Have you noticed the gorgeous, violet-hued desserts popping up on Instagram and Pinterestlately? The star ingredient is ube (pronounced OO-BAE), a purple yam that can be mashed or pureed and incorporated into sweet treats. There's ube ice cream, pudding, frosting, doughnuts, even pop tarts.
But can it really make your favorite dessert healthier?
Ube is in the same family as root veggies like sweet potatoes and yuca, and has long been a staple in the Philippines. With a nutrient profile similar to orange-colored yams, one cup of ube contains almost 40 grams of carbohydrates (5 of which are dietary fiber), some protein (roughly 2 grams per cup), and no fat. Like the more common yams, ube is packed with immune-supporting vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, a mineral that acts as a natural de-bloater, and helps regulate heart function and blood pressure while fighting muscle cramps.