Many of these health Instagrammers have been sporting food porn of purple sweet potatoes, whether whole, in wedges, fries, mash, sweet, savory, spicy, and I’ve been feeling pretty dang jealous of them. All I’d find were the mini purple potatoes that tasted good but just didn’t have that sweet flavor I’d DIE for in a sweet potato or Japanese yam. I eventually gave up and believed I’d have to fly all the way to Asia to find those purple sweet potatoes or what not.
BUT I went to this large Korean supermarket in Northridge. Over there they sold four different sweet potato varieties: red yams, yellow yams, Korean sweet potatoes, and (drumroll, please) purple SUH-WHEET potatoes! In my head I heard an angel choir singing. This was an omen….to NOT fly to Japan. I could just purchase what I wanted here! And of course, being the sweet potato fanatic I am, I bought a few from all four types, along with sweet potato glass noodles made in japchae! SERIOUSLY. It’s made of sweet potato starch and water. Das it. No gluten, no artificial ingredients and no rice!
Guys, THIS is the Whole Foods I believe is most highly overlooked by us foodies. First of all, do you see how much they charge Miracle Noodles, matcha powder, fresh pumpkin and sweet potatoes? UH HUH. You probably laugh, gawk, cry or all of the above. But imagine all of those delicious foods in their purest form for a heavily discounted price. Shirataki (or yam as they label it) noodles for 99 cents a bag. Kabocha for 59 cents a pound. Yellow yams for less than a dollar each TWO pounds. Imagine all the food you could get!
Now I know every Asian supermarket is different. In fact, the Korean store where I found my beloved sweet potatoes isn’t the cheapest one around! And I’m not saying that Asian supermarkets have every superfood that Whole Foods has. You would rarely or never be able to find beans, cacao powder, almond butter, Greek yogurt, protein powder, maca, kombucha, tempeh, etc., but you would find things such as buckwheat noodles, flax seeds, forbidden rice, green tea, goji berries, and of course seasonal and exotic fruit and vegetables.
If you’re trying to live healthily on a budget, Asian supermarkets should be one of your go-tos. They are slightly harder to come across, but utilize them whenever you can if you find one near you! If there’s one thing you should also keep in mind when browsing in a Asian market, a lot of the labels WILL be in a foreign language! When in doubt, try to find the second best option. If you’re deciding if something is brown rice or white rice, for example, sometimes don’t give the benefit of a doubt.
Here I enjoy my purple sweet potato in a one-ingredient cake!! Yum yum yum!
Do you go to Asian supermarkets? Would you like to see an Asian grocery haul on my YouTube channel?