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How to Dehydrate Yams

The terms yams and sweet potatoes are used interchangeably in the United States even though they are in fact totally different plants. For example, yams (Dioscorea) have rougher, scalier skins than sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas). Yams also are not as sweet and moist as sweet potatoes. Whether your yam is actually a sweet potato or not does not make a difference when dehydrating them. They both make excellent dried chips, and even though some of the nutrients are lost in the blanching stage of dehydration, they are still filled with valuable nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium, fiber and magnesium.

Wash the yams. Scrub the outside with a vegetable brush and peel off the skin, if desired.

Cut yams into thin slices, about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.

Blanch yam slices in boiling water only until they are heated through, not cooked. About three to five minutes will usually do. Drain the water.

Sprinkle salt, cinnamon or another desired flavor on the yam slices. This step is optional.

Dehydrate the yam slices by using a dehydrator or the oven. Every dehydrator is different, but expect yams to take about six to 12 hours to become thoroughly dry. In the oven, lay pieces out on a cookie sheet and dry at 130 degrees Fahrenheit for a similar amount of time: six to 12 hours.

Tip

Store dehydrated yam slices in sealed, air tight container and place them out of direct sunlight. Use within six months.

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