Rich in fiber, vital vitamins such as B6 and C, yams are a great way to bolster the amount of goodness in your daily intake, no matter if you’re a vegan, a vegetarian, someone who is health conscious, or if you’re trying to lose weight.
They are also great when you don’t know what to make for dinner, or if your dinner plans don’t seem substantial enough, as they’re super easy to cook as part of a side dish or main meal.
When out of season, yams are much smaller, and generally more expensive and less tasty than when you get them in the growing season.
Luckily, you can stock up on yams year-round, as these lovely root vegetables (see also ‘Can You Freeze Parsnips?‘) are easy to freeze.
When Should You Freeze Yams?
Before we get into how you go about freezing yams, it’s worth asking if it’s worth freezing them. They have quite a long shelf life raw, so it doesn’t always make sense to do so.
Raw yams kept in a dark pantry at room temperature will last for 2 weeks, give or take a few days.
If you cook a yam and leave it in the fridge, it’ll keep for 2 or even 3 weeks, but the longer you leave it in there, the more likely you are to notice some loss in flavor.
When it comes to freezing yams, cooked yams will keep well for up to a year.
It’s not recommended freezing raw yams, as there will be an inevitable shift in both the consistency and the taste, so cooking them first is always the best option.
How Do You Freeze Yams?
Remember, you need to at least partially cook yams before freezing them, in order to get the best out of them. You don’t need to fully cook the yams, just enough until they are tender.
The easiest way is to part-boil them, but you can bake or mash them if you prefer. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and let the yams boil for 10 to 15 minutes, but no longer than this.
Turn off the heat, and let the yams sit at room temperature until they are completely cold.
Cut the yams into wedges, or dice them, whichever you prefer. Separate the yams into portions, and put them into a resealable freezer bag.
Make sure to squeeze the air out of the bag before you seal it. Label the bag, and put it into the freezer.
If you’d prefer to roast or mash the yams, prepare them as you normally would. Once they are cool, season them, cut them, and divide them between resealable freezer bags.
If you have a vacuum food sealer, you can also use this to prevent freezer burn. Seal the bags, label them, and freeze them.
How To Thaw Frozen Yams
There’s no need to thaw frozen yams, as you can cook them straight from frozen.
It is worth mentioning at this point that cut yams will oxidize when exposed to air, so you’ll need to cook them immediately to prevent the quality from degrading.
If that isn’t possible, you can submerge them in salted water to halt this process.
Frozen mashed or baked yams don’t have this problem, but you are still better off using them as soon as possible.
When it comes to reheating baked yams, grab a roasting tin and line it with parchment. Place the yams in a single layer, and put them into a preheated oven at 350°F or 180°C for about 30 minutes or until piping hot and tender.
Reheating mashed yams couldn’t be easier. Simply put the mash into a non-stick pan, and gradually increase the heat to medium. To rehydrate the yams, add a little milk as you keep stirring, and the mash will be ready once it’s piping hot.
Yams will survive the freezer perfectly well, as long as you prepare them properly. Make sure you cook them before you try to freeze them, as this will limit any texture or flavor changes.
It also helps that yams last well in the freezer for up to a year, and you can cook them straight from frozen, saving you some time later when a dish calls for some yams.