The Farm Fresh Direct Blog is dedicated to sharing news from the field, great potato information, ideas about food, farming in America and any other interesting dirt we dig up. We aim to be seriously addictive.
These baked sweet potato skins are a healthier take on a traditional sweet potato casserole. Most sweet potato casseroles use peeled sweets and plenty of butter. Our Thanksgiving recipe is lower in fat, but just as satisfying. The best part? Unlike most sweet potato casserole recipes, this one uses healthy sweet potato skins. Why does saving the skins make this recipe healthier? There’s a lot of nutritional value in those skins, so when you can, leave ‘em on, and eat ‘em up!
One sweet potato with the skin on is a tasty treat that’s packed with nutrition. It’s got four grams of fiber, two grams of protein, and over 400 percent of your daily value for vitamin A. Not too shabby for a little orange spud! Your family will love these single-serving stuffed sweet potatoes so much that they won’t even notice that you snuck a healthy Thanksgiving recipe into the spread.
Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins Recipe
Yield: serves 8; Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: about 35-40 minutes
- 4 Express Bake Sweet PotatOHs
- 3/4 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 bag of marshmallows
1. Cook the Sweet PotatOHs in the microwave according to the package instructions. While the potatoes cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. When the PotatOHs are cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the flesh.
3. In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato flesh with the pineapple, brown sugar, and orange juice.
4. Spoon the potato mixture back into the potato skins.
5. Top each one with a few marshmallows.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the marshmallows turn slightly brown on top.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes can help you create healthy and delicious Thanksgiving recipes that your family will love.
Whether we’re talking soups and casseroles or appetizers and sides, potatoes and sweet potatoes are a staple at the Thanksgiving table. They’re versatile, easy to cook with, and – maybe best of all – kid-friendly.
We’ve rounded up some simple Thanksgiving recipes to help you with all of your holiday meal-planning needs.
Soups and Salads
Thanksgiving dinners can be on the heavy side, but with the help of healthy potatoes and sweet potatoes, you can lighten them up.
Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup – The best part of this soup? It’s actually better if you make it in advance. That means less cooking on Thanksgiving day! Just pour it into a pot on the day-of, and turn on the stove to warm it up.
Cauliflower Herb Soup – This creamy soup packs a punch of healthy veggies! For a vegetarian version, just use vegetable broth in place of chicken and leave out the ham.
Light and Lively Fingerling Potato Salad – Kick off your meal with a green salad that even the kids will eat. Filling potatoes make this salad kid- and adult-friendly.
Traditional Appetizers and Side Dishes
Of course, your guests are going to expect at least a couple of more traditional Thanksgiving recipes. Here are a couple of healthy spins on Thanksgiving classics.
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole – This dish can be loaded with butter and cream, but you can serve up a lighter version that’s just as delicious.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes – Save even more time and make this recipe even healthier by choosing thin-skinned potatoes like our Gold Jubileez, and mashing them with the skins on. You can cook them in the microwave in a fraction of the time.
Braided Sweet Potato Cornbread – This bread is a little bit sweet and a little bit savory.
Old Fashioned Potato Biscuits – If sweet potato bread isn’t your thing, serve up these buttery biscuits instead.
Potato-Bread Stuffing – The vegetarians at the table will thank you for including some not-in-the-bird stuffing for them to enjoy.
Here are some Thanksgiving recipes that are a little bit less traditional but will save you time and calories! We’ve even got a couple of suggestions for feeding your vegetarian and vegan guests.
Roast Turkey Breast with Potatoes and Green Beans - Instead of a whole turkey, roast up just the breast. It’s quicker, easier, and you can scale this Thanksgiving recipe up to feed as many guests as you need to.
Lentil Walnut Loaf with Sweet Potatoes – A veggie loaf is a filling main dish for your vegetarian and vegan guests. Even the omnivores at the table are going to want a slice of this, so make sure you cook enough for everyone!
Seitan Pot Roast – Seitan is a vegan meat substitute made with wheat gluten, and you can find it at many health food stores. This recipe roasts with potatoes and other veggies in a rich gravy.
Of course, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without something sweet to top things off. Here are some healthier versions of traditional Thanksgiving dessert recipes.
Sweet Potato Pie – Your guests will never guess that this is a lower-fat version of the Thanksgiving classic.
