If you love yams and sweet potatoes, you don’t have to wait for the holidays to make them. Take advantage of their brilliant color, sweetness and health benefits all winter long. Here at Chez Grace, we like mashed yams best. A side of these alongside a crunchy autumn salad with chunks of romaine, baby kale, lightly steamed Brussels sprouts and walnuts makes for an easy supper any day.
The good news: They’re hardly any trouble at all if you have a slow cooker and a stick blender handy. Early in the day, scrub your yams, peel them if you like, chunk them, throw them in your slow cooker, drizzle a little olive oil over them, and by lunch time, they’ll practically mash themselves.
Easy side dish for your holiday guests who don’t enjoy candied yams
Most of our gang loves candied yams, dripping with syrup and topped with golden-crusted marshmallows. Some of us? Not so much. Once I discovered I wasn’t the only one, I volunteered to bring the un-candied yams. They are always a hit, even with the folks who so eagerly take big helpings of that gooey alternative.
Slow cooking your yams and sweet potatoes makes your holiday planning just a little quicker and easier, especially if you have to map out your oven time and cooking space days in advance to be sure everything comes out hot and perfectly done when you all sit down to dine.
Peeled or unpeeled, just as tasty either way
Sometimes I peel them, sometimes not, but if I don’t, it takes less than 5 minutes to fill my 1-1/12 quart slow cooker with chunked yams like these. The skins give us extra fiber and, to my mind, add a little subtle, earthy flavor that jibes nicely with the sweetness.
If the skins are tough or extra pocked, I peel my yams. Either way, I toss the chunks with a little olive oil, pop them in the cooker, set it and walk away.
Use a powerful stick blender to make quick work of the mashing
You could almost mash these sweet potatoes with a fork, they come out so tender, but my Breville stick blender gets them super smooth in about one minute. Can’t beat that! (Unintended pun, but think I’ll keep it.) See my review of this blender on HubPages: The Breville Stick blender, one of my most-used kitchen tools.
Easy mashed yams in the slow cooker recipe
This dish is delicious plain, and that’s our favorite way to eat them, but I have fun tinkering too. Sometimes I add a dash of cinnamon, curry powder, or garam marsala when mashing, to give the goodies a little extra oomph. Give them a try, then tell me what you think in the comments at the end of this page.
My small slow cooker, the one I use for just the two of us, is old and quite basic. No fancy doo-dahs. I set the temperature to high for the first hour to assure the yams reach a safe temperature as quickly as possible. After that first hour, I turn the dial to “low,” and wait for the heat and moisture to do its magic, about two more hours in this cooker. Cooking times vary according to pots, so adjust to suit yours.
- 1 -1/2 to 2 lbs Yams or sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and chunked
- 1/2 C cold tap water
- 1 T Extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch Salt (optional)
- Fill 1-1/2 quart slow-cooker with chunks, leaving just enough room for lid to rest snugly.
- Add ½ C cold tap water.
- Drizzle olive oil over top.
- Cover & set slow cooker to high for one hour to assure it reaches safe cooking temperature quickly, then reduce to low and cook for 2-3 hours till fork tender.
- Turn off crock pot and let cool just enough to handle pot safely.
- Pour cooked yams into large bowl.
- Sprinkle salt over all to taste (optional).
- Mash and serve plain, or garnish with a dollop of fresh butter or Greek yogurt.
For a light supper with complementary textures and color, serve with a crisp and crunchy green salad made with romaine, baby kale, lightly steamed baby Brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts tossed in a light mustard vinaigrette.
This is a YayYay’s Kitchen original recipe. Please link back to this page if you base a recipe of your own on this one.
Candied or plain?
Are you a candied yam fan? Or do you gag like I do? (It’s embarrassing, isn’t it?) What’s your favorite way to eat yams and sweet potatoes?
♥ ♥ ♥
Dear Readers: If you think you’ve seen this recipe before, you may well have. In November 2013, as a writer on the now-defunct site Squidoo, I first published this recipe under the user name graceonline. In August 2014, HubPages, where I am known as ecogranny, bought Squidoo. I opted to have my Squidoo pages, including this recipe, transferred to the new site. Now, in February 2017, I’ve brought it home–to YayYay’s Kitchen.
♥ ♥ ♥
This post is shared on Seeking Joyful Simplicity | Blog hop #42.