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What Are Baby Yams?

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  • Written By: J. Gonzalez
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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Baby yams are the young, edible roots of the same plant that produces fully-grown yams. The coloring of baby yams can range from deep yellow to orange flesh, while the skin on the outside is a usually a pale salmon color that is smooth to the touch. There are actually over 200 varieties of yams on the market, and partly due to the popularity of mature yams, baby yams are paving the way for farmers to branch out into a new crop for farming. Immature yams can be use in any recipes that call for yams, or even sweet potatoes.

Yams are easy-to-prepare vegetables that are packed with nutritional benefits. Eating baby yams frequently can provide a substantial amount of carbohydrates, vitamin C, and thiamin. Root vegetables such as baby yams are also excellent sources of potassium, vitamin B6, and protein, which can keep the stomach feeling fuller for longer periods, helping to curb overeating. Many vegetables have more nutrients when enjoyed raw, but that is not that case with yams; in fact, when eaten raw, yams can prove to be toxic.

When choosing fresh yams from the produce section, it is important to know how to identify the freshest produce available. Choosing fresh baby yams will ensure the longest shelf life possible. Look for yams that are smooth on the outside and free of cracks in their skins. Produce with soft or discolored areas should be discarded, as this shows signs of rotting.

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Storing baby yams is as easy as selecting them. Keep all fresh yams in a cool, dry area that is free of extra moisture and excessive heat. If yams are stored properly, they can have a shelf life of up to a week, possibly longer. Once yams begin to show significant signs of aging, they should be thrown away, but if they are firm and only slightly discolored in certain areas, those areas may be removed before cooking.

Prepare yams by running them under cool water to remove any residue stuck to their skins, such as dirt. It is not necessary to peel the skins from yams before cooking, although some chefs choose to do so. Baby yams cook at the same pace regardless of whether they have been skinned. Once yams are cleaned and prepared, they are delicious baked, roasted, boiled, or steamed.

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Raynbow
Post 3

@talentryto- Another benefit of baby yams is that they are usually less expensive than large, fully-grown yams. This is because most yams are priced by weight, and baby yams weigh less than older yams.

Ocelot60
Post 2

@talentryto- I don't think that baby yams and full grown yams have different flavors, but I do think that baby yams are more tender and less stringy than larger, older yams. I think that they are also easier to prepare, because they are more tender than older yams. This makes baby yams easier to peel and slice.

Talentryto
Post 1

I have never tried baby yams. I'm wondering if there are any differences in their flavor, or if there are any advantages to eating them instead of fully-grown yams.

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