Sweet Potato Pound Cake – Sweet potatoes replace some of the fat in this pound cake recipe without taking away from the richness.
Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving recipes? Share yours in the comments!
Need a Halloween recipe that will encourage your kids to eat their veggies? This spooky bowl of mashed potatoes is just the thing.
Halloween recipes are usually all about the candy, but you can also make delicious healthy treats to celebrate this year. For this spooky spiderweb, a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes are your canvas, and you use shredded carrots, black olives, and dried rosemary to create the web and the spider.
You don’t have to make those delicate shredded carrots yourself. Check your grocery store’s produce section for a bag of already-shredded carrots. If you can’t find them, use a knife to julienne the carrots into the thinnest sticks that you can.
Halloween Recipe: Spooky Mashed Potato Spiderweb
- 1 batch of buttermilk mashed potatoes
- 1 bag shredded carrots, or at least 1/2 cup carrots very thinly sliced
- 2 jumbo black olives
- 8 pieces of dried rosemary
1. Heap your mashed potatoes into a large bowl, then use a spoon to smooth them down. With a clean dish towel, wipe any potato from the sides of the bowl, so you have a clean canvas to start:
2. Use your carrots to build your web, like in the images below. Start by creating an X with your carrots, then add two more rows to create an asterisk. Finally, use the carrots to create a few circles connecting the lines of your web:
3. Make your spider. Slice about a 1/4″ piece off of the top of one of your olives, and slice the other olive in half lengthwise. One of the olive halves is going to be your spider body, and the small piece is its head. You can eat the other two pieces of olive. You deserve a snack after making that detailed web!
4. To give your spider its legs, very carefully press each piece of rosemary into the sides of the large half olive. Place the spider body and head on your web, and you’re all done!
Don’t you love fall flavors? Spicy ginger, rich sage, and other strong spices make fall food that much more comforting.
What’s great about adding bold seasonings to your cooking is that the more you season the less you need to rely on salt to make your food taste good. In fact, many of those pre-made salt substitutes are simply herb blends that flavor your food with herbs and spices instead of sodium.
Pairing those strong flavors with potatoes is a natural fit, since potatoes are also naturally salt free. Some fall flavors go best with white potatoes, and others taste best with sweet potatoes. We’ve pulled together some side dishes and entree ideas for you that use autumn herbs and spices.
Fall Flavors: Ginger
Spicy ginger pairs beautifully with sweet potatoes. The sweetness from the potatoes helps take the edge off of the ginger’s spiciness, so don’t fear the ginger if you’re not a spicy food fan. Here are a couple of recipe ideas centered around ginger.
Side dish: Marmalade and Ginger-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Fall Flavors: Cardamom
Cardamom is one of the herbs that makes chai tea so comforting, and it is a staple in Indian cooking. If you’re intimidated by cooking your own Indian food, check out these easy Indian recipes!
Side dish or entree: Indian Chickpea and Potato Stew
Fall Flavors: Garlic
Fall is garlic season. Almost any savory dish is tastier with a little bit of garlic, but here are a couple of recipes that feature this universal spice.
Side dish: Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup
Fall Flavors: Sage
Sage has a rich, earthy flavor that’s delicious with beans, meat, or veggies. Try these recipes to add a little sage to your supper.
Side dish or entree: Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup with Sage-Walnut Pesto
Fall Flavors: Hot Peppers
If you like a little heat, hot peppers are the perfect addition to your fall menu. You can use a pinch or add generous amounts for some atomic-level heat!
Entree: Potato Black Bean Chili
Fall Flavors: Turmeric
Turmeric is another Indian spice, and it’s loaded with health benefits. It’s a close relative to saffron but much less expensive. It can be a little bit more bitter, so start with a little turmeric and add more as you get used to cooking with this vibrant yellow spice.
Side Dish: Roast Potatoes with Chili and Turmeric
What are your favorite fall flavors to cook with?
Creative Commons Image Credits:
Spice Tins by Curtis Perry
Cardamom by Steven Jackson
Garlic Clove by Liz West
Growing Ginger at Home by Susy Morris
Drying Sage by Mike Chaput
Banana Peppers by Steven Jackson
Turmeric II by Steven Jackson
What do you love about fall? Is it the cool weather? The leaves changing color? For us, harvesting potatoes is the best part about fall.
