Candied Yams: What’s Behind This Side Dish Controversy

Candied yams have long been one of the favorite side dishes for the holidays. They have the reputation of adding the festive smells, taste and atmosphere to any holiday table. But now they’re growing more popular year around because of many factors. For example, the growing season is longer, the storage procedures are better which helps keep cost down to the consumer and the imports are up from other countries. All these factors help make yams available year around in most areas of the country.

So, with all these factors working, these tasty recipes are exploding in popularity and served at more dinner tables than ever before. Another reason is the internet, where people can find an abundance of recipes, cookbooks and videos on how to prepare candied yams recipes.

The dilemma comes mostly from health experts who looked the other way when people consumed this dish during the holiday months. But now that they are consumed more often, a growing number of health experts are putting their foot down to how traditional recipes are prepared. Although tasty, the traditional dish is loaded with calories. For example high amounts of sugar, butter and salt.

The answer to this growing controversy is coming from a growing army of health food experts who have tested alternative ingredients. Theses alternative ingredients help to add a healthy element to the recipes while maintaining the taste we all love and cherish

1. Agave Nectar can be purchased at most health food stores. It’s 1 to 2 times sweeter than granulated sugar without the negatives. The result, you can use less of it to get the same amount of taste as sugar.

2. Orange Juice can be used also to add a healthy element to this recipe. The vitamin C content combines with the natural sweetness can replace granulated sugar.

3. Nuts can also be used to add a interesting crunchy and healthy twist to candied yams. Walnuts and other soft winter nuts can be used to add a natural sweet element instead of sugar.

4. Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil is recommended as a substitute for butter. Note: Not all Coconut oils are the same. Make sure Organic Cold Pressed is on the label.

5. Raisins are another element many health experts recommend because of it’s healthy benefits and they also help to add sweetness to the dish without the need for processed sugar.

All these tips are helping to quiet the candied yams controversy for more and more people. Try them in your next candied yams recipe to give it a healthy twist.

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