Yam, originally from Africa, is a Jamaican staple that is consumed by most Jamaicans daily, typically boiled and served with boiled dumplings along with a protein. “Yams are made up of complex carbohydrates, Vitamin A, and dietary fiber which helps to maintain healthy skin and supports healthy bone development. Yams are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron manganese, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6 which helps in maintaining a healthy immune function”.
Most Jamaicans only consume yam boiled, up until recently, so did I. I was not aware of the versatility of this tuber vegetable. Neither was I aware that there were so many types of yams. Some of which includes:
- White Yam (Dioscorea rotundata)
- Purple yam, Ube (Dioscorea alata)
- Chinese yam (Polystachya)
- The lesser yam (Esculenta)
- The bitter yam (Dumetorum)
- The cush-cush yam (Dioscorea trifida)
- Dioscorea hirtiflora subsp, busala (native to Africa)
- The air potato (Bulbifera)
- Yellow Guinea Yam (Dioscorea cayenensis)
Yams can be served fried (like potatoes) in a porridge form, as a juice, or pounded (popular in Africa). The possibilities are endless.
Gather all ingredients
Cut yams into small cubes and boil in water until cooked (should be tender once pricked with a fork). Set aside.
Blend all ingredients until combined. You can add water or milk to the mixture if it is too thick to get it to your desired consistency.
Jamaican Yam Punch
A deliciously unique way to consume Yam.
- 2 pounds Yams
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Allspice
- Cut yams into small cubes and boil in water cooked (tender). Set aside.
- Blend all ingredients until combined. You can add water or milk to the mixture if it is too thick to get it to your desired consistency.
- Once blended, serve immediately. The punch will thicken if left overnight.
If the cooking methods highlighted above don’t suit your fancy, you can always experiment to come up with unique ways to serve this nutritious vegetable.
You are only limited by your imagination.