When cooking yams for pureeing, such as when making baby food or as a filling for sweet potato pie, if you peel them before cooking you will save yourself the fuss of dealing with the peels straight out of the steamer or baking dish. Use a sharp paring knife or peeler to cut down on food waste.
Slice the tip of the yam off with a paring knife. Usually, just taking a 1/4 inch or less is sufficient.
Peel the yam with a potato peeler, peeling away from your body. If you use a paring knife, hold the yam in one hand and carefully draw the paring knife down the body of the yam, being careful not to remove too much of the yam in the process.
Look for any damaged spots, such as discoloration caused by bruising, in the yam as you peel. Cut those spots away with the tip of the peeler or the knife.
Wash the yam under cool water before cutting into pieces.
Cook the yams immediately after peeling. They will begin to discolor quickly once the skins are removed. If more time is needed, place the peeled yams in cool water, covering them completely, until ready to cook.
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Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.