Yams - Also Known As Sweet Potatoes
Let's cook up some yummy yams for a delicious and nutritious
snack. You can call them "yams" or you can call them "sweet potatoes." The main
thing is to call FOR them . . . to eat!
Yams are world-famous for being one of the very best foods
for your body's health. They have vitamins and minerals in them that help fight
off cancer, prevent heart disease, and make asthma and arthritis easier to live
with. They taste sweet, and have a pretty orange color.
About 400 different types of yams grow all over the world,
including large crops in Africa, where they very popular. The word "yam" comes
from "nyami," the African word for this vegetable. But yams didn't start out in
Africa. They have been grown in Central America for thousands of years. It is
believed that Christopher Columbus brought them from the Americas back to
Europe in 1492, and they spread to other places, including Africa, after that.
Yams kind of taste like carrots, which
isn't so surprising, since both yams and carrots are "root vegetables." That
means that they are food plants which are grown for their roots that grow
underground, not for their green leaves or fruits that grow above-ground. What
you are eating is actually food energy that the plant stored up for itself, to
Yams are high in fiber, which helps your digestion. There
are a lot of nutrients (pronounced "NOO-tree-ents") in the skin of a sweet
potato. If it is organically grown, you can eat the skin. If it is not labeled
organic, it's probably best to peel it before you cook it or eat it.
You can bake, microwave, steam, boil or fry yams.
Let's steam ours!
Recipe for a Yam Snack
You will need: one yam, a vegetable peeler, a knife and cutting board,
one pan with lid, water, a steamer, brown sugar, butter, fork
Put about an inch of water
into a pan on the stove. Bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the yam. Have an
adult help you cut it into five or six chunks. Put the chunks into the steamer.
Put the steamer down into the boiling water. Put the lid on the pan. Steam for 5-10
minutes, or until tender. Poke with a fork to check if the yam chunks are soft.
Drain away the water by carefully holding the lid slightly off and letting the
water trickle out into the sink. Watch out that you don't get burned by the
steam! Then put in about one tablespoon of brown sugar and one tablespoon of
butter. Mash with a fork. EAT!!! And share with a friend!