JAPANESE YAM FRIES
Processed carbs like pastas, crackers and breads lack nutritional value compared to the healthy carbs sourced from whole foods like potatoes. Potatoes are low calorie, have no fat, no saturated fat, and no cholesterol. Sweet potatoes and yams in particular serve as a terrific source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and an abundance of the good carbs that give us energy. They outshine white potatoes in the fiber department, keeping you fuller longer. A couple of years ago my partner kindly went to the store with my grocery list in hand and returned home with a bag of purple skinned root veggies when I had specifically requested sweet potatoes. Devastated by his mistake, I blathered on about the benefits of sweet potatoes and yams over white flesh, and he insisted defensively that he DID IN FACT purchase yams according to the sign in the aisle. I finally cut into one to prove myself right, and sure enough the flesh was white, not orange. I'm not one to waste food, so begrudgingly I steamed and served these unwanted white potatoes alongside dinner. After a hesitant taste, to my amazement, he HAD in fact purchased yams- a different kind of yam that I'd never had before, and one that is just as sweet and wonderfully delicious and healthy as the common orange colored yam! And just like that we had accidentally discovered Japanese yams, a purple skinned white flesh treasure, and we've never looked back ever since. These are a staple in our diet weekly, and I'm so happy to share this find in case you too have been in the dark.
The white flesh of Japanese yams turns a beautiful butter yellow color when cooked, and while the taste is similar to regular yams or sweet potatoes, Japanese yams are a bit starchier and arguably even sweeter- YUM! They are just heavenly simply baked and eaten plain due to the rich natural flavor, but they also work wonderfully in a few easy side dishes that we enjoy regularly. This week over the course of a few different blog posts I'll share my all time fave Japanese yam recipes. Why not start with baked fries? Nom nom nom....
BAKED JAPANESE YAM FRIES
(serves 1-3 depending on the size of the yam)
1 Japanese yam
1 tsp virgin unrefined coconut oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Rosemary to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Cut the ends off the Japanese yam and discard. Cut the yam in half, then cut each half into long sticks. Use hands to coat the sticks evenly with the coconut oil. Toss with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and optional rosemary to taste. Spread evenly on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until the bottom side turns golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until crisp, about 10 minutes.