Yummy Yams (also on YouTube*)& CranOrange Sauce

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The afternoon light from my vertical kitchen blinds made a nice pattern on the table, so I left the blinds open.

Yams, sweet potatoes, and acorn or butternut squashes are all popular this time of year, especially for the holidays. Their orange color is an indication ofa  good source Vitamin A.  Here are brief definitions of these three foods from wikipedia.com or bing.com:
Yam
– the starchy, tuberous root of any of various climbing vines of the genus Dioscorea, cultivated for food in warm regions.
Sweet potato-  a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae with large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots.
Acorn squash-an acorn-shaped dark green winter squash (Cucurbita pepo) with a ridged surface and mildly sweet yellow to orange flesh.
Butternut Squash– bell-shaped squash: a beige-colored winter squash shaped like a club with a bulbous end and firm yellow-orange flesh.

Any of these foods can be used in the Yummy Yam recipe, but I like jewel yams because of their deep orange color.

Utensils: Baking pan, potato masher, grapefruit spoon or regular spoon,mixing bowl, potato masher, oven-proof dish
Prep. Time:  About 15 minutes to prepare, once yams are baked
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Categories: Vegan, Gluten-free, No sugar or salt added

Ingredients

3 or 4 medium-sized yams (or squash equal to that amount)
one tablespoon olive, macadamia, coconut or walnut oil
one tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (or cloves)
whole cranberies

Directions

1. Wash & scrub yams and place on a baking pan in a 350-375 degree oven. (If you have large yams, feel free to cut in half or score.)
2. Once yams can be pierced with a fork, remove & allow to cool slightly. (Keep oven on if you do step 3.)  Remove skins or scoop out flesh & place in a mixing bowl. Add oil and spices. Mash with potato masher until smooth.
3. Place in oven on broil for a few minutes to brown the top. (optional)
4. Garnish with whole cranberries & serve hot.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
Variation: Garnish with walnuts or pecans

* Note: Here’s the link to my YouTube preparation of this dish: http://youtu.be/nIIKRtW1xCk

P.S. I rec’d this in my email from Life Extension Foundation (www.lef.org) & thought it was worthy of passing along, especially because November is National Diabetic Month.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012. Squash is mostly starchy carbohydrates but studies show it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties, a U.S. food expert says. “Squash includes both winter and summer varieties, some examples include, zucchini from the summer and butternut, buttercup, acorn, pumpkin and kabocha from winter,” Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said in a statement.




I was able to find two brands of organic cranberries


Cranberries are a nutritional powerhouse. As part of the berry family, they contain Vitamin C & fiber (when used whole as in this recipe) Like other berries, they are rich in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that are a class of bioflavonoids. (For words in bold italics, see Glossary). These proanthocyanidins are responsible for the color change s in autumn leaves, so when you celebrate Thanksgiving, you are in tune with autumn’s colors.

In cranberries they are responsible for neutralizing free radicals that are considered responsible for damaging the body, contributing to degenerative diseases.  Cranberries are also heart-protective as well as the more well-known remedy for treating urinary tract infections. Finally, the proanthocyanidins stabilize collagen, which is a protein that helps connective tissues, blood vessels, and muscles stay healthy. Oranges are also a good source of vitamin C & pecans or walnuts are good sources of good fats.

Source: Cranberries: a side dish for your health by Victoria Dolby, M.P.H. in Better Nutrition, Jan. 1999.

(The shadows in my kitchen at night created this odd tone. Also, when I put the other half of the orange next to this one, the picture looked like a woman’s breast, so I decided to use only half an orange!!)

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, grapefruit knife, blender/food processor, small bowls or monkey dishes
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Gluten-free, Vegan

Ingredients

One orange
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or chopped pecans, soaked
1/4 c. whole, organic cranberries, rinsed
1-2 tsp. orange juice
1 tsp. maple syrup (optional)

Directions

1. Soak the chopped pecans or walnuts in a small amount of warm water while preparing the orange.
2. Wash the orange skin. Cut in half crosswise with a sharp knife. Using a grapefruit knife, cut around the inner edge and remove the flesh.
3. Using the sharp knife, chop up the flesh and place in the blender.
4. Add the cranberries, orange juice, and maple syrup, if using. Drain the pecans or walnuts and add to blender.
5. Puree to desired consistency. Place the mixture back inside the orange halves, adding a whole cranberry for garnish, and serve in small bowls.

Each whole orange serves 2 people.

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