4 Healthy Ways to Prepare Yams and Sweet Potatoes

While you may have seen yams and sweet potatoes at your local grocery store, chances are you have no idea to prepare them-at least not in a healthy way. The next time you’re searching for an idea for a side dish, throw out the old Russet potatoes, and instead grab some yams or sweet potatoes. No matter if you bake, grill or mash them, you will be guaranteed a dish that is as delicious as it is nutritious.


One of the easiest ways to prepare yams and sweet potatoes is by baking them. When baking a sweet potato or yam, start by washing the outside and scrubbing with a brush. Use a fork to poke several holes on the outside of the potato, and bake at medium-high heat until the yam or potato is fork tender. Serve warm with a small amount of butter, and enjoy. Your family will be begging you for more.


Another great way to prepare sweet potatoes or yams is to grill them. This is a great alternative to frying them. Not only will grilling these vegetables give them a great flavor, but it will also provide a satisfying crunch when biting into them. To grill yams or sweet potatoes, start again by washing and scrubbing the skin. Use a sharp knife to cut the potatoes or yams into evenly sized pieces. Brush a small amount of oil or melted butter onto the skin of the roots, and sprinkle with garlic, basil, or the herbs and spices or your choice. Place on a grill that has been heated to medium heat, and grill for about 10 minutes. Flip the yams or sweet potatoes after this amount of time has passed, and grill the other side until fork tender. Remove from the heat, and serve.


One of the most traditional ways to serve yams or sweet potatoes is by mashing them. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil. Use a sharp knife to cut washed yams or potatoes into evenly sized cubes, and place in the boiling water. Cook until the products are fork tender. Strain and mash. You may want to mix in a small amount of milk, butter, and herbs and spices to create your desired flavor.

In Desserts

One of the best ways to prepare sweet potatoes or yams, hands down, is in desserts. Sweet potatoes can be used in place of pumpkin in pies, cakes, cookies and bars. Since they’re sweeter than pumpkins, you can decrease the amount of sugar that you would traditionally use in the recipe. In some cases, sweet potatoes can be used in place of fats or oils. For example, the next time you are making a cake or quick bread recipe, try substituting the fat with some mashed sweet potato. The results will be a dessert that is not only sweet and delicious, but also surprisingly moist and much healthier for your waistline than traditional desserts.


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