Here's a delicious and aromatic twist on mashed potatoes that pairs earthy, sweet yams (sweet potatoes) with tangy apples for a nutritious and satisfying side dish. The flavors are concentrated by baking, rather than diluted by boiling, making this combo a wonderful change of pace served alongside roast chicken or pork.
Though yams and sweet potatoes are indeed different species, in the US today we typically use the terms interchangeably to describe popular varieties of red-skinned, orange-fleshed tubers with pointed ends. When you combine them with fresh apples, you get a delightful dish that’s loaded with flavor — plus vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, too!
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Place the yams, oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the yams are just tender, about 35 minutes. Add the apples to the baking pan, stirring to mix. Re-cover the dish with foil and continue baking until the mixture is very soft, about 30 minutes more.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mash with a potato masher until the mixture is combined, but still has some texture. Stir in the half and half, if using, and season to taste as needed. Serve hot.