Can Ube be Eaten Raw? – There is no short answer to this. Ube is a root vegetable you can find growing in the Asian tropics. It is otherwise known as purple yam and is a popular dessert flavoring in Filpino desserts. Purple yam is a part of the yam family and is often mistaken for taro due to their similar outward appearances. What makes purple yam stand out is its bright purple interior and sweet flavoring.
There are plenty of ways you can enjoy ube. Ube also comes in many different forms. The most popular form of ube in the Philippines is ube halaya. Ube Halaya is a type of jam that can be enjoyed plain or used as a way to add ube flavoring to a dessert. You can also use ube powder or ube essence. Either way, there are many forms ube can be transformed into. With all the options that come with using ube when cooked, one has to wonder, can be eaten raw?
What to know about Ube
As stated, ube is a root vegetable and a part of the yam family. It is mainly known for its bright purple interior and features a sweet flavoring with a rich depth. When its raw form, it can grow from round to cylindrical shapes hold a watery/slimy outer texture. Another identification of ube would be the scientific name “dioscorea alata.” Aside from being a part of the yam family, it is a perennial climbing herb with greyish-brown skins. If you are interested in growing the plant yourself, it would be good to keep pieces of purple yam that contain a bud or “eye” on it.
Can Ube Be Eaten Raw? Understanding Ube
There is no shortage of culinary uses with ube. Whether you turn it into a jam or add it to a dessert, it is a sweet treat to add to many snacks and sweets. When it comes to answering the question, can be eaten raw? Technically, the answer is no. The reason for this is that it may contain some toxicity if eaten raw. To avoid any risks, it is best to avoid trying the root vegetable raw. While you can’t necessarily eat ube raw, there are other benefits to be when properly prepared. If you cook ube, you will receive a smooth and custard-like result.
Some of the health benefits you can receive when eating purple yam include potential antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Ube also contains vitamins A and C and can help with blood circulation. However, while there are plenty of health benefits that come with ube, there are also side effects if you eat too much of the vegetable.
For one thing, an excessive amount of ube can lead to headaches and nausea. As a crop that contains plenty of proteins and minerals, it is also something that those with kidney problems need to avoid.
Ways to Enjoy Ube
While one is not able to fully enjoy ube raw, there are many other options that come with this root vegetable. As stated, ube can be enjoyed in many ways. Ube flavoring is something you can find in all kinds of Filipino desserts and snacks. A few examples of this are a sticky rice cake with ube in the cake called “Ube Biko” and a sweet spring roll with banana and ube called “Ube Turon.” You can also find ube used in other western recipes such as “Ube Macarons” and “Ube Butter Mochi.” So while you may not be able to enjoy purple yam, there are more than enough recipes involving the root vegetable to make up for this.