Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simply yammy

I have just finished watching seven episodes of Discovery Channel's mythbusters back to back. It's a helluva lot of fun (watch it, you won't regret it) and it got me excited about busting a myth I've held true for the longest time: are Yams fattening?

First of all, let me just clarify something that has been annoying me no end. Yams are not sweet potatoes, regardless of what the Americans say. When they cook yams at Thanksgiving, most likely they're talking about sweet potatoes. Candied yams? Yup, sweet potatoes. Yam wedges? Once again, sweet potatoes.

Thankfully, I realised this difference before I actually attempted to candy a taro yam (I shudder to think of having to swallow that disaster) but just in case anyone else isn't so lucky, I thought I would clarify.

OK. Back to the mythbusting. I have always approached yams with caution cos I assumed that because yams were so starchy, the were highly fattening. So, though I love em, I eat them sparingly.
But recently, I’ve been having multiple chance encounters with yams. Not only do they seem to be coming at me at the markets, quite a few friends and family have served me yams in the past couple of months. Now, I believe that the universe sends us signs of things to come (hello, I am so NOT loony) and I figured these had to be more than happy coincidences.

I decided to look up the nutrition value of yams on the Internet. Why I never did this before, I don’t even know. Well, like I said: timing and universal direction.
What I found is that yams, in fact, are pretty healthy food. Check this out:
Well, it definitaly doesn’t quite come close to watching cuties Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Torrie Belleci busting myths but I’m pretty pleased that this here  myth about yams  is now "Busted".
And so what did I do? I bought myself some yams and made some yam balls. The easiest thing to make: Steam yam, mash (leaving some small chunks) and add carrots (chopped very very small) and spring onions (also chopped very very small) and season with salt and pepper and some cardamom. I also added some vegetarian dried shrimp (?!!? - you can buy this at vegetarian produce stores) for good measure.

Shape the mixture into balls (size:  golf ball) and shallow fry or bake. If you are baking, add a dribble of oil in the mix when shaping.


  1. Indeed! Yams are not sweet potatoes as I keep telling the grocery store assistant when ever I'm looking for sweet potatoes. And I owe you a sweet potato casserole recipe. Yam balls look yummy, gotta try them!

  2. Thanks for the headsup on yam. The calorie count link went to yam as in sweet potato. Had to do a search for 'taro root'. That's the one, right?

  3. yes it is. Oops will rectify my mistake... sorry bout that Argus Arrootus or maybe in this case, Argus Yamfromtaiping


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