You have to admit: yams are pretty freakin’ cool. Not only are these bright orange (sometimes yellow and purple) nuggets nutritious and packed with stuff you need like potassium and Vitamin B6, but they can help you reduce blood pressure and your risk of heart disease. Plus, their slow-release complex carbohydrates and fiber fill you up without making your pants too tight.

Yams are always a better option than plain old potatoes, nutritionally speaking, and they can often be used in place of potatoes in a variety of recipes. Here are my top 5 cool things to do with yams (bonus: they are all SUPER easy!)

Photo courtesy www.notjustbaked.com

Photo courtesy www.notjustbaked.com

YAM TACOS

Toss some peeled, diced yams and wedged onions in a mixture of cumin, salt, pepper and a little olive oil (you can even add some cayenne if you like ‘em spicy). Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them at around 400° F for 20 minutes (stirring them at the halfway point). Poke them with a knife to check that they’re cooked all the way through.

Once your yams are roasted, stuff them into some warm corn tortillas with your favorite taco toppings, like fresh salsa, cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of cheese. Yum!

Photo Courtesy of www.alaskafromscratch.com

Photo Courtesy of www.alaskafromscratch.com

BAKED STUFFED YAMS

Yams are so versatile, you can pretty much stuff these babies with anything your heart desires! All you have to do is pierce them a couple times with a fork, and bake them at 400° F for an hour. Cool them a bit, then cut a slit down the middle and scoop out most of the insides, being careful to keep the skins intact so you can stuff them again.

Now, for the stuffing, mash the yam insides with a little bit of butter and your favorite herbs and seasonings, such as chives, garlic, thyme – whatever you feel like! Then, spoon the seasoned mixture back into the potato skins, top with a sprinkle of cheese and bake again for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts. You can also try topping the finished potato with your favorite chili!

Photo Courtesy of www.canyoustayfordinner.com

Photo Courtesy of www.canyoustayfordinner.com

MASHED YAMS

This one is as simple as it gets. Proceed as though you were going to make regular old mashed potatoes, but use yams instead! Leave the skins on, or peel them, dice them, boil them until tender, mash them up with whatever your taste buds demand, and voila!

Yam-Recipe.jpg

BBQ YAMS

Warm up the grill! Yams are also delicious on the BBQ. Slice them into ¼ inch pieces, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place them directly on the hot grill for about 5 minutes per side. Serve them with a drizzle of your favorite vinaigrette.

These are a great substitute for the traditional BBQ potato packages, and make a complementary sidekick to whatever protein you’re grilling!

Photo Courtesy of www.livinglovingpaleo.com

Photo Courtesy of www.livinglovingpaleo.com

YAM HASH

My kryptonite is basically fried breakfast potatoes… or fried potatoes of any kind, at any time, for that matter. Roasted yams make for a much healthier version of the breakfast potato hash.

How to do it: toss some diced yams and other hash-worthy veggies of your choice in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, coarsely chopped fresh garlic, and herbs and seasonings (I like fresh rosemary or smoked paprika). Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them at around 400° F for 20 minutes (stirring them at the halfway point). Poke them with a knife to check for doneness.

Serve with your favorite kind of eggs and some sautéed or steamed greens to balance out a delicious and nutritious breakfast!

These are just a few ideas, so if you like to get creative in the kitchen, yams are the perfect canvas. Let us know which one’s your favorite in the comments below!
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