Friday, January 27, 2012

Yams are Yummy!

I just discovered a new food to love.  Yams!! A yam bought in the United States is most likely not a yam at all.  The true yam comes from Africa and Asia and very rarely comes this far.  The yellow-ish fleshed root vegetable we find here in the states is actually a sweet potato.  Most of us know sweet potatoes as the moist, red fleshed vegetable similar in size and shape to the "yam" I am speaking of. 

I recently bought one of each of these sweet potato varieties.  What I discovered was that I LOVE the yellow sweet potato (sold as a yam)!  I buy and eat sweet potatoes on occasion, because I know that the red flesh is loaded with nutrients.  I have started just baking with some olive oil and afterward squeezing the juice of half an orange over the top, then eating right from the skin.  The sweet potato (either version) is loaded with fiber and anti-oxidants. Vitamin A and phytochemicals are plentiful, making this a good cancer preventative.  Of course, this starchy vegetable is full of potassium and carbohydrates, as well. 

The carbs made the sweet potato a vegetable to avoid when the low-carb craze began.  This is what is wrong with the low-carb diets.  We need to avoid or eliminate high carb foods that offer little to no nutrients and keep eating those like the sweet potato that have great nutrient benefits.  Yes, you're going to get a lot of carbohydrates from this root, but it's worth it (unless you have diabetes or a metabolic disorder).  The blood sugar and nutrient boost from a sweet potato makes it great for part of a post-workout meal!

The "yam" I recently discovered has yellow flesh and the flesh is less mushy and more dry like a regular potato.  This is what I liked most.  If the mushy flesh of the sweet potato is part of why this hasn't become a regular part of your diet, then try "yams."  These are so deliciously sweet, I can't imagine doing a candied version with brown sugar and marshmallows.  Not necessary!  It was absolutely delicious as is.  I have been told by others that it is possible to bake wrapped in foil, refrigerate and then pack in a cold lunch to eat cold- skin and all.  After being cold, the sweetness of the vegetable seems to expand!

Will you try this yellow sweet potato?

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