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I’m participating in the 2020 Juneteenth Cookout Takeover. An initiative established to encourage the celebration of Juneteenth, a jubilee of freedom to commemorate the end of slavery and to amplify the food traditions of black culinary creatives.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth (a merge of the words/date June Nineteenth) is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States. June 19, 1865, marks the day when news of the end of the Civil War and emancipation finally reached the last group of slaves in America. General Gordon Granger made his arrival to Galveston, Texas announcing that enslaved people were free. This news also took two years to reach the last group of enslaved people.
Since that time and for over 150 years, it has been traditional for Black American families, chefs, home-cooks, and culinarians to commemorate this summer holiday with a wide range of food traditions that tell a story of the perseverance of a people. Today I will be celebrating by including a list of black culinary creatives and their delicious recipe, be sure to check it out and enjoy my contribution of Easy Candied Yams.
Easy Candied Yams is a delicious side dish that combines sweet yams, with butter, sugar, and spices. Rich, tender, and full of flavor. Sure to be popular with everyone at the table.
Candied yams are a southern staple and soul food classic. They are the perfect combination of sweet potato, butter, sugar, and spices.
Sweet, buttery, caramelized goodness.
For years I avoided making these because my mom makes the best version and so I didn’t feel it was necessary for me to take on the task of making this dish. I didn’t even bother to learn. It just wasn’t important. That is until recently when I was craving them and didn’t want to bother asking my mom to whip up a batch.
I chose to give her a call and ask her how to make them and was floored when she told me how easy it is to make them. Her version requires making the syrup separately and pouring on top of the cooked sweet potatoes. However, this is the lazy gal version and it turns out just as delicious.
Let’s get started!
What is a Candied Yam?
A candied yam is a southern classic dish that is actually made using sweet potato. The sweet potato is cut into pieces and covered with butter and two different types of sugar. Once heated the mixture combines to create a sweet and buttery syrup which carmelizes the sweet potato pieces to make candied yams.
Do yams and sweet potatoes taste the same?
No, they do not. Real yams are native to Africa and are a root vegetable that looks similar to the bark of a tree. It has a more starchy flavor, similar to a regular potato. Yams can be purchased in speciality markets.
Sweet potatoes are more commonly found in grocery stores. They are sweet and have a reddish-brown outer skin with an orange sweet flesh in the center. It is not uncommon for sweet potatoes to be labeled as yams in supermarkets.
What ingredients are needed for Candied Yams?
- Brown Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
How to Make the Best Candied Yams:
Place the cut yams into a pot and cover with water. Bring the yams to a low rolling boil and cook until they have a bite and can be pierced with a fork.
Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grab a square baking dish. Drain the water off the yams and carefully pour evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.
Sprinkle the top of the cooked yams evenly with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Spread the granulated sugar and brown sugar over the yams to evenly distribute.
Top with the cubes of butter evenly over the top.
Place the yams into the oven to bake 10 minutes. The butter should be melted and the candied mixture at the bottom of the baking dish. Remove the baking dish from the oven and gently toss the candied yams to evenly cover in the mixture.
Place back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the yams are fork-tender. Serve while still warm as a side dish to compliment any meal.
Easy Candied Yams
- 5 large yams (sweet potatoes), peeled and cut in large chunks
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, cubed
- Place the cut yams into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil and cook until they have a bite and can be pierced with a fork. Careful not to over-cook, they should not be fully cooked, just enough to soften. Approximately 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Drain the water off the yams and carefully pour into a square baking dish.
- Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Spread the granulated sugar and brown sugar over the yams evenly to distribute.
- Top with the cubes of butter evenly over the top.
- Place in the oven to bake 10 minutes. The butter should be melted and the candied mixture at the bottom of the baking dish. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and gently toss the candied yams to evenly cover in the mixture.
- Place back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the yams are fork-tender. Remove from the oven and spoon the candied mixture evenly over the top. Serve warm and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Want more delicious side dish recipes? Try these:
2020 Juneteenth Cookout Takeover
Have any comments, questions, or other delicious ideas for these Easy Candied Yams? Please share them in the comments below!