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CA Sweetpotato Festival

LIVINGSTON, Calif. (August 20, 2014) –The California Sweetpotato Council is partnering with the City of Livingston to host the 3rd Annual California Sweetpotato Festival on September 19-21, 2014 at the Max Foster Sports Complex in Livingston, CA. Building on the rising interest and demand for California Sweetpotatoes, the Festival plans to create a lot of buzz this year with the addition of several new food vendors showcasing their unique local recipes and creative talents.
“Our goal is create a local tradition that someday you can find on the map alongside the Gilroy Garlic Festival.” said Jason Tucker, VP of the California Sweetpotato Council, “It starts with great food and top tier entertainment.” One of the highlights this year is a special performance by Caleche Ryder, a pop country recording artist out of Los Angeles, CA. She sang on the Miss America stage in 2008 as Miss Nevada and was recently nominated for "Country Artist of the Year" and for "Country Single of the Year" for the 2014 LA Music Awards.

“Sweetpotato” as one word is not only grammatically correct; it’s a handy way to remind you that a Sweetpotato is not simply a “sweet potato.” In fact, it’s not a potato at all, but a different vegetable entirely, blessed with a totally different nutrient set. While both hail from the same botanical order, they come from different families. Low in carbs, high in vitamins and minerals, the California Sweetpotato is a designated superfood. With almost twice as much fiber as a white potato, a California Sweetpotato’s calories are burned more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate. On a per-acre basis, California Sweetpotatoes are the most nutrient-dense of any commercially grown food.

A sponsored culinary tent will host chefs giving demonstrations throughout the event on the best ways to prepare sweetpotateos and highlighting some unique recipes. The food vendors this year will be asked to make one special sweetpotato dish to offer along with their main menus. Guests will be able to sample some fun treats such as Sweetpotato Ice Cream and Cupcakes. The now famous Sweetpotato Fries will be a sure hit and available throughout the event. The planning committee is still taking applications for food vendors at the City of Livingston main office. The cut of date is September 5th.

Another unique attraction this year will be the “Growers Ally.” A special area where several farmers from the region will have their antique equipment on display along with modern sweetpotato equipment and new tractors. “Some guys will want to spend all day looking at the different kinds of tractors and equipment” said Tucker, “It will be a tough choice for the kids too; check out the cool tractors or ride the carnival rides.” Carnival rides will be put on by Paul Maurer Shows, with advanced tickets available for purchase through the City of Livingston. The City is expecting a greater number of rides and games compared to last year. The Livingston FFA will set up a special “kids zone” and host Sweetpotato contests throughout the weekend. 
The City of Livingston is centrally located and the Max Foster Sports complex is well suited for a festival located just off Hammett exit on Highway 99. California is the 3rd largest sweetpotato grower in the US with approximately 18, 000 acres behind North Carolina and Mississippi respectively. 

For more information about the festival go to: www.livingstoncity.com  to learn more about California Sweetpotatoes, visit casweetpotatoes.com  and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest at CaSweetpotatoes.

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California Sweetpotatoes—One Word, Endless Possibilities

LIVINGSTON, Calif. (January 23, 2014) –The California Sweetpotato Councilrecently put Registered Dietitians (RD’s) across the country to the test in a national contest to create healthy, delicious recipes using California sweetpotatoes. More than 80 dietitians entered their original creations from baked goods to soup and sides showcasing this nutritional superstar.

During the month of November, The California Sweetpotato Council challenged Recipe ReDuxers – a network of registered dietitians – to get to know California Sweetpotatoes and find out what makes them so super. California-grown sweetpotatoes get their start in soft sand, and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. Not only are California sweetpotatoes good looking, they are also a good source of fiber {4 grams/serving}, vitamin C, and an excellent source of vitamin A {more than a days’ worth of your daily requirement}! In addition, 1 medium sweetpotato has only 110 calories and 2 grams of protein, making them a natural fit for any healthy diet.

The contest participants also learned a little known secret-- this beloved vegetable is, in fact, not a potato that is sweet as the oft used name suggests. Sweetpotatoes couldn’t be more different from a white potato and are a different vegetable entirely!  Then there’s the yam/sweetpotato confusion. The “yams” you see in the grocery store?  They are actually sweetpotatoes. The difference is in the variety, not the vegetable.  

The winning recipe coincidentally came from a California-based registered dietician, E.A. Stewart. Stewart took the challenge and created a recipe that is the essence of sweetpotatoes –super healthy and simply delicious!  This creative and healthy dish is a must have addition to your recipe repertoire, especially since it can be served for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner. California Sweetpotato Hash [Greek Style] with Feta and Eggs wowed the judges with the combination of fresh flavors, quick cooking time, and appetizing appearance. “One of my favorite things about cooking with CA Sweetpotatoes besides their delicious taste, and nutrient profile, is their versatility in the kitchen. Since creating my hash recipe, I've also had fun making cookies, smoothies, and more, all with CA sweetpotatoes,” said Stewart.

The registered dietitian and health community are well aware of the many benefits, versatility, and delicious taste of sweetpotatoes, and the rest of the country is not far behind. Sweetpotatoes are mentioned almost daily as an important food to add to the diet, included on list after list of “superfoods,” and have become a mainstay on restaurant menus across the country. The fact that you can bake, boil, broil, grill, fry, steam, roast, sauté, puree or just pop them in the microwave and eat them makes them the clever cook’s favorite vegetable. 

For more sweetpotato inspiration and all of the recipes included in the Recipe Redux California Sweetpotato contest, visit http://thereciperedux.com/recipe-archive/. To learn more about California Sweetpotatoes, visitcasweetpotatoes.com  and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest at California Sweetpotatoes.

California Sweetpotato Hash {Greek Style} with Feta Cheese and Eggs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium California sweetpotatoes { 4 cups shredded}
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Greek seasoning*
  •  1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs**
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • Fresh oregano for garnish, optional

 Instructions

1.     Prepare the sweetpotatoes: Peel the sweetpotatoes, then shred them with a food processor or by hand, and set aside, then chop the onions by hand or in a food processor, and set aside. Chop the baby spinach, and set aside.

2.     Heat the olive oil over medium in a 12-inch cast iron, or other, skillet. Add the shredded sweet potatoes and toss to coat in the oil. Cook the sweet potatoes over medium for about 5 minutes, tossing regularly so they don't burn. Add the chopped onion and cook for an additional 4 minutes, then add the chopped spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted.

3.     Stir in the Greek seasoning, sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.

4.     Spread the veggie mixture evenly across the pan, and make 4 holes in the veggies. Next, crack one egg in each hole, and cook for 2 minutes, then place a lid over the pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to your liking.

5.     Remove skillet from heat, and top with crumbled feta cheese and fresh oregano for garnish before dividing in to 4 servings.

Notes

*You can use a combination of dried mint, dried oregano, and garlic salt in place of the Greek seasoning.

*Because of potential risks from consuming raw eggs, the USDA has issued this warning: "SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: Keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly."

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