Purple yam or “ube” as we called it in the Philippines is a very popular root vegetable when I was growing up, and it’s even more popular these days around the globe. It’s used in a variety of desserts, as well as a flavor for ice cream, milk, swiss rolls, tarts, cookies, cakes, and other pastries. In the Philippines, it is often eaten boiled or as a sweet jam called “ube halayá”. The latter is a popular ingredient in our version of parfait, called “halo-halo”.
Purple yam is a tuberous root vegetable; with its origins in the Asian tropics, the purple yam has been know since the ancient times. They are usually bright lavender in color but they may sometimes be white skinned with a deep, brilliant purple interior, and many people confuse them with sweet potatoes.
Purple yams have an average 158 calories per cup and contain very little protein, about 2 grams per cup, and almost no fat. It is also high in Vitamin A, C & Potassium; and it contains 50% more anthocyanins than the same amount of blueberries.
A study showed that dark purple pigments in purple yams indicate the presence of powerful antioxidants not found in regular sweet potatoes. Replacing regular potatoes with purple “ube” yams could increase your antioxidant intake to slow down aging and keep you healthy.
The mashed buttered purple yams dish did not come from the Philippines. This dish is my own creation, and I find it very tasty and delicious. We hope you do, too!
You can serve this healthy side dish with your favorite entree or as it is.
- 3 lbs. purple yams
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbs. butter
- 1 cup of whipping cream, coconut cream or regular homo milk
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add the purple yams and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are soft and tender.
- Drain the water, peel the purple yams and mash them.
- In slow heat, add the butter, salt and slowly blend the cream or milk in the purple yams mixture.