The most amazing thing about these yams is not that they contain some fancy secret ingredient. The ingredients are simple and straightforward, but the technique makes these the best candied yams you’ll ever taste. Most recipes for candied yams instruct you to add sugar, butter, etc. to raw yams and bake. That method leaves you with syrupy-wet yams that I personally am not a fan of. Instead, this recipe, again a la Nana, requires you to partially bake the yams first before any butter or sugar join the party. What you get using Nana’s technique are hearty yams that highlight the natural sweetness already present in the potato–and no wet ‘yam juice’! They are great during the holidays. And I also like to eat them during the year topped with savory pinto beans.
Vegan Candied Yams
8 medium sized yams
1/4 cup earth balance
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
*Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash sweet potatoes. Prick with fork. Wrap in foil. Bake 25 minutes (until potatoes are soft to the touch, but not fully cooked). Let potatoes cool until they can be handled. Drop heat to 375 degrees F.
*Peel and slice sweet potatoes into large (approx 1 1/2 -2 inch slices). Add layer of sweet potatoes, earth balance in pats, vanilla, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon to baking dish. Repeat until all ingredients are in pan. Cover with foil. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until syrup is bubbling. Remove foil. Bake another 20-30 minutes until top is light brown and toasty.
Note: Baking times will depend on the size of your yams. Also, feel free to adjust the sugar amounts or to use other sweeteners depending on your preferences/dietary restrictions.