Yam is a very rich food, both from a nutritional point of view and from a culinary point of view. With it you take care of your health and still prepare original, tasty and healthy dishes.
It turns out that to get all the benefits of this tuber it is very important to know how to cook yams.
For that, of course, there are always some tips and tricks. Let's learn?
Characteristics and curiosities of yam
Yam is a type of tuber, as are cassava, sweet potatoes and other different potato varieties.
Coming from Africa, the yam adapted to the Brazilian climate and did not take long to become popular in our cuisine.
On the outside, the yam can be recognized by its fluffy brown skin, while on the inside the tuber is light, almost white. Yams are similar in size to sweet potatoes, sometimes smaller, sometimes larger.
In some regions of Brazil the tuber may change its name. In the North and Northeast, for example, yams become yams and yams become yams. The difference between them is more in size, since the yam is larger, but the tuber is also differentiated by the bark that is less fuzzy and the pulp that is drier.
Benefits of yam
The yam could well be considered a super food. To start, yams are a great source of carbohydrates with the advantage of not raising blood glucose levels in the body, since it is very rich in fiber.
In other words, you can easily replace potatoes, rice and wheat with yams and continue the weightless diet on your conscience.
Even if you practice physical exercises, find out that yams are a beautiful source of energy. Each 100 gr of the tuber offers 96 calories for the body.
Not to mention that the yam maintains satiety for longer, avoiding inopportune attacks on the refrigerator.
Want more? So come on!
Yam is recognized for its ability to prevent cardiovascular disease. This is thanks to the B vitamins present in the food, especially vitamin B6, which is very important for the health of blood vessels.
Potassium, also found in yams, helps control blood pressure and frequency, decreasing the risks of hypertension.
In addition, yams still have phytosterols that control the absorption of cholesterol and help eliminate it from the body.
Yam is also super beneficial when it comes to immunity. Did you know that the tuber helps in the secretion of toxins from the blood? Yeah! It promotes a real cleaning in the body, which, of course, increases the body's defense capacity. This all adds up to the doses of vitamin C and B vitamins that are also present in the food.
Yam is rich in vitamin A and you know what that means? It is good for eye and skin health, promoting cell regeneration. The antioxidants present in the tuber also help with the elimination of free radicals and cell rejuvenation. It is no wonder that people who eat yams have the most beautiful and lush skin.
The relationship between the consumption of yams and the prevention of some types of cancer, especially colon cancer, is still under study. The substances present in yams, such as antioxidants and vitamin A can contribute to the prevention of this type of disease.
Studies are also being carried out to confirm the relationship between yams and menopause. According to the initial scientific data, yam has an enzyme that can help women during the menopause period, acting as a natural hormone repository.
How to cook yam
First of all, you need to know that yam releases a type of “drool”, similar to okra. This “drool” contains a substance known as calcium oxalate and which, in some people, can trigger allergies such as itching, redness and skin irritation.
That is why it is not recommended to eat raw yams, only cooked. If you have already peeled raw yams and have had no reaction, ok. But if you have not yet done the test or if your skin feels irritated, the ideal is to cook the yam previously with the peel and only then peel.
Once cooked, the yam loses that substance and can be handled and eaten without problems.
Another way to remove this “drool” is to place the raw and peeled yam (use gloves for this) in a basin with water and a little vinegar. Soak it for about ten minutes, drain the water and cook it the way you prefer.
To cook the yam with the peel, just wash the tuber well with the help of a brush and put it in the pan with enough water to cover, count ten minutes after boiling, turn off, wait for it to cool and remove the peel. You can return the yam to cooking if you want it to be softer.
In the common pot
To cook yams in the common pan, first wash, peel (if applicable) and cut into coarse slices. Put enough water to cover and add a pinch of salt. Wait for about 30 minutes or until you feel they are soft.
In the pressure cooker
The process of cooking the yam in the pressure cooker is similar to that of the common pot, the difference is in the cooking time.
Peel and cut the yams in half. Place them in the pan and cover with water, add a little salt, close the pan and cook for about 15 minutes after the pressure starts.
Turn off, wait for the steam to come out and check the texture of the yams.
The steaming method is the one that best preserves the nutrients in food and with yam it would be no different.
Here, you must peel, wash and cut the yams into small pieces. Then place it in the steamer basket. Count about 40 minutes until the yam is tender.
It is worth remembering that steamed yams are usually more dry.
In the microwave
And at the time of the rush it is even worth cooking the yam in the microwave. To cook the yam in the microwave you will need to peel, wash and chop the tuber. Then place it in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water, add a little salt as well.
Cover the bowl with its own lid or use a piece of plastic film, in which case remember to make holes in the plastic so that the steam comes out.
Turn the microwave on at high power for 15 minutes. After that time check if the yams are already soft, otherwise, come back for another two minutes.
In the oven
And finally, you can still choose to cook the yam in the oven. This is another very tasty and nutritious option to consume the tuber.
To do this, wash, peel and cut the yams into strips or slices. Then put them to cook for about ten minutes in a pan with water or steam, it can be in the microwave too. The idea here is that it will be slightly soft on the outside, but still hard on the inside.
The next step is to arrange the yams on a baking sheet smeared with oil. Use the spices of your choice, such as salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and thyme, for example. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, bake and bake the yams for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil to make it golden brown.
How to consume the yam
The yam has a neutral flavor and this makes the tuber an excellent option for sweet and savory dishes, especially for obtaining creams and thickening broths.
The tuber can still be consumed fried, like potatoes, roasted, in the form of puree or pure, accompanying that fresh coffee.
Yams can also turn into vegetable milk. Simply beat the cooked tuber in the blender adding water according to the thickness you want to obtain.
And then ready to bring the yam into your life?