How-to make a Yam Bake

The yam bake is an excellent staple for the active paleo who wants to be able to fuel workouts and physical activity with carbohydrates. It’s a very affordable source of calories: yams and shredded coconut are very cheap ingredients, and this dish is one of the cheapest you can make on a paleo diet. You can make 8-12 servings from one dish, and preparation time is under 20 minutes, so it also has a very good prep time to food output ratio. It’s also a very portable food and tastes great cold or at room temperature, so it’s good when you are on the go or in the backcountry.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 small to medium yams, or you can try it with sweet potatoes – or both!
  • 3-6 eggs, or 3-6 tbsps coconut oil.
  • 1-2 cups shredded coconut
  • “breakfast spices”: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg.
  • Additional treats: coconut milk, almond flour, coconut flour, pecans, almonds, walnuts, blueberries, apple slices, turkey meat, bacon.

Preparation

Chop up the yams, then steam them for 20-30 minutes – the more chopped up they are, the faster they steam. Transfer yams to a mixing bowl and mash them up – I just use a fork for this. Add a bunch of eggs, maybe 3 or 4, but use more if you have lots of dry ingredients that you’ll be using as additional treats. You can also substitute with coconut oil for a more tropical flavour. Stir in the shredded coconut – use lots as it’s essential for giving the dish texture. If you get shredded coconut in the cooking section at a grocery store, it can be a bit pricey, but if you can find it in bulk packages, it’s really cheap.

Spices should start with a base of a large dose of cinnamon – this has an insulin-sensitivity boosting effect to work in conjunction with the high glucose content of the yams. You can also add allspice and nutmeg to taste. Nutmeg is pretty good, but it can be toxic to the liver in large doses, so don’t add more than one or two tablespoons. If you’re adding meat to the dish, you might want to use turmeric, pepper and ginger instead of allspice and nutmeg.

There is tonne of food that work well in yam bakes to give it variety. It’s a good dish for helping clean out your cupboard – or just add whatever you like the most! Nuts are a good staple, you can place a bed of pecans on the top of the casserole dish for presentation, or just stir them into the yam bake. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts will also work well. The yams already create a sweet dish, but if going for a dessert or high energy food, you can chop up some fruit, apples, bananas, blueberries, or go the other direction and add some steamed veggies and meat – a layer of kale and turkey forms a crude “paleo sandwich”. Salmon or other types of fish go really well with yams. You can create additional bulk and flavour to the meal with almond flour or coconut flour.

Cooking

Finally, after everything is stirred together, transfer the ingredients into a casserole dish and cook  at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes – if you garnished with nuts, then watch the time, as pecans tend to start getting burnt at about 23 minutes.

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