Ube: What Makes It So Good and Why Is It So Popular?
In the Philippines, there is one vegetable that reigns supreme: ube. It is perhaps the most popular dessert in the country, and it’s not hard to see why. Ube has a unique and delicious flavor that everyone seems to love.
But what makes ube so good? In this article, we will take a closer look at ube and explore the many desserts people make with it. Read on to find out all about this great Filipino vegetable!
What is Ube?
Ube (pronounced as ooh-bay) is a purple yam native to the Philippines. It is also known as a “tuber” in Tagalog. It is a famous ingredient in Filipino desserts and has grown to be popular worldwide because of its unique taste.
How healthy is ube?
Despite being a popular dessert ingredient, ube has many health benefits.
High in nutrition
Since ube is a starchy crop, it is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin c, potassium, and phytonutrients. It also has fat, fiber, calcium, iron, and many more.
Ube also contains plant compounds and anthocyanins responsible for its purple color. Anthocyanins can help lower blood pressure, among other things.
Loaded with antioxidants
Ube is a rich source of vitamins C, antioxidants, and anthocyanins. Antioxidants help strengthen your immune system.
Its vitamin c content helps increase antioxidant levels by 35%, offering protection from cell damage.
Ube can help manage blood sugar
Ube has flavonoids and can help lower blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes. Another good news – ube has a low glycemic index, preventing sugar spikes.
Promotes gut health
Since ube is a rich source of complex carbohydrates and resistant starch, it helps improve gut health. Resistant starch produces healthy fatty acids and B vitamins.
Ube in different forms
Ube comes in many forms, including powder, paste, and flakes. People will use these different varieties in desserts like ice cream, cake, or pancakes. No matter what form it takes, ube is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways.
It’s a rarity to find ‘fresh’ ube produce in the United States. You can occasionally buy ‘fresh’ ube in Asian grocery stores’ produce sections. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh ube, you can boil it, peel it, and eat it as a snack or mash it and freeze it for later use.
You can find frozen ube packages at Asian groceries. Frozen ube is typically mashed or grated but fully cooked. As such, you can use it right out of the box. Make your favorite ube cake or shake it in no time.
Ube powder is made from boiled, mashed, dehydrated, and crushed ube. To use this, add water to reconstitute it into a paste. You can add it to your favorite smoothies, hot white chocolate, ice cream, or pasta dough for added color and a light nutty flavor.
A few drops of ube extract, made from ube soaked in alcohol, gives dishes like a Halo-Halo Cocktail and ube buns a rich purple hue and sweetness.
Ube jam or halaya is a sweet pudding prepared by boiling and mashing purple yams with sugar, butter, and coconut milk. It is an ingredient in many Filipino desserts like halo-halo,
It’s also incredibly indulgent on its own.
Different Ways to Enjoy Ube
There are many ways to enjoy ube—mix ube for breakfast staples like pancakes, waffles, donuts, and bread. You can also have roasted ube, baked ube, fried ube chips, and fried ube chips. Enjoy it as a decadent dessert like ube cake, ube ice cream, crinkles, pie, or ube cheesecake. You can also enjoy it as a shake, smoothie, or Ube martini cocktail.
Ube is a popular dessert in the Philippines for a good reason. It has a unique and delicious flavor that everyone seems to love. If you have never tried ube before, now is your chance. Why not try one of the many desserts that use this incredible ingredient? You won’t be disappointed!