Right now, our farmers have fields of farm fresh potatoes, and they’re ready to pluck, clean, and send to your kitchen. We love the fall potato harvest because we love providing those healthy spuds for you and your family to enjoy. But how does growing and harvesting potatoes work? Let’s look and see…
Harvesting potatoes starts in the spring.
Have you ever left a potato on the counter for too long, and it started sprouting eyes or even little shoots? Potatoes are actually the seeds of the potato plants, and when they sprout that way, they’re actually trying to grow more potatoes.
In early spring, we plant what are called “seed potatoes.” They’re not much different from the potatoes that you eat for supper. The big difference is that they’re guaranteed to sprout and grow. We want to make sure that every seed we plant grows up to make plenty of healthy spuds for your family to eat.
Our seed potatoes go into the ground after the last frost of the spring, and we get to harvesting those potatoes just before the first freeze of the fall. It’s not easy to predict, but our farmers are old pros.
Come fall, we get to harvesting potatoes for you.
This year we planted a brand new variety of potatoes – Golden Russets – at Ernie Ford’s Sunny Valley Farms in Colorado. You can see his field in the picture above.
Our farmers use a special tractor called a potato harvester to dig up all of those taters that are almost ready to eat. Here’s one of our special trucks harvesting and shaking some of the extra soil off of the organically grown Golden Russets that Ernie Ford grew for us:
From the harvester, we clean ‘em off even more, then move ‘em to a truck. After we fill up a truck with Ernie’s potatoes they make their way to our storage facilities, where they get another round of cleaning then rest in the cool, dark storage space so they can cure and be ready to ship to stores. Here are Ernie’s potatoes on their way to the cool storage:
Those spuds rest for a while, and then we pack ‘em up and ship ‘em off to stores for you.
We love potato harvest time so much that we even made a special video to show off how our farm fresh potatoes go from our farmers’ fields to your plate. Take a look!
Of course, the best part about the fall potato harvest is eating those farm fresh spuds. Check out our recipes section for healthy potato recipes that your family will love!
Are you ready for fall? We’ve got some fall recipes to warm you up from the inside out!
When there’s a nip in the air, nothing hits the spot like good, old-fashioned comfort food. A steaming bowl of chili, soup, or stew hot off the stove is just the thing when fall weather rolls in, and nothing says comfort like a hearty potato.
Potatoes aren’t just filling comfort food – they’re a family-friendly way to get your kids eating healthy food in these colder months.
When it gets chilly, we tend to eat heavier foods, and a potato is a great way to make foods satisfying without adding any fat or a lot of calories. One medium potato has just 110 calories and is naturally fat free, so you can add potatoes to your family’s fall recipes without feeling guilty.
Fall Recipes: Chili
Gluten Free Vegetarian Potato Chili - This hearty chili is packed with black beans and fresh veggies. Pile on your favorite toppings, and dig in!
Fall Recipes: Soups
Colcannon Chowder – Colcannon is a simple, creamy Irish soup made with potatoes, cabbage, and sausage. Our lightened up version uses turkey sausage and reduced fat milk to make this classic soup healthier for your family.
Lightened Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup – Your family will never guess that instead of heavy cream, this soup gets its creaminess from pureed potatoes. It’s rich, creamy, and stick-to-your-ribs good.
Fall Recipes: Stews
Peppers and Potato Stew – This is a traditional Italian dish: peperonata di patate. This stew simmers for an hour before it’s ready, but you don’t have to stand over the stove while it cooks. Just check in occasionally to give it a stir. Image Credit: Cooking Channel.
Italian White Bean, Kale, and Potato Stew – Healthy beans and kale make this filling soup a good-for-you supper. It keeps well in the refrigerator or the freezer, so make a big batch and serve this up on a chilly, busy fall weeknight. Image Credit: Forks Over Knives.
Fall Recipes: Cornbread and Garlic Bread
Does chili, soup, or stew not feel like a meal on its own? Throw a basket of cornbread or garlic bread on the table, and your family will thank you!
Dairy Free Cornbread – This is a sweet cornbread that goes great with chili or with the white bean and potato stew listed above. Pass butter or margarine alongside for spreading.
Garlic Bread – Garlic bread would go well with any of the recipes listed above, and this recipe doesn’t require any baking. Just spread a garlic-butter mixture onto slices of French of Italian bread, and pop in the oven 10 minutes before you’re planning to have supper on the table.
Do you have any favorite fall recipes? Tell us about your favorite cool-weather supper ideas in the comments!
