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How to Preserve Yam

How to Preserve Yam

Ever wondered how to preserve yam most efficiently? If you're in this situation, this post may best suit you. Here's a complete guide on how to preserve yam without compromising its taste and quality.

Preserving yam doesn't require much knowledge like an expert, but it needs considerable effort, like carefully following instructions. 

Things You Should Know About Yam and Its Discoloration. 

Yams are starchy vegetables that can be white or brown with an outer brown layer. Highly rated and export in Nigeria. However, storage and preservation rates are considerably low, leading to spoilage. 

Edible or inedible, once yam is peeled and exposed to air, it is bound to undergo oxidation which causes discoloration. This depends on the specie of the yam as some species do not change color rapidly on exposure to air. White yam remains the same after exposure to air. 

Predicting the discoloration of yam during preparation is a difficult task. One can't practically tell which would turn yellow, dotted green, brown or black during peeling.

Here are two ways to handle or prevent such discoloration from happening: 

  1. Water Submersion Method

This is a common method many have subscribed to and still subscribing to; peeling the yam and submerging quickly underwater immediately. Some go further to peel the yams beneath the water. You should try this method. It works, but not 100% most times. There are times the discoloration is mild, but the yam remains white at other times.

   2. Freezing Method

The easiest way to preserve yams without the use of a chemical is to cut and store yams in the freezer. Below is a simple step-by-step guide on how to preserve yam in the freezer:

  • Fill a bowl with water, and set it aside.
  • Slice and peel the yam in circular or square shapes. Drop the peeled yam in the bowl of water to stop discoloration. Repeat this process until you have exhausted the tubers of yams you intend to preserve.
  • Rinse the yam until it's clean and clear of debris, then transfer it to a colander to drain water.
  •  Transfer the cleaned and drained yam into a large Ziploc bag, make sure it is not overcrowded, and don't stack it as well. Then add a tablespoon of baking soda to the yams.  
  • Close the Ziploc bag, and ensure you reduce air. Place the yam in the freezer and freeze.  It can stay safe for 3 months to 1 year.

When it is time to cook, do not thaw the yam. Cook from its frozen state. That is, from the freezer straight to the boiling water. 

Note: Baking soda helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Other preservatives like lemon juice, salt and vinegar can be used as well. 


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