Yams are the perfect carbohydrate for anyone who is looking to swap out their regular potato for a more complex carb. Complex carbs are great for our bodies as our digestive system takes longer to break them down. This means that we stay fuller for longer and we also get a pretty tasty meal out of them too! The yam is just one of the delicious complex carbohydrates that you can choose from and we have to admit, it is one of our favorites!
Yams come in all shapes and sizes! They can be boiled, mashed, fried, and baked. Usually, yams last for up to two weeks in our cupboards so freezing yams are actually a good idea. By freezing your yams, you can save some dollars and also reduce your food waste!
So in simple terms, yes, you can freeze yams! It’s actually a great idea to do so. Freezing your yams can increase their shelf life up to 12 months! Can you believe it? You never have to be without our beloved yam again. We want to share with you all the best way to freeze your yams so that you keep all of their tasty goodness intact.
How to freeze yams
We first want to start off by saying that we always recommend preparing your yams before freezing them. Freezing a raw yam just doesn’t give the same outcome. If you freeze them raw, you are risking losing the texture and sweetness of your yam. You don’t want that, do you?
Let’s start off by prepping your yam. Decide whether you would like to bake or boil your yam. If you are boiling, peel and slice your yams into bite size pieces. Next, heat up a pan of water on the stove. Add the yams and season with a little salt. Cook through for ten to fifteen minutes. At this point, the yams will not be cooked all the way through but that is part of the process!
If you are baking your yams, you can either bake them with their skins on or you can peel and slice into chunks. If you choose to keep the skin on, gently pierce the yams with a fork before placing them into the oven. Whatever way you choose to bake your yams, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the yams onto a baking tray and sprinkle with oil and seasoning of your choice. We love salt, pepper and a dash of paprika! Then bake for forty to sixty minutes until fluffy inside.
For both methods, you will then want to keep your yams to the side to cool them thoroughly. For boiled, drain the water from the pan and place the yams into an airtight container. For baked, remove from the baking tray and place into an airtight container. Only seal with a lid once you know that your yams have fully cooled down. Then you can add the lid and place into your freezer. Remember to add a date to your containers so you know when you need to eat them by.
If you prefer a mashed yam, follow the instructions above for boiled yams and then add milk or butter to make it easier to mash the yams together. Once you are happy with the consistency of the mashed yams, you can place them to the side to fully cool. Then, once they are room temperature, place into a resealable plastic bag and label with the date you are freezing them.
How to defrost yams
Depending on the way you have previously prepared your yams, you will need to defrost them differently so take note! If you have boiled your yams, you can reheat them straight away from the freezer. This is because the air will actually oxidise the frozen boiled yams so they lose their sweet taste. If you don’t plan to cook them straight away either wait to take them out of the freezer closer to the time you need to cook them or you can put them into a pan of salted water. The salt water preserves them a little bit longer until you are ready to cook.
If you have baked yams, you will have to defrost them before cooking. This is because you will lose the crispy goodness on the outside if you don’t wait. Once the yams are completely thawed, you can heat your oven up to 325 degrees fahrenheit and place your yams into the oven to cook for 25 to 35 minutes. Then you will get the most perfect texture and taste!
If you are defrosting mashed yams, again, you will have to wait for them to fully defrost before reheating. Once they are ready, add them to a pan over a medium heat and stir in a dash of milk to soften their consistency. Begin mashing the yams together and add seasoning to your taste. To make them super creamy, a little knob of butter never hurt nobody!
We hope that this has opened your eyes to the world of frozen yams. Avoid unnecessary food waste and make the most of the yam when it is in season. Whether you are a lover of boiled, mashed or baked yams, you should definitely consider freezing them. Prepping a healthy meal has never been easier!
Important things to remember are to prepare your yams as you would normally. Also, to ensure that they are fully cooled before placing into the freezer. Our top tip is to always date your portions before placing them into the freezer so you know how long you have to eat your yams. By freezing your yams, you are extending their shelf life from two weeks to up to a whole year! Isn’t that amazing!
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your yams, get your favorite seasonings and prep to your heart's content! Your body will be so thankful when you are feeding it the healthiness and deliciousness of a yam!