If you Instagram and TikTok feeds have been showing tons of purple food, desserts and drinks, it’s all because of an incredibly vibrant purple-fleshed vegetable called ube. Pronounced “oo-beh” this purple root vegetable that originated from the Philippines has been making waves for quite some time now. In fact, #ube has over 261.8M views already!
Some people refer to ube as purple yam, but it is actually quite different from a purple sweet potato. And while it’s also packed with loads of nutrition just like purple sweet potatoes, they aren’t – in fact – the same thing at all. According to the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, he explains that one main reason it has gained so much popularity is precisely because of its stunning purple color.
Ube’s purple color actually comes from anthocyanins, which is a group of powerful antioxidants that help lessen inflammation and added risk of certain cancers, as explained in past research.
When it comes to the Nutrition Facts of ube, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in every 3.5 ounces of ube, there is the following:
- 120 calories
- 1 grams (g) protein
- 0g fat
- 27g carbohydrates
- 10 milligrams (mg) sodium
- 4g fiber (a good source)
- 12mg vitamin C(a good source)
Are They Healthy?
If you have been to the Philippines, watched social media, or happen to have seen them in a grocery store, then you may know that ube can come in a variety of forms. However, it’s also important to note that not all products labeled with the term “ube” means that they contain all the usual nutrition that this root vegetable has, especially when it has been processed into something else. And while you can also buy ube extract online, or possibly in the Asian market, it is normally mixed with added ingredients and tons of sugar to add flavorig and color, which means that it is no longer “healthy” per se.
How Does It Taste?
Depending on what form it comes in, ube is naturally sweet and creamy, almost with vanilla-like undertones. And if you find it in its most natural form, like how you would regular sweet yams, then there are tons of recipes you can find online to make different ube creations, such as muffins, cakes, donuts, breads, flans, ice cream, and loads more.
Where to Find Ube
Getting fresh ube isn’t always easy in the United States. In fact, most of the time, fresh ube is impossible to find. You can check with your local supermarkets or nearby Asian stores to see if they have any on sale. There are also some stores such as Trader Joe’s and Amazon that have products made with ube, but sometimes these are also highly preserved and not actually “real.” Be sure to look at the labels to make sure you understand what exactly you are getting. And when you do your hands on some fresh ube, make the most of it by researching great recipes to cook it with. Believe us when we say that the search will surely be worth it!