planning a thin thanksgiving: “candied” yams.

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Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and delicious food.  Eating great food over the holidays is something we all look forward to.  But it’s the feeling after eating all that great food that we dread.  That “I have to start my diet” feeling, or wondering “why did I eat so much, AGAIN?!?”

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Tudy and I decided to do a healthy Thanksgiving recipe each day until the holiday.  Of course, it’s hard to replace all of your family favorites with healthy alternatives, and we’re not suggesting that you do.  We do think it’s pretty reasonable to work in a few healthy dishes, and you might surprise yourself: delicious food doesn’t always need to be full of fat or sugar.  You’ll end up with flavorful dishes that might become new family favorites, and you’ll feel great knowing that you’re serving your family and friends foods that are actually good for them!

There are already some recipes on our blog that would be great for thanksgiving, but we’ll be adding new ones all week, so keep checking back!  Also, if you have any recipes that you’d like us to make-over, please comment and let us know!

The first recipe for our Thanksgiving project is my personal favorite: candied yams.   This dish usually involves a ton of butter and sugar (and marshmallows…), but since yams are so flavorful and sweet on their own, I think this dish is just as wonderful with much less of the unhealthy stuff.  The orange juice idea came from my mom, who makes sweet potatoes with orange juice.  The juice thickens in the oven and caramelizes, it’s so good!!

“Candied” Yams

4 lbs. yams
6 oz. frozen concentrated orange juice, thawed
6 oz. frozen concentrated apple juice, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
*note: if you’d rather use only 1 12 oz. package of frozen orange juice concentrate instead of the apple-orange juice combination, add 2 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar to the juice before pouring over the yams.  
Preheat oven to 350.

Slice the yams into 1/2″ slices.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the yams and boil for about 5-7 minutes, until yams are fork-tender.  Allow yams to cool slightly and arrange in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.  Sprinkle the yams with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Combine the orange and apple juices in a bowl and whisk together until combined.  Pour the juice over the yams.  Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, turning the yams after 45 minutes.  

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After 1 1/2 hours, remove from the oven.  Turn the oven heat up to 375.  Sprinkle the pecans over the yams and drizzle with maple syrup.  Continue baking for 30 minutes, remove, and cool slightly before serving.

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2 Comments

  1. joetad says:

    Looks delish, Tali!!

  2. tali says:

    thanks! they were really good – i was eating them cold for breakfast the next day.

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