Ube is a type of purple yam originally from the Philippines. Inspired by this unusual vegetable, ube ice cream is an ice cream made from ube puree, powder, or extract.
The flavor of ube ice cream has been described as a mixture between vanilla and pistachio.
In the past few years, Trader Joe’s has been known to sell several different types of ube ice cream. They sell Ube Ice Cream by the pint as well as in the form of delicious Ube Mochi. Unfortunately, TJ’s customers can’t find these ube treats in stores year round.
This is because Trader Joe’s Ube Ice Cream offerings have traditionally been seasonal, appearing each year during the summer. However, many customers spotted Ube Ice Cream at their local TJ’s stores last September, suggesting that the product might be transitioning into a permanent offering.
Unfortunately, as it stands, Ube Ice Cream has not been available in stores since Fall 2022. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it reappears for summer 2023!
Luckily, there is currently no indication that Trader Joe’s plans to discontinue their ube ice cream offerings.
Here’s a helpful post from a Reddit user describing TJ’s approximate schedule for releasing their seasonal ube products each year, based on the 2022 schedule…
If you’re looking for an alternative to TJ’s Ube Ice Cream while it’s out of stock, check out Magnolia Ube Ice Cream, which can be found at Safeway, Walmart, and Albertsons.
Ingredients & Nutrition
Each of TJ’s ube ice cream offerings are made with slightly different recipes, so we’ll go over both here.
Trader Joe’s Ube Ice Cream by the pint is made with the following ingredients–cream, water, sugar, ube puree (purple yam puree, sugar, water, glucose, lactic acid), nonfat milk powder, sugared egg yolks, carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, sugar, grape extract, red cabbage extract, beet juice, beta-carotene, and natural flavors.
One serving of TJ’s Ube Ice Cream (⅔ of a cup) contains 200 calories from 11 grams of fat, 55 mg of cholesterol, 75 mg of sodium, 22 grams of carbs, 18 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. This ice cream is super rich–that’s for sure!
It also contains dairy, meaning that it is not suitable for vegans. However, it is completely gluten free.
TJ’s Ube Mochi is made with nonfat milk, cream, purple yam, cane sugar, egg yolks, vegetable juice, fruit juice, carob bean gum, guar gum, natural flavors, sweet rice flour, water, tapioca syrup, and egg whites.
In one piece of Ube Mochi from Trader Joe’s, you’ll be eating 80 calories from 2 grams of fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 10 mg of sodium, 14 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of sugar. This is not bad at all for a dessert, so if you can stick to just one piece, this is a fairly low-impact sweet snack.
However, if you eat three pieces, this puts you up to 30 grams of added refined sugar, which isn’t exactly healthy.
As with TJ’s pints of Ube Ice Cream, their Ube Mochi is also gluten free. Unfortunately, it is not vegan as it contains both dairy and eggs.
Based on loads of reviews from all over the web, TJ’s customers are very pleased with the Ube Mochi, but not so much with the pints of Ube Ice Cream.
According to several customers, the Ube Mochi is more flavorful with a better texture, while the pints of Ube Ice Cream don’t have much flavor and are a bit on the grainy side.
If you’re a fan of delicate ice cream flavors like this Reddit user, then TJ’s Ube Ice Cream might be for you…
Unfortunately, the reviews of TJ’s pints of Ube Ice Cream are mostly underwhelming.
This Reddit user thinks that TJ’s products are sweeter and less flavorful than other more authentic ube products…
Yet more Reddit users have expressed their underwhelm after trying TJ’s Ube Ice Cream…
Judging by these reviews, I’d recommend sticking with TJ’s Ube Mochi the next time they become available in stores.
Ube Ice Cream Recipes
If you’re too antsy to wait until summer or if you simply want to try your hand at making some homemade ice cream yourself, there are plenty of recipes out there to try.
Most homemade ube ice creams actually come out much darker in color than TJ’s Ube Ice Cream, which probably means that they’ll be more flavorful, too.
Check out this recipe for Homemade Ube Ice Cream from Cooking Therapy, which holds a 5-star rating and yields a gorgeous, bright purple ice cream.
Here’s another 5-star Ube Ice Cream recipe from Foodtasia, and another from Bigger Bolder Baking which specifically claims to be “better than Trader Joe’s.”