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Healthy Dish

Sweet Holiday Treat

As a side dish or dessert, the garnet yam is a nutritious seasonal treat

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Holiday time is a wonderful period of celebration, reunion, family, and-hopefully-gratitude. Unfortunately, it’s also the season of overeating. But there are a lot of really smart things you can do to minimize the damage, both to your health and your waistline. day time is a wonderful period of celebration, reunion, family, and-hop

One of them is making some really smart swap-outs, such as this incredible Orange Garnet Yam Pie, which contains no flour or white sugar (only 2 teaspoons of palm sugar or xylitol in the crust). Yet it’s still lightly sweet, aromatic, and satisfying. It can serve as a side dish or a dessert; it has a low glycemic load; and it’s gluten-, egg-, and dairy-free. Plus it’s brimming with fiber and antioxidants, and it even boasts a touch of protein thanks to the silken tofu.

If you’re going to eat dessert, this is the way to go. Sweet potatoes are delicious in a variety of settings, and they are by far the most nutritious of all potatoes. Most orange foods contain a lot of either vitamin A or carotenoids, and sweet potatoes have both. One medium yam has more than 21,000 IUs of immune-supporting vitamin A and more than 13,000 mcg of beta-carotene, plus almost 4 grams of fiber and more potassium than a banana. Not bad for the basis of a dessert!

Orange Garnet Yam Pie
Makes 8-12 slice


2 cups blanched almond flour

2 tsp. palm sugar or xylitol

1/4 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1/3 cup almond oil or melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla


4 medium garnet yams

½ 12.3-oz. box firm silken tofu, drained

Juice and zest of 1 naval orange

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

1 tsp. NuNaturals vanilla stevia

  1. To Make Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch deep-dish pie plate lightly with cooking spray, and set aside. Whisk together almond flour, palm sugar, soda, and salt in bowl. Add almond oil and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  2. Transfer contents to prepared pie pan, and pat into thin, even layer to cover pan. Press crust firmly into place with moistened or lightly oiled fingers. Bake 10 minutes and cool before filling.
  3. To Make Pie: Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub sweet potatoes well, pat dry, and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake 1 hour, or until soft. Cool, and reset oven to 350°F.
  4. Add tofu to food processor, and process until smooth. Slice baked potatoes open, and scoop flesh into food processor. Discard skins. Add orange juice and zest, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla stevia. Process until smooth, scraping down sides, as necessary.
  5. Fill crust with yam mixture, and bake 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

PER SERVING: 255 cal; 7g pro; 19g total fat (1g sat fat); 17g carb; 0mg chol; 123mg sod; 4g fiber; 6g sugars

Notes From Chef Jeannette

Despite their name, garnet yams are a type of sweet potato rather than true yams. They are more cylindrical in shape than traditional sweet potatoes, tapering to points on the ends, with smooth, pale orange skins and dark orange flesh. They need very little additional sweetness to transform them from a savory dish to a dessert. The orange juice and a touch of vanilla stevia in this recipe are perfect complements to the garnet’s natural flavor. They make a delicious simple baked potato, as well: Try them with butter and a little fresh lime juice or ume plum vinegar. Though you can find them year-round, their peak season is fall through winter.