You know that it’s quick and easy to cook up our farm fresh PotatOHs, but did you know that you can make microwave potato recipes to feed your family in a flash?
How do you use your microwave? Is it mostly for reheating leftovers and making popcorn for family movie night? Microwaves are handy for reheating, but with the help of PotatOHs you can also use them to cook up healthy meals that your whole family will love! We’ve rounded up healthy potato recipes to make your life a little bit easier and a little bit healthier, too.
Not only do these potato recipes help you get supper on the table in a hurry, but including healthy potatoes means you’re adding potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and antioxidants to your family’s plate. Potatoes are also naturally fat- and sodium-free, so you can feel good about dishing them up.
Fast and Fit Clam Chowder
Kids love creamy, hearty clam chowder on a chilly fall evening. Toss together a quick green salad and serve this up with crusty bread, and you’ve got a healthy weeknight meal. The recipe calls for diced potatoes, but you can save even more time (and chopping!) if you substitute our Fingerling Jubileez. Instead of adding them to the broth, just cook them up before you get started, and add half to the soup when you put it in the blender. You can toss the rest in whole or slice them in half to make them a little bit more bite-sized.
Loaded “Baked” PotatOHs
Everybody loves a loaded baked potato, and with our PotatOHs, you can create easy microwave meals that even your kids will enjoy. Check out the variations for broccoli and cheese, pizza, and spinach Alfredo. Instead of slicing the potatoes in half before you microwave, just cook up one Express Bake PotatOH per person and halve it after cooking.
Turn leftover meatloaf into a quick supper with this microwave potato recipe. Instead of stuffing the uncooked potato, just cook up one Express Bake PotatOH per person, then scoop, stuff, and microwave for 1-2 minutes, just to heat the meatloaf all the way through. Serve with a side of microwave-steamed asparagus, and you’ll have a delicious supper on the table in less than 20 minutes!
Greek Salad “Baked” Potatoes
Baking potatoes in the oven can take up to an hour, but throw some Express Bake PotatOHs in the microwave, and you’ve got supper in a fraction of the time. This fresh spin on a loaded baked potato features plenty of veggies and feta cheese for a one-dish meal.
Microwave Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is a hearty, filling meal, and you can make it much more quickly using a microwave. The recipe below calls for dicing the potatoes and cooking them in water, but you can use a tray of our Gold Jubileez to make your creamy mashed potatoes with no peeling or chopping. Just heat them according to the package instructions, then use them in the recipe in place of the cooked, chopped potatoes.
Microwave Shepherdess Pie
Does your family love sweet potatoes? Shepherdess pie is a fun twist on traditional shepherd’s pie that uses mashed sweets instead of regular potatoes. To make this variation, use the recipe above, but substitute four Express Bake Sweet PotatOHs cooked in the microwave for the russet potatoes in the recipe. Just like the shepherd’s pie, you don’t need to peel and dice these up before microwaving. Just cook according to the package directions, and let them cool. The skin will peel away easily with your fingers, and it’s OK if you don’t get every last bit of skin, since this is a rustic dish.
Do you have a favorite microwave potato recipe? Share your quick and easy meal ideas in the comments!
We’ve whipped up a gluten free recipe that’s stick-to-your-ribs good!
Celiac disease affects one out of every 141 Americans. It’s different from a gluten allergy or intolerance. Celiac disease is actually a small intestine disorder that causes sufferers to be hypersensitive to gluten. For someone dealing with celiac disease, eating food with gluten can cause serious symptoms, like digestive problems, anemia, bone density loss, and numbness in the extremities.
Gluten can hide in unexpected places. People suffering from celiac disease need to avoid bread, pasta, and other obvious gluten-packed foods, but you also find gluten in surprising places like beer, malt vinegar, soy sauce, and even some salad dressings.
The good news is that there are lots of healthy, gluten free foods and gluten free recipe ideas out there!
You might also be surprised to learn that potatoes are a naturally gluten free food, which makes them a perfect addition to a healthy, gluten-free diet. They’re also naturally fat and cholesterol free, so you can eat those potatoes without an ounce of guilt!
