they should feel delicate when you poke them with a fork or knife.
Serve baked yams as a side dish or main course; they're delicious by themselves or served alongside other dishes such as stewed greens like kale or collard greens, grilled steak, or chicken breasts drizzled in lemon juice and olive oil for extra flavour! You can also mix it up by adding some other vegetables like carrots into the mix too, if you want something more filling like that!
Cook them in a slow cooker
If you're looking for a way to prepare yams, consider using a slow cooker. Using a slow cooker is an easy, affordable way to cook your yams without worrying about them burning on the stove or in the oven. Slow cookers are convenient because they can be left unattended and used for other dishes such as soups, stews, and meats.
Cut them into large chunks to steam your yams and place them in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover the pot and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a fork into the yams; they should be slightly soft to the touch (but not mushy).
Clean the grill. The first step in cooking yams on your grill is to make sure it's clean. You don't want any residue from previous meals to get on your yams and make them taste bad. Next, heat the grill to medium-high and wait for about 10 minutes before putting in your yams. Once they are on the grill, cook them until they are tender (this should take about 15 minutes). Turn them halfway during cooking so that both sides get cooked evenly. When done cooking and taken off the fire, serve immediately!
Microwaving is a quick way to cook yam, and you can microwave it in a dish with about 1/4 cup of water for about 5 minutes (or until soft). Or, you can take the skin off the yam and microwave it whole for about 10 minutes. Allow cooling before peeling and serving.
Boiling is a common way to cook yams. It takes longer than other methods and requires more attention, but it's simple enough.
Fill a big pot with water until it's about halfway complete, and pour salt into it (about one tablespoon per gallon of water). A large pot will ensure you have plenty of room for all your yams without them getting smashed or crowded against each other as they boil down in size.
Bring your salted water to a boil over high heat before adding the yams—this will ensure that they'll cook evenly by cooking them all at once instead of one after another in small batches throughout the process; this also reduces the risk of overcooking as you'll have more time on hand to check on them while they're boiling away!
Once added, bring back up again until simmering before turning down the heat slightly so that there's still movement but not too much splashing around (we don't want those little guys moving too vigorously). Let sit for 10-15 minutes, depending on how soft/hardy you like yours cooked!
Test one by cutting through the centre with a knife tip; if the knife goes through with ease, then ready!
5. Don't cook too many at a time
When cooking yams, one of the most important things to remember is not to overcrowd them. Don't overcrowd your pot if you're boiling or steaming. If you are baking, make sure that they will fit on your pan and that there is enough space to bake evenly without touching each other or any edges of the pan. If you are deep-frying, avoid putting too many at once because the oil temperature can drop too low and lead to soggy results.
6. Cook for the correct amount of time
Cooking time is an essential factor in achieving the right texture, flavour, and overall appeal of your dish. Cooking yam for too long or not long enough can result in mushy or dry yams.
Cooking yams is a simple process. Most of the time, you'll want to roast or boil them before using them in your recipes.
Yams should be roasted for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or until pierced with a fork and browned on the exterior.
Boiled yams should be boiled until tender when pierced with a fork and soft enough to mash easily. You should boil them for 25-30 minutes or until soft enough to mash easily if you plan to mash them later on down the line.
Yams are healthy when cooked and prepared properly
Yams are not only tasty but also incredibly nutritious. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function correctly. Yams contain high amounts of vitamin A, B6, C, potassium, and magnesium.
They also have a good amount of fibre which aids in digestion and helps you feel full longer (lasts up to 6 hours). The antioxidants they contain help fight off free radicals that damage our cells and cause disease on a cellular level, leading to cancer or Alzheimer's Disease.
Yams are also a great complement to any meal because of their protein level.
For those who like to try something creative in the kitchen, yam is a vegetable that you can explore and prepare with all your heart. It is crisp, delicious, and nutritious. The flesh of yam is white, soft, and starchy. The nutrients yam contains are starch, zinc, iron, and calcium, making this vegetable very beneficial.
Next time you cook up a batch of delicious yams, keep the tips we've shared above in mind. You'll enjoy the sweet, wholesome taste that these bulbs bring to any meal, and your family and friends will appreciate your efforts as well.