Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie with Gula Melaka Swirls

Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie with Gula Melaka Swirls

In late 2019, I was approached by The Star newspaper to develop a couple of recipes to share with their readers to get the new year started off on a healthy note. It was an absolute dream to receive such an invitation, and a sign that my work as a Plant-Based Advocate in Malaysia was paying off. Since then, The Star has since implemented a subscription for unlimited digital access to all their articles present and past. Understandably so, in light of how rough 2020 has been for everyone. It means that the recipes I developed for the Malaysian public is not as accessible as it used to be, so I’m sharing them here too.

This is one of two recipes. The journalist who reached out for the article was suggesting ideas that were relatively easy to make, yet inventive and visually pleasing. Not the easiest combo to pull off!

After some brainstorming I finally came up with a smoothie with a milkshake-like presentation. You know the milkshakes that look like diabetes at a cosplay convention: dressed up with pretzels, caramel, cookie crumbles, ice cream, sprinkles AND a slice of cake on top? I wanted something like that, just not so… terminal.

Sweet potato is one of my favourite tubers. Steaming them up gets them ready to eat in 10 minutes flat and they can be eaten straight up for breakfast. They are also fabulous for thickening up smoothies. This recipe uses the purple variety, but you can use any colour if you’re not concerned about presentation.


My most favourite part is the sauce. Ugh, the SAUCE. It is eye-rolling bliss. If it wasn’t scalding hot I’d lick the stirring spoon clean.


Come to think of it, it has been scalding hot and it hasn’t stopped me before.


Once the sauce starts to cool it thickens, so it helps to have your glasses on standby when the sauce is done cooking. It is easier to work with the sauce while it is still hot. The glass-smearing step doesn’t need any special skills. In fact, the messier it is, the better it looks! Have fun with it.


My cookie crumbles are made of Lotus Biscoff biscuits, which are vegan by default. I buy it already in crumbled form at my baking supplies store. If you can’t get them crumbled, crumble your own. Oreos are also vegan by default and work well too.


Pop the glasses in the fridge to set a little bit while you blend your smoothie.

Alternatively, you can just leave a dollop of sauce the bottom of your glass so that when it has been served, you can dip your spoon down for a bit of sweetness with each sip.

If you’re monitoring your sugar levels, or don’t have time to dress up your smoothie at all, you can go straight to the blending step.


Pour in to glasses, add a little bit of dessicated coconut on top if you wish to decorate further…

And it’s ready for you to EAT IT TO KING-NOM COME.

This smoothie is incredibly filling and is a fun way to get some good healthy carbs into your diet for wholesome, long-lasting energy. I hope you love it as much as I do!

This recipe has no ratings just yet.

Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie with Gula Melaka Swirls

July 10, 2020
: 2
: Moderate

This thick, luscious smoothie takes advantage of the creaminess of steamed sweet potato and the smokey sweetness of Malaysian palm sugar. Enjoy slowly!


  • 100g peeled purple sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (e.g. soy), unsweetened
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste / essence (optional)
  • 50g shaven Gula Melaka (or Coconut Palm Sugar)
  • 200g carton of coconut cream
  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • Crumbled biscoff or any other vegan biscuit (decoration, optional)
  • Dessicated coconut (decoration, optional)
  • Cinammon stick (decoration, optional)
  • Step 1 Dice sweet potato and steam for 15 minutes until soft. You can do this minimum 2 hours in advance – or overnight – and store in the fridge or freezer.
  • Step 2 Put coconut cream, Gula Melaka and salt in a pot and heat up until it starts to bubble. Being heat down to medium to low.
  • Step 3 Allow to simmer, stirring constantly
  • Step 4 with a spoon for 8-12 minutes, until the mixture starts to brown and thicken into a sauce. It should drizzle off the spoon like caramel. Remove sauce from heat.
  • Step 5 Take small drinking glass and place a dollop of sauce into the bottom of the glass. Take some sauce with the back of the spoon and smear some sauce around the inner wall of the glass, and on the outer rim if decorating with crumbled biscuit. Gently pat
  • Step 6 biscuit pieces against the rim to stick. Place in the fridge to keep cool.
  • Step 7 Repeat with another glass.
  • Step 8 Blend sweet potato, non-dairy milk, cinnamon and optional vanilla essence in a blender until smooth.
  • Step 9 Remove glasses from fridge and carefully pour in smoothie. Decorate with optional desiccated coconut and cinnamon stick.
  • Step 10 Serve immediately.

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2 thoughts on “Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie with Gula Melaka Swirls”

  • Oh mein Gott, ich darf nicht in gucken, ich fange an zu sabbern, yummi!
    Viele Grüße,
    Jesse-Gabriel aus Berlin

    • Hello Jesse-Gabriel, I wish I spoke German! I trust that it was positive feedback, hehe 🙂 Thank you for dropping me a line! Stay well and happy in Berlin. <3

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