Purple yam (a.k.a ube) has been enjoying some time in the culinary limelight as of late. It’s a versatile root vegetable from the Philippines that, thanks to its naturally vibrant purple hue, can be used to create stunning desserts and dinners alike. You can also shop for the purple starch in its various forms (like extract and spread) at most Filipino specialty grocers in Canada.
Whether you blend it with sweetener to make purple cookie icing or mix it in with practically any kind of batter, the internet’s brimming with creative and enticing ways to cook with ube. Here are just a few of our favourites.
12 gorgeous recipes with purple yam, the coolest food you’re not using yet
Oatmeal coconut ube cookiesBoiling and pureeing ube down and then mixing it with some creamy ingredients like cashew butter and agave nectar as this blogger did makes for a great icing. Delicious and completely vegan.
GET THE RECIPE HEREWholly Vegan
Steamed purple yam and cocoa rollsThis chef whipped up a vegan and gluten-free alternative to steamed buns, which are typically eaten for breakfast in China. They're soft and chewy, and the cocoa's a nice touch that pairs well with the ube.
GET THE RECIPE HEREOne Green Planet
Purple buttermilk biscuitsWe admit that we've never had a regular sweet potato biscuit, but we're up for skipping the southern staple and going straight for this purple version. Just replace your regular sweet potatoes with purple ones and take your side dish to a new aesthetic high.
GET THE RECIPE HEREA Little Terroir
Sweet potato ginger browniesBrownies that are brown are so last year. Swap baked and boiled ube for chocolate and you'll not only have a healthier brownie, but a unique-looking one, too.
GET THE RECIPE HERECivilized Caveman Cooking
Ube puddingMaja ube, or purple yam coconut pudding, is a classic Filipino dessert that's relatively straightforward to prepare. Especially when you use canned ingredients, as this blogger did. If you don't have banana leaves, we're guessing you could use parchment paper.
GET THE RECIPE HEREAbodo Downunder
MilkshakeTossing some cooked ube into the blender with your vanilla milkshake ingredients will make this classic dessert a little more healthy and a lot more colourful. Serve it to your kids and have them try to guess what the secret ingredient is.
GET THE RECIPE HEREOne Green Planet
Macapuno cakeIn this recipe, the vivid purple cake provides a stunning visual contrast to the thin layer of white icing. Ube macapuno cake uses coconut in the sweet filling, which works surprising well with the ube in the cake batter.
GET THE RECIPE HEREThe Bakeanista
Champion sweet potato breadSimply adding ube to everyday recipes can yield spectacular results. One baker tossed it in with one of her favourite bread recipe and created something glorious. It's soft, fluffy and guaranteed to be unlike anything your toaster has ever seen.
GET THE RECIPE HERELy Kitchenventure
MuffinsThese ube muffins are just as attractive as they are tasty. By topping each treat with a rolled oat mixture, this resourceful baker has achieved a pretty awesome violet marble effect that we can't wait to try and replicate.
GET THE RECIPE HEREShiny Life Blog
Waffles and Korean fried chickenYou've had chicken and waffles, but never quite like this. First off, yeah, they're purple thanks to ube powder and extract. Second, they're topped with a Korean fig-soy fried chicken that will melt your mind and your taste buds.
GET THE RECIPE HERERosie Eats
Banana and ube sandwichThe PB&B (peanut butter and banana) is one of the easiest sammys to put together. Swap the PB for PY (purple yam) spread and enjoy the Filipino version, courtesy of blogger Burnt Lumpia.
GET THE RECIPE HEREBurnt Lumpia
Ice creamIt'll also make a mean ice cream — told you it was versatile. This food blogger uses grated frozen ube and a cheese cloth (along with cream, eggs and sugar) to make these delightful scoops of ice cream.
GET THE RECIPE HEREYummy Chunklet