Yam Chocolate Chip Bread - A Holiday Treat
Substituting Yams for Pumpkin
Yams are an orange, potato like vegetable that are often served as a holiday main dish either as a vegetable or in place of potatoes. Sprinkling brown sugar and butter over them or pouring honey over them while heating them makes for a nice sweet tasting vegetable - sort of a prelude to desert.
However, this Hub is not about yams as a vegetable dish or as an alternative to potatoes in the main course but rather as a substitute for pumpkin in our pumpkin chocolate chip bread.
Given that canned yams (which have been pre-cooked) are the same color and, when mashed, have about the same consistency as the cooked and strained pumpkin found on store shelves, I have always thought that yams or sweet potatoes could be substituted for the pumpkin in pumpkin bread.
However, I never had any reason to experiment until now. This past Thanksgiving I purchased some canned pumpkin the weekend before Thanksgiving and, a couple of days before Thanksgiving used it to make pumpkin bread.
When my son saw the bread he commented that he had gone to the store on Monday to buy pumpkin to make the bread also and was told that something had destroyed most of the crop and there was no more available.
I didn't give this a thought until my wife and I went shopping to prepare for Christmas dinner and there was no pumpkin available. That was the bad news. The good news was that I could now put my theory about substituting yams or sweet potatoes to the test. Since we happened to have a 29 ounce can of yams in the pantry, yams became the subject of the experiment.
My wife made the bread today using yams and I immediately tried a piece when I came home from work and found that I couldn't tell the difference between the yam chocolate chip bread I was sampling and our traditional pumpkin chocolate chip bread I have been used to.
So here is our new recipe for Yam Chocolate Chip Bread.
This will make a large batch of bread or muffins. So be sure to have the following equipment on hand:
- Large mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- large mixing spoon
- electric mixer or blender
- glass or aluminum loaf pans - I use three or four 8 ½ x 5 x 2 ½ inch glass loaf pans (as I note n the instructions below, by beating the mixture an extra two to three minutes, I not only get a lighter bread but also end up with three to four and a half loaves instead of two or three loaves)
- If you prefer you can use muffin tins to make muffins instead of loaves of bread with this recipe
- 7 Cups Flour
- 5 ½ Cups Sugar
- 4 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 8 Eggs
- 4 Cups Yams, Cooked and mashed
- 2 Cups Cooking Oil
- 1 ⅓ Cups Cold Water
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Chocolate Chips
- Shortning or non-stick cooking spray, (To greese pans with)
- Turn Oven on and let it pre heat to 350 degrees while you are mixing the ingredients.
- Using a fork, potato masher or electric blender, mash or blend yams until they are smooth and can be mixed with the other ingredients.
- Set mashed yams aside and proceed to next step below.
- Sift (or mix if you do not have a sifter) together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Make sure to mix together well the dry ingredients above.
- Make a hole in the middle of the dry mixture and add eggs, mashed/blended yams, cooking oil and water.
- Mix the above well with a spoon or electric mixer until batter is smooth.
- OPTIONAL: For a somewhat lighter and fluffier bread, beat an extra two or three minutes. This will add more air to the mixture causing it to be lighter and fluffier (this will also expand the mixture somewhat, as the air will add volume to it, giving you enough batter to make an additional 1 to 2½ loaves without adding additional ingredients).
- Add vanilla and chocolate chips (note: standard bag is slightly more than 2 cups so you can either pour the whole bag into the mix or measure it and eat the remainder as a reward for your efforts.)
- Grease bread loaf pans (we use 8½ x 5 x 2½ inch glass loaf pans)
- Bake for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Let each pan cool for 5 minutes and then holding the pan with a pot holder, shake lightly until bread separates from sides and bottom of pan.
- Turn pan over and drop bread on a cooling rack to cool.
- If you do not intend to eat all the loaves right away you can wrap the individual loaves well in aluminum foil and store them in freezer until needed.
The preparation time and cooking times above are approximate.
If everything is readily available, the mixing and pouring into the pans can be done in twenty to thirty minutes.
Cooking time, however, may vary somewhat depending upon the density of the batter and size of pans used. I always test each loaf by inserting a clean, sharp knife through the center of each loaf. If the knife comes out clean with no batter on it, the loaf is done. If not, I keep it in the oven another five minutes or so and test it again.
You will also need at least five minutes for the pan to cool before removing the bread from the pan. I usually insert a thin knife between the edge of the pan and the bread and run it all the way around the pan to separate the bread from the side.
I then gently shake the pan until the bread bounces freely in the pan before inverting the pan and letting the bread exit the pan on to the cooling rack. If you don't do this you risk having part of the bread stick to the bottom or sides of the when you attempt to remove the loaf from the pan.
Finally, I let the bread cool completely (about 20 minutes or more) before wrapping it in aluminum foil and storing it in the freezer. While waiting for the bread to cool is a good time to clean up and put things away.
Like pumpkins, yams are rich beta carotene, an essential nutrient for good health. While this bread is not as good a source of beta carotene as a regular serving of yams as a vegetable, it is a delicious way to get some beta carotene into your diet.
For this recipe my wife reduced the sugar from the 6 cups used in our regular pumpkin bread to 5 1/2 cups as yams tend to be somewhat sweater than pumpkin and the yams we used were packed in a light syrup.
You can reduce the sugar some more or reduce the amount of chocolate chips if you want it less sweet or to reduce the calories.
Links to Some of My Other Holiday Recipies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
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- Add a Tasty Vegetable to Your Meal - Baked Pumpkin
Pumpkins are not just for jack-o-lanterns and pies. They are also a healthy vegetable that is very tasty to boot. Our colonial ancestors used to pour milk, honey and spices into a hollowed out pumpkin, then...
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- Cranberries History and Recipes
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- Quick and Easy Recipe for Homemade Applesauce
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