Gluten Free Recipe: Vegetarian Potato Chili
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tray Express Bake PotatOH! Ruby Jubileez
- optional toppings: sliced avocado, chopped scallions, sour cream, shredded cheese
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high and saute the onion, garlic, and pepper until they begin to soften. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the potatoes and toppings. Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat to low and simmer with the pot partially covered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
2. Meanwhile, cook your PotatOHs in the microwave according to package directions. When they’re cool enough to handle, dice them into 1/2″ pieces.
3. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes more, until everything is heated through. Serve with your choice of gluten free toppings. Enjoy!
Celebrate the start of football season and National Chicken Month with some simple game day snacks.
Is there anything sweeter than the start of football season? What if we told you that not only are your favorite teams kicking off on the field, but that September is also National Chicken Month? Can you say “delicious game day snacks?”
Potatoes a delicious addition to your game day snacks spread, and they’re easy to prepare, so you can spend your day enjoying the big game, not on food preparation. Baking a potato in the oven takes around 45 minutes, but you can bake up a farm fresh PotatOH in just 4-7 minutes in the microwave to save yourself time for what’s really important here: FOOTBALL!
Potatoes and chicken go hand in wing, don’t they? From loaded tater skins to potato and chicken soft tacos, there are endless delicious ways to team up these all star foods on game day. We’ve rounded up some of the best game day finger foods for your next football get together. Enjoy!
A smoky, spicy twist on regular potato skins. Skip the oven and microwave your potatoes to make this dish even faster!
With just 5 ingredients, this easy game day snack is still a crowd-pleaser. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for dipping. Image Source: Rachel Ray.
Impress your guests with grilled kabobs that use rosemary stems instead of bamboo skewers. Image Source: Endless Simmer.
Taco night on game day, anyone? Serve these tacos already made, or set out the ingredients separately to let your game day guests build their own.
Cut your cooking time in half by microwaving the potatoes instead of boiling them, then kick back and get ready to impress your guests with these croquettes. Image Source: Onion Rings and Things.
A knish is a Jewish pastry stuffed with savory goodness. This version is packed with potatoes mashed with chicken stock. Image Source: All Recipes.
Think of these as cheater’s samosas. Instead of making the dough from scratch, these spicy curry puffs use pre-made puff pastry dough to save time and guess work. Your guests never need to know!
Use chicken sausage instead of pork to lighten up this recipe in honor of National Chicken Month. Image Source: My Recipes.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Daniel X. O’Niel on Flickr
Need some after school easy dinners that are healthy too? Potatoes to the rescue!
The school year is full of feeding-the-family-challenges, isn’t it? You’ve got to pack healthy lunches and for kids and fix them energizing after school snacks, and in the evenings, somehow manage to get a hearty supper on the table. You and your kids need something quick, easy, and healthy at the end of a long day of work and school, and a healthy dose of potatoes fits the bill perfectly.
Baking potatoes in the oven can take 45 minutes to an hour, but our farm fresh PotatOH products cook in the microwave in just minutes. Not only do potatoes make quick work when it comes to meal preparation, they’re healthy. Potatoes contain healthy carbohydrates, which fuel muscle and brain function. And at just 110 calories, a medium skin-on potato packs a nutritional punch! It’s rich in potassium and vitamin C and has 2 grams of fiber to help keep you and your kids feeling full.
The best part about potatoes? Kids love ‘em! Check out these easy dinners for after school or any busy evening.
Who says it’s hard to get kids to eat their vegetables? Serve this healthy casserole as a vegetarian main dish, or cook up your favorite protein, and dish this up on the side.
This is another healthy potato recipe that you can serve as a main course or a side dish. Add a big salad, and you’ve got a healthy supper in no time flat.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish stew. It’s a perfect hearty meal on a cold night with some crust bread for dipping.
This potato soup recipes sneaks lots of healthy vegetables in. That creamy base is made from potatoes and cauliflower! Your kids will never guess that they’re eating their veggies.
Nothing says comfort food like a pot pie, and our version uses pre-made pie crust and microwave cooking to speed up the process.
Casseroles can be time-consuming, but this veggie-packed dish cooks up fast in the microwave to get supper on the table in a flash.
Kids love taco night! To make this meal into an event, serve the filling in a big bowl with other toppings – like diced tomato, shredded lettuce, and sour cream – and let everyone make their own tacos right at the table.
This casserole is a one-dish meal, and it comes together quickly with the help of your microwave.
Do you have a go-to easy dinner that you cook up on busy school nights? Tell us about your kids’s favorite potato dishes in the comments!