Madeleine’s Musings 1: Menopause–Let us eat Cake?

What to Expect

One woman's odyssey through the Trump presidency. My focus is centered on the many issues affecting women--but what doesn't? There's a new post every week.

This is Ube cake. It’s made from purple yams and it’s traditional in the Philippines, particularly at Christmastime or special holidays.

In Iva’s story she describes the benefit she felt from taking a “Wild Yam” supplement. When I was having hot flashes, more than one friend suggested this to me. They swore by it but I can’t say I thought it helped.

Purple yams are not particularly wild and not all yams are purple—far from it. The ones in the grocery store are hairy brown on the outside and probably white inside, depending on which variety you get.

There’s a lot of stuff to know about yams.

Yams are not sweet potatoes, I don’t care what you Latins call them! Don’t be fooled. They are from two different plant families. Yams originated in Asia and Africa; sweet potatoes come from South America. Yams have rough skins and are difficult to peel. Yams are related to lilies and grasses: sweet potatoes are in the Morning Glory family—who knew? And then there’s cassava and jicama and bears (plantains?)! So take heed.

The twins phenomenon in Nigeria has been ascribed to a diet rich in African yams, but this seems pretty anecdotal. Anyway, there are different hormones in different types of yam.

So what’s with Wild Yams? What makes them different? One thing is they are currently in the “cure-all” family—touted for everything from cancer to Crohn’s Disease, so do not believe everything you read.

This is where I bow out of pretending to any great medical knowledge. But yams are NOT sweet potatoes, just the same.

Phew! Glad that’s over. But there’s nothing to say that you can’t enjoy yams anyway. They are a vegetable, and probably good for you on that basis alone. So let’s get down to something we can all believe in: cake.

If you are in a good mood or have a menopausal friend in a bad mood, a home-made cake is a gift that impresses. Who bakes anymore? You do. You are going to. You know you want to. It’s unusual, it’s purple, and it’s a sweet-tooth fix. It will probably do nothing for your symptoms but who cares?

Make it for your birthday. Make it for Menopause Day (October 18). Just do it!

Here’s a YouTube video from “Slice of Heaven Cakes” on how to make one:

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