Purpose Tea, Yammy’s Butter Spreads, and Sacred Heart Sweets have a passion for food and giving back.

The color purple is rarely ever found in foods that people drool over. From red cabbage to eggplant to Redbor kale, the foods that have that purple hue can be somewhat boring on their own. But in fact, many of these naturally vibrant colors indicate high levels of antioxidants and a host of health benefits. And when done right, these purple foods can offer an explosion of taste and flavor.

Here’s our roundup for where to go to get your local purple food fix.

 Purpose Tea is a Dallas-based startup beverage brand founded by Chi Nguyen.(Purpose Tea)

Purpose Tea

Purpose Tea is a Dallas-based startup beverage brand that specializes in ready-to-drink purple tea.

Produced from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, the same plant where black, green, and tea originate, purple tea offers a host of different benefits. According to Purpose Tea founder Chi Nguyen, purple tea has 50% more antioxidants and less caffeine than green tea.

It also contains the polyphenol GHG, which is linked to fat-burning, anti-aging, and cancer-fighting properties.

“I didn’t know anything about purple tea when I had started the business,” Nguyen says. “[But] the cause I hold to my heart is empowering women, especially in the developing world. So as an avid tea drinker, I knew that unfortunately there are a lot of workers that are exploited in the supply chain.” 

Purpose Tea is a Dallas-based startup beverage brand founded by Chi Nguyen.(Purpose Tea)

After extensive research, Nguyen decided to source her tea from an exclusive supplier in Kenya, the third largest tea producer after India and Sri Lanka.

And 5% of profits from Purpose Tea sales go toward funding a three-pronged initiative designed to boost the quality of life for tea pickers in Kenya. These areas include training and education, community support services through academic scholarships, and access to land for female tea workers.

“Our purpose and our mission is to create a healthier and more just world,” Nguyen says. “Not only is purpose in our name, it’s in our DNA. Everything that we do is very much purpose-driven.” Purpose Tea products can be purchased at Whole Foods locations or through purposetea.com.

Ube butter from Yammy's(Huyen Do)

Ube butter from Yammy's(Huyen Do)  

Yammy’s Butter Spreads

Yammy’s Butter Spreads is a social media-born small business selling a spreadable, whipped ube butter.

Ube is a purple yam originating from the Philippines, and it has a flavor profile blending the mild sweetness of vanilla with the nuttiness of pistachio.

In recent years, the Filipino staple has seen a surge in popularity in ice creams, lattes and doughnuts across the U.S. After seeing the flavor offered at a local ice cream shop, Nina Hudencial of Houston decided to create her own ube product in the form of a traditional spread.

“Ube has just always been around for me, it never really clicked that it was something that was trendy,” Hudencial says. “Filipinos usually eat it in a jam form, so it’s just kind of a modification of what we already eat in the Philippines.”

The jam can be paired with the Filipino bread pandesal, spread onto other types of bread, waffles, and baked goods, or even swirled into cocktails.

“Our long-term goal is to put Filipino food on the map,” Hudencial says. “Filipino food hasn’t really been on the mainstream culinary scene for very long, but now you’re seeing all these Filipino bakers pop up and bring the best that they have to the table, and I think that’s amazing.

” Yammy’s Butter Spreads can be purchased through their Instagram or Facebook pages. instagram.com/yammysbutters.

Edith Rangel of Sacred Heart Sweets specializes in blue corn tortillas(Edith Rangel )

Sacred Heart Sweets

Edith Rangel of Farmers Branch operates Sacred Heart Sweets, a home bakery selling custom cakes, breads, and baked goods. But her most popular item is the blue corn tortilla, made from blue corn that she sources directly from Oaxaca, Mexico.

After getting the corn from the purveyor, she cooks it for 40 minutes and soaks it in a homemade alkaline solution for 12-14 hours. This breaks up the endosperm and makes the corn easier to digest, reduces the mycotoxins, and adds a lot of benefits than what a traditional tortilla from the grocery store would offer.

Then Rangel grinds the masa corn with an electric Molino, forms the dough into balls, hand presses them, and finally cooks the masa on a griddle to make tortillas.

“For me, it’s really nostalgic because it kind of brings me back to Mexico,” Rangel says. “With my grandma, I have memories of her making big baskets of tortillas and having to go grind early in the morning with my tías.”

Rangel was also inspired by the #sinmaíznohaypaíz movement on Instagram, which translates to “Without maize, there is no country.”

“It’s a really big movement in Mexico, trying to take back maize and corn tortillas and really give the people back what was ours,” Rangel says.

Although maize was first domesticated thousands of years ago, it is still a staple in the Mexican diet today.

“There was a point where it just got really industrialized, and so a lot of stuff got lost along the way,” Rangel says. “One of those things was small farmers and the ancient techniques of actually doing it yourself and the thing that was sacrificed was a lot of the nutritional value in it.

” One notable factor that can compromise the nutritional value of maize is glyphosate, a widely used herbicide that is potentially toxic and even carcinogenic.

A study conducted in August 2017 examined the presence of glyphosate in processed foods and tortillas made from maize in Mexico. The study concluded that nearly one-third of samples tested positive for glyphosate.

“I’m Mexican, my family’s all Mexican, and our ancestors grew up on this type of food, which is really organic, really straight from the land,” Rangel says. “Corn was the biggest and the main food source for us. I think it’s important not to lose that value and that sense of who we are.

” Edith Rangel’s blue corn tortillas can be purchased through her Instagram. instagram.com/sacredheartsweets.