This purple ice cream is made from vegetables

It may look artificial, but this purple ice cream actually packs a nutritional punch.

With looks like that, this ice cream was always destined to be a social media hit. But this dessert's main ingredient proves it's cool in more ways than one.

Ube (pronounced oo-bae) is actually a purple sweet potato that gives this ice cream its delightful and dramatic colour.

That's right - it's a vegetable and artificial food colourings need not apply.

While ube is from the Philippines, its cousin 'satsuma-imo' is huge in Japan, and - like all good food trends - it's sweet, purple products, like ice cream and doughnuts, are now taking over New York.

Soft Swerve is just one New York ice creamery serving up ube ice cream to hungry locals in downtown Manhattan. It's winning Instagram followers with a few visually enticing touches, like colourful crumbs, wafers and marshmallows.
 

 

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Closer to home, Aussies can get their hands on purple ice cream, but it's generally made out of taro than the more-vibrant relative, ube. 

Other than the colour, the main difference between the two is that taro, unlike ube, can be poisonous if eaten raw. They both share similar nutritional properties, including being rich in fibre and vitamin C.

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