Thanksgiving Maple Yams Recipe

For many years, our Thanksgiving meals did not include turkey. My vegetarian phase during the ‘80s and ‘90s inspired us to create imaginative and (usually) delicious “turkeys” crafted from tofu, seitan, or sometimes a hubbard squash!

In recent years I’ve purchased organic, pastured turkeys but because Maia still won’t touch it, I make sure to have lots of vegetables—at a minimum this means Brussels sprouts, green beans, and yams.

Yams and sweet potatoes are among my favorite vegetables. They provide plenty of sweet taste all on their own, but for a special dish on a holiday I make them even sweeter and richer. This recipe is my healthier adaptation of the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Thanksgiving dish of candied sweet potatoes–a classic where I grew up in Lancaster.

Maple Yams Recipe


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • pinch of sea salt
  • About ¼ cup of butter or your choice of fat (olive oil or coconut oil or whatever you enjoy)
  • About ¼ cup of maple syrup or maple sugar or to taste (the classic Amish recipe calls for ¾ a cup of brown sugar!)


Cut any bad spots out of the potatoes, and slice them into quarters.

Cook the yams by covering with water and simmering at a medium temperature.

Once cool enough to touch, remove the peels and slice the yams to your preferred size.

Heat the butter or oil in a skillet or frying pan. Add maple syrup and stir. Add ½ to cup of water and bring to a boil.

Lay yam slices in syrup and cook slowly, using a metal spatula to turn so both sides brown evenly.

To your health,

Suzanne, Certified Holistic Health Coach


    1. HI Marian,

      I don’t use a recipe. It depends on how many people we are having as to how much bread I use. I use Ezekiel Sprouted Bread and cut it up into bite size squares. I then sit it out overnight in a bowl to get stale. I saute lots of onions and celery in butter and add to stale bread. Salt and pepper and that’s it. Very easy. You can add what herbs you like.

  1. Suzanne– This sounds so good! When you say cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, do you make just the one cut ending up with 2 halves? Later in the recipe you say “slices” of potatoes and that makes me think there are more than 2 halves per potato. So would you clarify this? How many slices do you cut each potato into?

  2. Would you post the recipe for your gluten-free almond-meal pie crust, that you used on your blueberry tart? Thanks much!!

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