This Classic Vegan Taiwanese Treat Is Perfect For Summer

Put aside what you think you know about vegetables and dessert and get ready to be wowed by this delicious Taiwanese treat. You might be familiar with adding grated carrots or zucchini to a cake. The vegetable ingredients certainly make it feel more wholesome, even if it's also covered in icing. But when it comes to Taiwanese frozen baked sweet potatoes, the vegetable is the sole star of the dish, providing both wholesomeness and sweetness.

If you think about it, the name "sweet potato" already hints at the composition of the tuber. When a sweet potato is baked, heat breaks down the starches, which in turn are more readily converted into sugar by our body, explains HuffPost. While this might not be good news for someone with diabetes, anyone looking for a healthy but sweet dessert option will be glad to know that the sweetness and caramel flavors inherent in a sweet potato definitely rise with baking. 

George Lee, a TikTok and Instagram star and vegan cook originally from Taiwan, recently shared a recipe for frozen baked sweet potatoes. In an interview with Eater, he reminisced about the ease of buying them at every corner store in Taiwan and noted how it wasn't quite the case in the United States. While your local convenience store might not stock frozen sweet potatoes together with the popsicles just yet, the recipe is simple and Lee shares a few tips so you can make it successfully.

How do you make sweet potato popsicles?

On George Lee's website Chez Jorge, the vegan chef explains that sugar and starch content vary widely depending on the type of sweet potato. He recommends using orange or yellow flesh varieties (sometimes called Taiwanese, Japanese, or Korean sweet potatoes), and to avoid starchy purple Okinawan potatoes. He suggests using longer tube shaped sweet potatoes instead of large round ones which might not cook or freeze as evenly. Also, they have more of a popsicle look, don't you think?

Once you've chosen your sweet potatoes, clean the skins well because George definitely encourages you to eat them. He's not the only one — Livestrong notes sweet potato skins contain high levels of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. The next steps he walks us through on Chez Jorge are straightforward: First, bake the sweet potatoes in an oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes, until soft. Next, let them cool down, pop them into a container or freezer-safe bag, and leave them in the freezer for four hours for optimal texture. If they've been in the freezer longer, give them 10 minutes to thaw slightly or zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds. You'll have a creamy yet icy texture, perfect for a hot summer day. 

Even better, George explains that when sweet potatoes are frozen, the content of resistant starch increases. Healthline praises the starch, noting it benefits digestion, insulin regulation, and controls appetite. Ice cream bar? Pass. One frozen sweet potato, please!