When I was first learning how to to cook, my dad would often label my creations “the wild, the weird and the wonderful.” And this recipe belongs in that category.
Don’t knock it, though. Despite being weird, it tastes pretty wonderful.
Vegan ice cream can be a challenge. I mean, if you think about it, ice cream is basically 3 things: sugar, eggs and milk or cream, or a combination of milk and cream. Two out of three of those ingredients are things vegans don’t eat. And just plain sugar is not an option.
One of the great challenges, chemistry-wise, is the lack of fat content in many vegan ingredients. Ice cream works because the fat content is usually pretty high, and the water content is usually pretty low. Too much water leads to crystals and hard ice cream, and nobody wants that.
Yes. Sweet potatoes. There’s vegetables in that thar ice cream.
These aren’t just any sweet potatoes, though. These are ubes. Ubes are purple yams, pretty popular in Philippine cuisine. But unlike purple Japanese sweet potatoes, they are purple all the way through, and the shocking colour of this ice cream is partly what gives it its appeal.
You should be able to find ube at most Asian grocery stores, though I surprisingly found these at my local Safeway. Just be sure to snap the top off of one to make sure they are purple all the way though.
The taste is interesting. I’m not saying everyone is going to like it, but the blueberries add sweetness, and honestly, this is tasty stuff. You know I wouldn’t post it if it wasn’t.
Purple Nice Cream
- 2 smaller purple yams or 1 larger one
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup coconut cream (see directions below)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp aquafaba
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp xanthium gum
- Peel the yams and cut them into chunks. Place in a saucepan, and then add water just to cover. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook until soft. Drain and allow to cool.
- Place the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 15 minutes, unless using coconut cream, then you can use it straight from the can.
- Place the blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring up to a simmer and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Remove the coconut milk from the freezer, and open the can. Scoop out the top coconut cream that has risen to the surface, and measure out 1/4 cup.
- Place the blueberries mixture and the yams in a blender along with the coconut cream and the vanilla. Blend well until smooth. Pour out into a large bowl.
- Place the auqafaba, 1 tbsp of sugar and xanthium gum (it keeps the ice cream from crystallizing) in a stand mixer, and whip to stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped AF into the blueberry/yam mixture.
- Freeze according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions. Note: my ice cream maker, a Cusinart, usually takes about 20 minutes to make a batch of ice cream. This one took a little longer.