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Healthyish Loves It is our weekly column where we tell you about the stuff we can’t live without. See our past recommendations here!
Maybe the most Korean thing about me, apart from being 100 percent Korean American, is my unbridled adoration for goguma (sweet potato). In college I even had a finsta account under the username Grateful_Goguma where I shared tidbits of my personal life and A LOT of sweet potato photos. Roast them, steam them, or air-fry them and, without fail, they’ll always be delectable. Just when I thought I’d reached peak goguma, I stumbled upon these Korean dried sweet potato snacks a few years back and knew this would be an everlasting love.
Being somewhat of a spud specialist, I’ve tried loads of different brands, and JeollaNamdo is hands-down my favorite. Straight out of the bag, the golden spears of dried goguma look like a cross between a piece of Turkish Delight candy and a chubby little french fry. Texturally, they’re incredibly fudgy with a delicate, taffy-like pull. The only processing the sweet potatoes go through is a roasting and drying that boosts their syrupy sweetness without any added sugar. Low and slow dehydrating also means the starches release a white, malty sugar dust that coats each piece. In this snack equation, time equals concentrated flavor and major powdered jelly donut vibes.
Each handful of these root veggies come in a sunshine yellow snack-size pouch that I infer as strong encouragement to eat them all at once. I keep a stash tucked away in a special box (labeled “Fun Stuff!”), alongside a supply of kettle corn and almond butter cups, and I reach for a bag whenever that inevitable hangxiety comes a-knocking. If I’m seeking more satiety and sweetness, say, post workout, I like to dice the strips into smaller cubes and toss them with nuts and vegan chocolate chunks to make my own trail mix. While it saddens me to report that I deactivated my finsta account about a year ago, I’m still grateful as ever for goguma.