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How to Cook Yacon: Using this Peruvian Tuber to Make “Applesauce”

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Wondering how to cook yacon? Or better yet, what the heck yacon is?? I suggest you try this applesauce knockoff as one of your first yacon recipes if you’ve got access to this tuber.

cooked sauce made of yacon in white bowl with cinnamon stick

The first thing people ask when they see me mention yacon is: Do you mean bacon?? The next thing: What do you do with it?? No, I certainly do not mean bacon. I mean yacon, an edible brown tuber native to South America. [How to grow yacon.]

As for how we use it, we really like to snack on fresh, raw yacon. That’s the simplest way. We also use it in fresh fruit smoothies. But when we start talking about what else to do with it, I’m a rookie. This is still a “new” vegetable to me.

Cooking yacon

My friend Angela, who started me on my yacon growing journey, brought me a jar of what she called “yacon sauce” when her harvest was at its peak last year, and I’ve been wanting to try making it ever since. With my yacon harvest complete, I had a small abundance of yacon to play with.

Yacon sauce is a replication of applesauce. Since we’re still experimenting with growing apples here, this yacon recipe is a great substitute. Now, be warned. It’s not exactly like applesauce. But, as my son said, “It’s pretty darned good.”

yacon root cut in halt

How to cook yacon

Below is my recipe – though it’s not so much a recipe as a method. No matter what you call it, it’s not difficult to make. And if you live in a region that is bereft of apples, yacon might be just the crop for you!

When playing with exactly how to cook yacon, I discovered that when cooking yacon, it takes on the flavor of what you add to it. It doesn’t have a very distinct flavor on its own. The raisins add flavor. Consider this a base recipe and play with it a bit. I could see it working well with dried apricots, too, or maybe even mixed with fresh berries. Next up? I want to try it in my homemade apple crisp recipe.

yacon applesauce recipe in a white bowl with cinnamon

★ Did you make this yacon recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

How to Cook Yacon Sauce

How to Cook Yacon Sauce

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Wondering how to cook yacon? Or better yet, what the heck yacon is?? I suggest you try this applesauce knockoff.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Yacon, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes.
  • A handful of organic raisins
  • 1-2 T. cinnamon
  • 1-2 T. honey
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Measure yacon and raisins into a large cooking pot. Add water to a depth of about 1″.
  2. Simmer over low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally. You’ll notice that unlike apples, the yacon doesn’t break down; it remains firm enough that a simple potato masher just won’t do the trick. 
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the cooked yacon right in the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, allow the yacon to cool and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you reach desired consistency.
  4. Stir in cinnamon and honey. Chill and serve.

Notes

Yacon oxidizes very quickly — it’s totally normal for it to turn greyish when exposed to air.

The big question with this is whether or not it can be safely canned. I’ve yet to see a safety-tested recipe for doing so; until then I’ll stick with making it fresh or freezing it.

 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Unsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 8g

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

4 comments… add one
  • Handful Jan 9, 2016, 1:11 pm

    Sweet! I was just reading about yacon yesterday. It seems to grow quite easily.

  • Sonia (foodiesleuth) Jan 12, 2016, 7:39 am

    I used the yacón you gave me to make a version of Salpicón, a fruit salad popular in South America…but mine was for an open tart. You can find my version and an article about yacón in the latest issue of Ke Ola Magazine..

    Mahalo for the yacón, Kris!

    PS…I planted the little piece you gave me and hope that it does well…I tried it before, a few years ago, and we just got too much rain and the tuber rotted.
    S

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 12, 2016, 7:49 am

      Sonia, I’ll look for it!

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 7:24 pm

    Thank you for the recipe!

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