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What is Yam (a healthy tropical root vegetable)

Last updated on July 30th, 2022 at 04:53 pm

Yam is a tropical root vegetable with many health benefits. This vegetable is delicious as a soup, boiled, fried, and added to stews and soups.

Today we will be talking about the typical yam found in the Caribbean. The same type is also found in Africa, many Latin Countries, and Asia. It is a staple food in those countries.

A few points about this easy to cook staple vegetable

Yam is a root vegetable that grows primarily in warm countries/islands native to Africa and Asia. It is similar to potato because of its starchy texture.

There are about 600 species of yams found around the world. The species depends on location and cultivation. This ingredient is not to be confused with sweet potatoes because they are also referred to as yams.

Actual or real yams have rough, dark skin. This type of yam is either white or pale yellow on the inside, and the texture is very different. It can also have a reddish color on the inside but not always. The reddish yam is not found everywhere.

Because the inside is a bit slimy, it is recommended to wear gloves when removing the skin. This way, you protect your hands from the flesh as it may irritate your skin. Once the skin is removed, cut into pieces, rinse and use in your recipe.

White Yam - caribbeangreenliving.com
White Yam

Health Benefits

Yams have many health benefits. Some of the benefits are:

  • A good source of energy
  • It helps reduce constipation
  • A good source of complex carbohydrates
  • It contains good amounts of antioxidant vitamin
  • It contains vitamin A, B, and C
  • A good source of minerals such as copper, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus

How to store white yam or yellow yam

Whether you buy white yam or yellow yam, storage is the same. Similar to plantains and potatoes, yams can be stored the same way in your vegetable basket or the pantry.

White Yam - caribbeangreenliving.com
White Yam

Where to buy and how to enjoy this wonderful vegetable

Tropical white or yellow yams are primarily found in West-Indian or Spanish markets. These days you can find it in your local supermarket near the potatoes, yucca, and plantains.

This vegetable can be enjoyed in many ways.

Yam can be boiled, fried, pureed, and baked, depending on the recipes. Many people prefer to boil it because it is easier to cook and serve with a meat, poultry, or seafood dish.

Here are a few dishes you can enjoy with boiled or fried yam.

Sources:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/yams.html

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Yam

Originally published March 2016. Updated to include more information.

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