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Yams and bananas make for surprising bedfellows


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POSTED: Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Left to my own devices, I never would have put mashed yams in a baking dish with diced bananas and expected good to come of it. But you just never know when it comes to flavor combos in this vast world of food choices.

"I'm looking for a recipe that's made with yams and bananas—baked together," wrote Bobbie Stone. No other instructions, but then I didn't find many options.

The combination seems to be Caribbean in origin, and it yields a puddinglike dessert, similar to a pumpkin pie without the crust. In fact, add a simple shortbread crust and you'd have a pie. Or chill it and it'll be firm enough to slice. The dessert is quite tasty, with a lively edge from the added lime. To make it easy to serve, I scooped mine onto shortbread cookies.

Savory versions of this dish can also be found—just leave out the sugar and nutmeg, go easier on the citrus and bake it as a casserole. I could imagine it at the Thanksgiving table.

I also found a good recipe for a yam and banana quick bread, a good alternative to the usual loaf.

By the way, if you don't want to mess with peeling and boiling fresh yams, canned are fine for either recipe.

Caribbean Yam Bake

3 cups cooked, mashed yams (about 2 raw)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 medium bananas, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

Combine all ingredients except bananas, stirring to thoroughly mix (for lighter texture beat with electric mixer). Fold in bananas. Turn into pie pan. Bake 40 minutes. Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (without optional rum): 250 calories, 8 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 4 g protein

Nutty Yam Banana Bread

Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission

1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 1 medium banana)
1 cup mashed yams, or 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Combine bananas, yams, brown sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir into banana mixture, mixing only until combined. Stir in walnuts.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 161 calories, 7 g total fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 3g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 27 mg cholesterol, 109 mg sodium, 1 g fiber


Nutritional analysis for Caribbean Yam Bake by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.; analysis for bread by Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission. Send queries to "By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).