Less candy in the candied yams

Still sweet but not so candied yams.

Around the holidays food can be the focal point of a family gathering. Side dishes can enhance the main entrée significantly. This also a great opportunity to make slight changes to the menu that will have long-term healthful effects. Small menu changes can remove traditional calories while maintaining most of the same great taste, Michigan State University Extension recommends.

A candied yam (in some cultures used synonymous with sweet potatoes, example candied yams) is a great side dish for the holidays. A yam is similar in appearance to a sweet potato, even though the two are not related. Important differences are that yams are monocotyledons, larger in size, features thick, rough, dark brown to pink skin depending up on cultivar type, whereas sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are dicotyledonous, relatively smaller in size and possess very thin peel. Sweet potatoes are sweet and naturally are low in sodium and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and potassium and an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese.

You may click this link for nutritional facts on sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt.

My previous sweet potato recipe called for a half-cup of brown sugar and two cups of white sugar. I found a new faster way to cook my sweet potatoes and with this change I can enjoy them in 25 to 45 minutes. For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatoes

½ stick of butter

½ cup evaporated milk

½ cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Directions: Pour evaporated milk into a saucepan on medium heat. Add butter to the milk and stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Heat until smooth. When the sauce is done use as a dip or drizzle on the potatoes.

Oven baked: Heat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

Microwave: Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on high for eight to 10 minutes or until tender, turning the potatoes once.

When you dip or drizzle the sauce, you have more control over the sugar your family eats. They will taste the same amount of sugar that they taste in traditional candied yams.

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