Candied Yams

Say goodbye to the marshmallows on top if you're looking for a healthy version.

Candied Yams
Cathy_Britcliffe / Getty Images

Yams are another high-carb food typically prepared with canned sweet potatoes. Leah Kaufman, a nutrition expert, says that using fresh yams may increase the preparation time needed for the dish, but it’s worth the reduction in salt. She also points out that gingersnap cookies and marshmallows are obvious culprits of unnecessary sugars and fats. “Season with ground ginger instead of using the cookies, and try to add some cinnamon to increase flavor. Studies show that cinnamon may help regulate blood sugar,” she advises. In this dish, she also mentions substituting butter with olive oil to decrease the amount of saturated fat.

Our advice

Healthy: Use fresh sweet potatoes (reduces salt and sugar).

Healthier: Use fresh sweet potatoes and exclude butter (cuts 16 calories).

Healthiest: Use fresh sweet potatoes, exclude butter, exclude gingersnap cookies (cuts 10 calories) and exclude marshmallows (cuts 8 calories).

Nutrition (per serving)

334 calories; 5.4g fat; 2.1g saturated fat; 72.5g carbohydrates; 3.7g protein

Prep time

5 min.

Cook time

20 min.

  • 2 (29-oz) cans sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 (16-oz) package gingersnap cookies
  • 1 (16-oz) package miniature marshmallows

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the sweet potatoes, butter, and lemon juice. Break the gingersnap cookies into the mixture. Stirring occasionally, cook until thick, about 15 minutes.

Cover the mixture with desired quantity of marshmallows. Remove from heat and cover 5 minutes, or until marshmallows have melted. Serve warm.