Yams are a starchy vegetable which can vary from ivory to deep purple in color. According to the USDA, these root vegetables are a good source of potassium and Vitamin A. Yams can be baked in either the oven or the microwave. Cooking time will vary depending upon the size of the yam and whether they are baked whole or sliced.
Scrub yams clean before placing on a baking sheet. Whole yams should be baked in a hot oven at 400 to 450 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Check the yams occasionally with a fork during cooking. When they're done, the fork will slide in easily with little resistance.
Yams can also be sliced or chopped before baking. You can season yams before baking by pouring a little oil and the herbs of your choice into a Ziploc bag. Add the sliced yams and shake them in the bag until they are well coated. Then place them on a baking sheet. It is important to arrange the yams in a single layer on the baking sheet; if they're crowded, they'll take longer to cook. The cooking time will also depend on how thick or thin the yam has been sliced. The thinner the slices, the faster they will cook in the oven. Cook the slices at 400 degrees for 10 to 30 minutes. Thickly sliced yams may take up to 45 minutes to cook. Watch sliced yams closely and don't let them burn.
Yams will cook faster in the microwave than in the oven. To cook whole yams in the microwave, scrub them clean and then pierce the skin of the yam with a knife in several places, to prevent pressure from building during cooking which could cause the yam to explode. Place yams on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for five minutes. After five minutes, use a fork to check for doneness. If the fork goes in easily, remove the yam from the microwave and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. Small yams may be finished cooking at this time, while larger ones may still be solid and uncooked. Yams that are still hard after five minutes of microwave cooking time can be cooked at one- to two-minute intervals until they test done.
- The Victory Cookbook Wartime Edition; Ruth Berolzheimer; 1944
- USDA Yam Nutritional Information