I yam what I yam

Yams – those beautifully coloured winter vegetable that look so lovely on the shelf but many people know very little about them or how to cook them.

So here’s a few yamtastic facts…

Yams grown in New Zealand originate from the South American Andes where they are known as oca.

New Zealand yams are different from the tropical yams grown in other cultures. In America, and therefore in American recipe books, the vegetables known as ‘yams’ are in fact sweet potatoes similar to Beauregard kumara. Which is why when you want to google a yam recipie its best to put “NZ” at the end of your search.

Yams are generally available from April through to October.

Yams are eaten cooked and in this form the carotenoids are more available. Boiling or steaming minimises their oxalate levels. Serve whole or mashed. Use sliced in stir fries. The natural sweetness of yams is enhanced with ginger, orange or sweet and sour sauces.

Have a look at this great recipe for honey roasted yams

https://www.vegetables.co.nz/recipes/honey-roasted-yams/

Personally I love to roast them in a dish mixed with purple and orange carrots sprinkled with some cumin seeds, not only does the colour look pretty impressive on your plate but the taste is outstanding. Also keep an eye out for Yellow yams when they appear on the shelves as they are delicious!

In this mouth watering picture the yams are sliced in half and roasted with 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-2 tbsp dukkah.

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