A Healthier Spin on Candied Yams

by in Uncategorized, November 28, 2013

candied yams

Ever wonder how many calories get racked up at the Thanksgiving table? On average, Americans consume 4,500 calories the day of the feast, and that’s not including breakfast, appetizers or a midnight turkey sandwich. But a little nutritional knowledge is power.

Below are the calorie counts for traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and while there’s no need to deny yourself on one of the best food holidays there is, it may be worth pacing yourself. If you’re trying to stay on track, maybe grab a half-cup of stuffing instead of a whole one. Or enjoy a sliver of pie rather than a giant wedge. (And remember to take a nice walk on Friday.)

Topping the list, at 420 calories a serving (more than a slice of apple pie!), are candied yams. For a lighter version of the side dish with the same decadent flavor as the original, check out the recipe below, which uses sweetened Greek yogurt in place of the traditional marshmallows.

Thanksgiving Calorie Counts (Highest to Lowest)

Candied yams/sweet potatoes (6 ounces): 420 calories

Apple pie (1 slice from 9-inch pie): 411 calories

Cornbread stuffing (1 cup): 358 calories

Bread stuffing, without meat (1 cup): 354 calories

Pumpkin pie (1 slice from 9-inch pie): 316 calories

Mashed potatoes (1 cup): 237 calories

Vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup): 137 calories

Turkey leg (3 ounces): 135 calories

Turkey breast (3 ounces): 115 calories

Cranberry sauce (1/2-inch thick slice from can): 57 calories

Whipped cream (1 tablespoon): 26 calories

Gravy (1/4 cup): 25 calories


Whipped Candied Yams with Maple Cream

2 large orange-fleshed yams (about 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

6 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and pour over enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.

2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and maple syrup. Mix until blended and smooth.

3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan or a food processor. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the maple-yogurt mixture, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon and mash with a fork or process in the food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving bowl and top with remaining maple-yogurt mixture.

Serves 6

Nutrition Info Per Serving (1/2 cup; 6.4 ounces)

Calories: 196

Total Fat: 2 grams

Saturated Fat: 1 gram

Total Carbohydrate: 42 grams

Sugars: 21 grams

Protein: 4 grams

Sodium: 69 milligrams

Cholesterol: 6 milligrams

Fiber: 5 grams



Robin Miller is host of Quick Fix Meals, a nutritionist and author of 10 cookbooks, including “Robin Takes 5” and “Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families.” She is the busy mom of two active boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinmillercooks.com.

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