This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #ad
This post contains a giveaway for a basket of sweet potato and sweet onions along with an autographed copy of Sweet Potato Love. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details.
I had the privilege of serving on the team providing live social media coverage for the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit held recently in Orlando, FL. At the show, I was intrigued by Bland Farms’ booth and stopped in to chat with them and snap some photos to post on social media. Their chef was cooking up some interesting sweet potato appetizers.
Well, you know how I feel about sweet potatoes. I couldn’t help myself. I loved and appreciated sweet potatoes before I wrote Sweet Potato Love. However, the serious research I did in preparation for writing the book led to a deeper appreciation for the sweet root. Plus, I’m intrigued by creative ways of using sweet potatoes in recipes.
I had a nice chat with Chef about his sweet potato creations. As we talked, I glance over to a section of the booth and saw cases upon cases of Sweet Onion Petals, one of my husband favorites snacks in the whole big world.
Honest to Pete, my husband loves these more than he loves his luggage. He buys several bags at the time. If he only knew I was talking to the folks that make these snacks, he’d be star-struck….err…..star-stricken……errr….. star-stroked…….jealous. He’d be real jealous. I stood there staring at the cases looking like I’d lost every bit of good sense I ever had.
In addition to the original flavor of onion petals, there’s more snack options:
- Zesty Sweet Onion Petals
- Sour Cream and Onion Flavored Sweet Onion Petals
- Sweet Potato Skins
- Sweet Potato Fries
My fascination with the discovery of the snacks, plus Chef’s sweet potato appetizers coupled with the fact that the folks in the booth were so friendly and nice, led to a wonderful conversation. I learned that Bland Farms is a multi-generation family farm and the largest producer of Vidalia onions. Also, I learned that Vidalia Brands belongs to them, too, and is their line for snacks, salad dressings and condiments.
As if sweet potatoes isn’t enough to get my attention, they grow sweet onions, too. Specifically, Vidalia which are the best sweet onions in the universe. I cook with a ton of sweet onions.
I have a heart for farmers, a huge heart for farmers. They’re national heroes and don’t get nearly enough recognition for the valuable work they do.
So, there I was. Talking to a family of farmers of sweet potatoes and sweet onions who also make my husband’s favorite snack.
I wondered if I was dead and actually in Heaven.
As I describe in Sweet Potato Love, sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse and a versatile superstar. Whatever your lifestyle or culinary point of view, there’s a place for sweet potatoes. Due to their long shelve life, if properly stored, they’re available year round in grocery stores and at produce stands. Sweet potatoes aren’t simply for Sweet Potato Casserole at Thanksgiving. Use them in recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts.
Sweet Potatoes are popular worldwide for their nutritional benefits: beta-carotene, vitamins B and C, minerals. They an important antioxidant and source of fiber. But, did you know that sweet onions have important nutritional benefits, too?
- Vitamin C
- Fat and cholesterol free
- low sodium
- dietary fiber
- aids in cellular repair
Look for the Vidalia Brands line of snacks and processed products and Bland Farms fresh products. When you purchase their brands, you’re supporting family farms. That’s important. I’ve met this family and I will do all I can to support them. They’re real people doing the best they can to bring you quality, reliable products. Some of the larger retailers where you can find them are:
- Dollar General
Enjoy a recipe courtesy of Bland Farms featuring sweet potatoes and sweet onions. Then, hop in your car and head to your grocery store and look for Bland Farms and Vidalia Brands. When you find them, make a purchase and support a family farm. (Don’t forget to scroll down for the giveaway details).
Sweet Potato Soup with Marinated Onions
yield: 4 to 6 servings
Reprinted with permission from Bland Farms
yield: 4 to 6 servings
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 Bland Farms® sweet onion, peeled and sliced in 1/8-inch rings
In a bowl combine vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in onions. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
2 celery stalks, finely diced
½ Bland Farms® sweet onion, finely diced
1 tsp. olive oil
3 large Vidalia Brands® sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 qts. chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
¼ tsp. allspice
2 cups heavy cream
In a large pot sauté celery and onion in oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and broth. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt, pepper and allspice. Stir in cream.
Working in batches, ladle soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and transfer to a clean pot. Or, use an immersion blender to blend soup in pot until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls and top with marinated onions. Makes 4 to 6 servings
- yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Reprinted with permission from Bland Farms
- yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Marinated onions:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 Bland Farms® sweet onion, peeled and sliced in 1/8-inch rings
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- ½ Bland Farms® sweet onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 3 large Vidalia Brands® sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 qts. chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- In a bowl combine vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in onions. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- In a large pot sauté celery and onion in oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and broth. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt, pepper and allspice. Stir in cream.
- Working in batches, ladle soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and transfer to a clean pot. Or, use an immersion blender to blend soup in pot until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls and top with marinated onions. Makes 4 to 6 servings
⇒⇒⇔GIVEAWAY DETAILS⇐⇐⇐ Together with Bland Farms, we’re hosting a giveway for a basket containing an autographed copy of Sweet Potato Love along with sweet potatoes and sweet onions. To enter: leave a comment on this post and tell us your favorite childhood meal. Contest will end Monday, 11/14/16 at 5:00 pm EST. The winner will be randomly selected and notified by email. They will have 24 hours to respond.