Jamaican Yam Casserole

Jamaican Yam Casserole

Jamaican Yam Casserole is composed of sweet potatoes combined with banana slices, chopped pecans, toasted flaked coconut and flavored with orange juice. Jamaican Yam Casserole is actually a misnomer, as most vegetables referred to in the United States as “yams” are actually sweet potatoes.

Many people use the terms “yam” and “sweet potato” interchangeably but in reality they are two very different vegetables. Sweet potatoes are actually members of the Morning Glory family while yams belong to a family of starchy tubers grown in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. True yams may be found in Asian and Caribbean markets. There are more than 600 varieties of yams grown and 95% of these crops are grown in Africa.

Yams are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, yams are considered nutritionally inferior to sweet potatoes related to their high levels of beta carotene. Sweet potatoes originated in Peru and Equador. North Carolina produces the largest sweet potato crop in the US.


Sweet potatoes contain some great nutrients such as beta carotene, Vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and blood sugar regulating nutrients. Beta carotene is a strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is a well-known antioxidant and eating a diet rich in beta carotene is an excellent health recommendation.

The Recipe for Jamaican Yam Casserole

Jamaican Yam Casserole
Serves 2
A luscious combination of sweet potatoes, bananas, pecans and coconut flavored with orange juice.
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1-lb. can yams, drained OR use 3 medium sweet potatoes, sliced and cooked until soft
  2. 1/2 medium banana, sliced
  3. 1/4 cup orange juice
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  7. 2 tablespoons toasted flaked coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a buttered 1-quart casserole arrange sweet potatoes, banana. Pour juice over all. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with pecans and coconut. Bake, covered for 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. Optional: 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter may be added for additional flavor, if desired.
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Cookbook 1963
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Cookbook 1963
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Parting Comments

Recently I had three sweet potatoes that I needed to use up so I found this recipe in a Good Housekeeping Cookbook that was published in 1963. The recipe yield is 2 servings, so some multiplication might be in order If you need to serve more than 2 people. I would characterize this recipe as simple, fast and quite delicious. The orange juice acts as a flavor intensifier. The ingredients combine well to produce a great side dish.

If you like sweet potatoes as much as I do, you may wish to check out other posts I’ve written that featured sweet potato recipes:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Gluten-Free Crispy Sweet Potato Patties

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato Pancakes

When you need a light side dish to accompany meat, fish or fowl, try Jamaican Yam (Sweet Potato) Casserole! 

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Sweet Potato Pancakes – A Savory Side Dish

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes are savory pancakes that can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper, depending on what other foods you serve with them! Grated sweet potatoes and onions are mixed with eggs, flour, orange juice and zest and spiced with cardamom. Sweet Potato Pancakes are topped with a dollop of sour cream and applesauce, just like potato pancakes (latkes) are served. Of course you can use whatever you like for toppings, too!

The Recipe

Sweet Potato Pancakes
Serves 6
A savory side dish that would well accompany meat or poultry. Grated sweet potato and onions are mixed with eggs, flour, orange juice and cardamom.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups coarsely grated sweet potatoes or yams
  2. 1/2 cup grated onion
  3. 3-4 tablespoons orange juice
  4. 1/2 - 1 teaspoon orange zest
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cardamom
  7. Dash black pepper
  8. 4 eggs, beaten
  9. Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet until it is very hot.
  3. Use a spoon to form thin pancakes, patting the batter down.
  4. Fry on both sides until brown, adding small amounts of additional oil, as needed.
  5. Serve hot with toppings.
Notes
  1. Suggested Toppings: applesauce, sour cream
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Additional Information

The sweet potatoes or yams may be grated on a box cutter or by a food processor. All ingredients are combined in a bowl and mixed well before spooning the batter into a skillet (I used a griddle).


The Sweet Potato Pancakes are smoothed down so that they are of a consistent thickness. Cook on one side until lightly browned.

Flip the pancakes to the other side and cook until nicely browned. Serve hot with desired toppings.

Cardamom and Sweet Potatoes

I really enjoy the flavor of cardamom, a spice which is made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. Cardamom is often used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian cuisines. If you’ve had chai tea, you’ve probably had cardamom, which is usually a component of chai tea. Cardamom is also in the blend of spices that make up garam masala, which is used extensively in Indian cooking. Cardamom has a fragrant aroma of lemon and mint.

Medicinally cardamom contains elements that appear to treat stomach and intestinal spasms and increases the movement of food through the intestines. It’s used as a flavoring and a basis for medicinal preparations for indigestion.

Sweet potatoes contain some great nutrients such as beta carotene, Vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and blood sugar regulating nutrients. Beta carotene is a strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is a well-known antioxidant and eating a diet rich in beta carotene is an excellent health recommendation.

These two ingredients in Sweet Potato Pancakes are definitely healthy to eat!

Parting Comments

Did you catch my other recipes containing sweet potatoes? If not, check out these recipes: Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Patties, Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

I’ll be featuring another recipe made with cardamom soon so watch for Cardamom Banana Muffins.

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

*If you’d like to receive new Silver Foodie posts automatically, please enter your e-mail address in the space under “Silver Foodie Updates” on the right sidebar, then click on “Sign up.” Thank you!

For a list of link parties in which I participate weekly, click on “Link Parties” on the header menu bar.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas make a nice lunch or snack that is relatively quick and easy to prepare. Without meat, Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas are great for “Meatless Mondays” or any day that you would like to skip the meat! As I discussed in a … Continue reading →

Gluten-Free Crispy Sweet Potato Patties

How Sweet It Is! Sweet Potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving! You can find sweet potatoes most of the year in most locations. As much as I love the Sweet Potato Casserole at Thanksgiving, marshmallows are not required to enjoy sweet potatoes. A great way to prepare sweet potatoes is to … Continue reading →

Two Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes

The Star and the Supporting Cast At the Thanksgiving Dinner table, turkey is unequivocally the “star” of the show! But for a spectacular performance the “star” must have an exceptional supporting cast, also called the “co-stars.”  For Thanksgiving turkey, the co-stars are the wonderful side dishes – the food that … Continue reading →