Ube Halaya

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What is Ube Halaya?

I was talking to a patient about Filipino cooking and they mentioned Ube. I asked what it was and they told me that Ube is a purple yam which is popular in Southeast Asia. I find a bit of adventure from cooking something previously unknown. I feel like I understand more about other people and other cultures when I cook their recipes and become familiar with their staple foods. Food is part of who we are. When you learn someone’s favorite foods, you learn a bit about who they are and where they come from.

Having never seen Ube before, I headed to an popular Asian market nearby and bought some. I was not disappointed! Ube Halaya is a popular dessert in the Philippines. It can be eaten plain or can be used to make cakes or ice cream. It is a very rich dish with a subtle sweetness. When I tasted it, I knew that it would be a perfect easy to chew dessert!

Steps to make Ube Halaya:


Easy To Chew is a food blog created by a dentist, a public health professional, and a registered dietitian. Their mission? To cook up delicious recipes  dedicated to those who are in need of foods which are easy to chew, easy to swallow, and easy to love!


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    Ube Halaya

    5 from 1 vote
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    Course: Dessert
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
    Servings: 6


    • 2 pounds purple yams
    • ¼ cup butter
    • cup evaporated milk
    • ¾ cup coconut milk
    • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk


    • Place the purple yams in a large pot and cover with water. Turn stove to high heat and boil covered for about 40 minutes, until the purple yams are easily pierced with a fork. Run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle.
    • The purple yams can now easily be peeled by hand. Peel the purple yams and run them through a potato ricer.
    • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the evaporated milk, coconut milk, and the sweetened condensed milk. Stir together and add in the purple yams. Stir continuously over medium heat for about 40 minutes, until the mixture is thick, almost dough-like.
    • Transfer to a container of your choosing, be sure to spray the container with cooking spray first. It sets more as it cools, once cool it is ready to eat. It can be eaten plain or topped with coconut.
    Tried this recipe?Mention @easy2chew or tag #easytochew!

    When it comes to food, color is everything:

    • Orange contain beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A
    • Red contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant
    • Green is usually associated with fiber, potassium, folate, and a whole slew of vitamins.
    • Blue/Purple contain antioxidants called anthocyanins

    The moral of the story is to find bright colored foods and to eat them. So go, follow that food rainbow, maybe there’s a pot of gold at the end.

    A potato ricer is extremely helpful in making Ube Halaya. It also is a critical tool when making mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potato ricers help make potatoes fluffy without making them gummy and starchy from over mashing. Check one out HERE.

    Never eat gummy mashed potatoes again!

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