Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Easy Motherhood With Yams Galore

by Kristen Suzanne in vegan

I’ve written a few times about ways to make motherhood easier when it comes to food prep. I can’t help myself as I find ways to make my own life easier that I want to share them with you. Check out my posts on making lots of quinoa and sneaking broccoli into your life here.

Let’s be honest… motherhood can be very hard busy. I’m sure I’m not alone when I feel like I have days that I wonder whether I’m coming or going. Admittedly, my legs go too long between shaves (my poor husband). My hair is usually tied up in a braid. High heels … what are those? But(!), I still wear a bit of blush, mascara, and lipgloss on even my busiest days. ;)

That’s why I make it a point to take certain tasks and streamline or simplify. I might sacrifice ultimate freshness (with respect to food) when I do, but I gain sanity and that’s better for my health. For example, I’m not making up big fresh salads daily by cutting up the produce just before eating it. I’m foregoing a daily green smoothie for a big glass of organic hibiscus iced tea alongside a Core Cashew Cacao Bar when I wake up (unless my darling husband made a batch of green juice and I have those ready-to-drink in the fridge). And, I’m making big batches of foods so they last me at least a few days. Healthy Grab-n-Go is my new sanity motto.

Enter: Yams Galore

This is a trick my mom taught me. I was at her house and she made a big batch of baked organic yams … for her dogs. She baked about eight at a time and kept them in the fridge. Each day she took a couple of them out, peeled them, and chopped them up for her dogs.

Well, one day I was hungry and looking for a quick snack. I saw the yams in the fridge and thought, what the heck. Looks good. I peeled it (they peel so easily, with just your fingers once they’re cooked and have been cooled in the fridge), and simply ate it. Yum! Beta-carotene filled my body and I was satisfied. My mom was onto something here.

From that point on, I started doing the same thing, but for my family. On most weeks, I bake about 6 to 8 organic yams (or sweet potatoes) on a low setting in my oven for at least a few hours (depending on their size). The aroma alone is worth it.

You might be wondering… “Kristen, those are cooked. Isn’t this a raw food blog?” Well, yes, they’re cooked. I live a predominately high raw life and have room for cooked vegan foods for many reasons, one of which is that some nutrients are more bioavailable when the foods are cooked. For example, I saw this interesting video by Dr. Greger about beta-carotene and raw foodists that helped me take a second look at some of the foods I was eating.

That’s good news to me because I love me some baked yams and sweet potatoes.

Here’s what I do…

Bag of organic sweet potatoes or yams from Trader Joe’s.

Washed, trimmed, and poked. Ready to go into the oven. I bake them around 250-300 degrees F depending on how much time I have. And, they usually bake 3-5 hours depending on their size and the oven temperature.

Done. Doesn’t get much easier than that. I usually eat one warm and put the rest in a covered bowl in the fridge. From there, I simply grab one cold, peel it, and put in a bowl to eat. Again… easy! I thrive in motherhood by making things like this easy.

But, most days, I make them extra exciting with some raw vegan toppings. Enter: Jem Nut Butter.

YUMMMMM! Jem Cinnamom Red Maca Almond Butter – raw, organic, and mega friggin’ delicious. It’s one of my favorite things ever. Thanks to Lauren for sharing this amazing stuff with me. I simply drizzle it over my baked yam and it makes a mega fabulous breakfast, side dish, or dessert. Yes, I eat it for dessert often.

I often keep big batches of organic brown rice or quinoa in the fridge, too – for easy meals. Here is a quick lunch of brown rice, yam, and Jem nut butter. The cardamom flavor  you see above is in chunks… it has some coconut in it and that makes it solid with fridge temps so I scoop it out with a fork or spoon. If the rice and yam had been warm, it’d have melted the nut butter. The Cinnamon Red Maca variety stays silky smooth in the fridge for easy drizzling. I also make my own raw nut butter with my stone grinding machine which makes the same wonderful silky smooth temperature. But, as a busy mama, sometimes it’s just worth it to buy the stuff already made. Plus, Jem has unique recipes with fun flavors.

Um. Yeah. I love the stuff. I stocked up. It was on sale, what can I say? It also makes a great gift. You can buy it on Amazon and other vegan sites carry it.

I have a wonderful recipe coming up where I take the baked yam (or sweet potato) and use it as a cooked vegan ingredient in a unique Raw Vegan Transition meal. Stay tuned for that!


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