Yams are a staple food in Africa.
They are also known as sweet potatoes or cassava.
In Nigeria, they are called Egusi.
Yams are native to tropical regions of Central and South America, Asia, and Africa.
The tuberous root has a starchy white flesh and a thin skin.
It is usually cooked and eaten with stewed meat.
Yams are very versatile.
They can be baked, boiled, fried, roasted, steamed, mashed, added to soups, or even used as a thickener.
If you want to preserve them, try these simple methods
How to preserve yams
Yam Dioscorea spp is a tuberous root vegetable native to tropical Africa. It is cultivated worldwide for its edible tubers, which are used as a staple food crop in many countries. Yams are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
How to preserve raw yams
Raw yams are very perishable. So if you are planning to store them for long periods of time, it is advisable to freeze them. To freeze yams, wash them thoroughly and cut into pieces. Put the pieces in freezer bags and freeze them. After freezing, remove the frozen yams from the freezer and place them in a bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the yams and let them soak overnight. Drain off the water and put the yams back in the freezer until needed. This process helps to retain the nutrients and flavor of the yams.
How to preserve cooked yams by refrigerating
To preserve cooked yams, simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. Make sure that the yams are not exposed to air because they will lose their texture and color. Yams stored in this way will last for about two weeks.
How to preserve cooked yams by freezing
To freeze cooked yams, simply remove from the fridge and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, cut into cubes and transfer to freezer bags. Freeze until solid. Remove from freezer and store in a sealed container. Frozen yams will last for about six months.
How to preserve yams by dehydrating
Dehydration is a great way to preserve vegetables. It works well for root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, beetroot, celery root, radishes, onions and garlic. Dehydrated vegetables retain their nutrients and flavour better than frozen or canned vegetables. To dry vegetables, place them in a single layer on trays lined with baking paper and leave in a warm oven about 110°C for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave the tray in the oven overnight. Alternatively, spread the vegetables on screens set over wire racks and leave in a warm airtight cupboard for 24 hours. For longer storage, pack dried vegetables in airtight containers and freeze.
How to preserve yams by canning
Canning is another method of preserving vegetables. This process involves packing vegetables into jars and adding a liquid called a ‘jelly’. The jelly helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Vegetables suitable for canning include tomatoes, green beans, peas, corn, pumpkin, winter squash, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, okra, leeks, onions, garlic, herbs and spices.
How do you store yams in the freezer?
Yams are sweet potatoes, not true yams. Yams are usually cooked before eating. However, if you want to freeze yams, you can peel them and cut them into cubes. Then put them in freezer bags and store them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can thaw them and eat them.
Can you freeze yams raw?
Yes, you can freeze fresh uncooked yam. Yams are very versatile vegetables. It can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, side dishes, desserts, and salads. Yams are available year round but peak season is from October to December. Yams are harvested during the fall months and stored in cool areas until needed. Yams are usually sold in supermarkets and farmers markets. Yams are available in different sizes and colors. Yams are sweet tasting and nutritious. Yams are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and protein.
How do you store yams for a long time?
Yes, you can freeze sweet potatoes without cooking them. Just place them in a freezer bag and label them. Once frozen, remove from the bags and store in a plastic storage container. Sweet potato chips are delicious served straight from the freezer.
How do you freeze raw yams?
Yams are a root vegetable that is native to Africa and Asia. Yams are very easy to peel and slice into cubes. Once sliced, you can either bake them or boil them. Boiling yams is the easiest way to cook them. To freeze yams, simply wash them thoroughly and place them in freezer bags. Store them in the freezer until needed.
Can you freeze sweet potatoes without cooking?
Yams are a root vegetable that grows underground. Yams are available in many different colors such as white, yellow, orange, purple, red, green, blue, black, and brown. Yams are usually stored in the refrigerator because they lose moisture quickly if left outside. To store yams properly, wash them well and cut off any damaged parts. Then wrap them in plastic bags and place them in the freezer. This way, they won’t spoil.
Can you freeze fresh uncooked yams?
Yes, you can freeze yams raw. Yams are not only delicious but they are healthy too. Yams are rich in vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, fiber, protein, and dietary fiber. Yams are also low in calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Yams are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, and even as a side dish.
Can I freeze raw yams?
Yam tubers are generally stored in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. Yams can be frozen for up to three months if properly stored. To freeze yams, wash them thoroughly and cut into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Place the pieces in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag and freeze until solid. Do not thaw before using.