Give It Up For The Purple Ube

Purple ube, a yam cut in half on a white background.
Purple ube is set to be the new vegetable in our kitchens. Expect to see it in pies, stews and ice cream near you. Copyright: kariphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

The Purple Ube (say it as oo-bae) is the new yam on the block. If there is one vegetable to come out of the Phillipines it may well be this rather vividly coloured violet veg. which is better known in the scientific community as Dioscurea alata. It belongs to the same family as other sweet potatoes including yucca and taro which produce thick, fat tubers.

Nutritionally, the Purple Ube less starch laden than its close relatives. There is 37 grams of carbohydrate in a serving of one cup which compares to 41 grams in a 1 cup of typical sweet potato. It’s worth noting the fibre content is not in Purple Ube’s favour given it has 5 grams versus 6.6 grams for the sweet potato. From the glycemic index point of view, this vegetable would be classified as low. If you are looking for vitamins, then the vitamin C content is reasonably high.

From the product developer’s point of view, it lends itself well when colour is to be a feature. Ice-cream, cheesecake and sweet potato pie make great vehicles showing off that vibrant purple colour. Dried slithers or slices of this yam make more a great savoury snack. Given dehydration is a developing home process, any opportunity to create a colour in the kitchen is a must. Drying fruit and vegetable slices often leads to fading of colour but not with this particular food.

The colour itself is due to a range of dark coloured anthocyanins rather like blackcurrant or aronia berry although the structure and composition of these pigments is not the same.


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1 Comment

  1. Can you tell me if there are any suppliers ? Living in Halifax I want to find a suitable market – do you know any ?

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