This Epic Healthy Alternative to Smoked Salmon Bagel with Fresh From Florida Sweet Potatoes Will Take Brunch To The Next Level
This post is written in partnership with Fresh From Florida and the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. All opinions are my own.
Looking for a fun, easy, delicious, and healthy recipe for your next brunch with friends? Check, Check, Check, and Check! I hope you’ll love my “Everything But The Bagel” Sweet Potato Toast made with Fresh From Florida Sweet Potatoes, Smoked Salmon, “Everything Bagel” Spread (a delicious spread and dip made with cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and Everything Bagel seasoning you’ll want to make over and over again!), plus all your favorite bagel sandwich toppings. Arrange it as a toppings bar and let everyone create their own Sweet Potato Toast. It will take your weekend brunch – or any day lunch – to the next level!
If you’re avoiding processed carbs and bread, I promise you won’t miss the bagel with this tasty smoked salmon bagel sandwich alternative recipe using sweet potatoes as your base. The best part, Florida sweet potatoes are in season all summer long!
Fresh Locally Grown Produce Tastes Better
I learned so much during a recent tour of Florida’s Tri-County Agricultural Area organized by the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA), and sponsored by Fresh From Florida and Agriculture Communicators of Florida. From planting to picking, packing to transporting, we got to see what our Florida farmers do on a daily basis to bring fresh produce to our local grocery stores, and ultimately to our tables. It was an unforgettable experience. We discovered why fresh locally grown produce tastes better!
Buying in season, at the peak of ripeness, is best for the tastiest and most nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Benefits of Purchasing Local Fresh From Florida Products
Fresh From Florida produce is often in our local grocery stores within 1-3 days of being picked! That’s fresh! And fresh will always taste better. Plus, it also stays fresh longer. While produce from the US may be a bit more expensive than produce imported from Mexico (due largely in part to higher labor costs), the fact is that because it is fresher, it has a longer shelf life and will last longer to save you money in the long run. If you get mad like I do when you have to throw out produce only days after you’ve purchased it, buy local Fresh From Florida products.
Purchasing locally grown produce, not only is more nutritious, and better for the environment, it supports our local economy and local families as well. 90% of Florida’s farms are family owned and operated. Most of these families have been farming for generations and have a strong commitment to feeding our communities. It also allows us to not rely on other countries for our most important necessity – fresh food.
More Interesting Facts About Florida Agriculture:
- After tourism, agriculture is the # 2 industry in the state of Florida! Due to our climate, we fill the gap in the off-season for the rest of the country.
- Did you know we grow more than citrus, strawberries, and corn in Florida? How about broccoli, kale, cabbage, potatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and so much more!
- Every county in Florida contributes to our agricultural bounty!
- Currently in Season in Florida: Blueberries, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Radishes, Leafy Greens, Peaches, Tomatoes, Watermelon, and more!
- Unfortunately, higher labor costs result in Florida produce not necessarily being cheaper than produce from Mexico or other parts of the world. Our local farms rely almost entirely on guest worker programs which require farms to pay for travel, housing, and meals in addition to hourly wages. This results on average around $22-$25/hr per worker compared to much lower wages paid outside of the country.
- Most farms in our state are family-owned and run, farming for generations over 100 years. It is a tough business, subject to many challenges but their passion for agriculture, and feeding the community was incredible. Have you thanked your local farmers today?
- One of the most surprising and fun experiences of the entire trip was…. THE POTATOES! Did you know there are over 2,000 varieties of potatoes being grown in Florida?! The UF/IFAS research program is responsible for the breeding and research of new varieties which can take more 10 years before it is farmed.
Where To Find Fresh Florida Produce?
Look for Fresh From Florida produce in all major grocery stores including Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s, Walmart, Aldi, Winn Dixie, and Publix.
It’s easy to find fresh, locally grown food at your grocery store! Simply look for the “Fresh From Florida” label. And if you don’t see the label, ask the produce department manager. You will be surprised, as I was, at how many varieties of fruits and vegetables are grown all throughout Florida.
We learned during our tour of Florida farms that some products are labeled with the name and location of the farm and others are labeled with proprietary brand names for the store. So if you’re curious about where your food comes from, just ask.
Fun Facts About Florida Sweet Potatoes
The UF/IFAS is a great resource to learn more about produce grown in Florida. Here are a few fun facts about sweet potatoes from their website:
- Sweet potatoes are a warm-season crop for Florida.
- While orange is the most common color for sweet potatoes, their flesh can also be yellow or even purple!
- Sweet potatoes are native to the Americas. Florida-friendly varieties include ‘Centennial’ and ‘Beauregard’
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.
- The leaves are edible as well! They are not only nutritious but the young leaves and shoots can provide you with a source of tender and mild-tasting leafy greens through the hot Florida summer.
- Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry pantry and not in the refrigerator. Storing your sweet potatoes at temperatures below 50°F can cause them to rot and affects their flavor.
- Often confused, “yams” are not sweet potatoes. They are a completely different plant!
Everything But The Bagel Sweet Potato Toast Recipe
Skip the bagel! Perfect for brunch, lunch or a healthy snack. Everything But The Bagel Sweet Potato Toast uses oven-roasted sliced sweet potato Fresh From Florida as your base for a traditional smoked salmon bagel sandwich. A healthy and delicious alternative!
- 2 large sweet potatoes sliced length wise
- Avocado oil
- 8 oz Smoked Salmon Sliced
- Everything Bagel Spread / Dip see recipe below
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- 1/2 Red onion thin sliced & pickled
- 8 Grape Tomatoes
- 12 Kalamata Olives
- 1 Cucumbers thin sliced
- 1/2 Lemon thin sliced
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F or use air-fryer
Scrub & clean sweet potatoes, keep the skin on
Slice sweet potatoes carefully length-wise into ½ inch thick slices (you’ll get 3-4 slices per potato depending on size)
Brush sweet potato slices with avocado oil or olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
Lay sweet potato slices on parchment paper on baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned, tender. Flip slices halfway through.
Place 2 sweet potato slices per plate.
Spread Everything Bagel Cream Cheese/Yogurt Spread on sweet potato
Top with smoked salmon, and toppings of your choice (grape tomatoes, cucumber, pickled red onion, Kalamata olives, capers, arugula.
Sprinkle with Everthing Bagel seasoning
Garnish with fresh herbs (parsley, basil) and lemon slices
You can also have all ingredients set up buffet style and allow your guests to prepare their Sweet Potato Toast to their liking
Baked sweet potato slices can be made in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in oven to warm through before serving.
The Best Alternative To Plain Cream Cheese: Everything But The Bagel Spread / Dip Recipe
This easy Everything But The Bagel spread can also be served as a dip with fresh veggies, potato chips and crackers. It's perfect to top your bagel or sweet potato toast and smoked salmon. A healthier and tastier alternative to plain cream cheese.
- 8 oz Whipped Cream Cheese
- 8 oz Greek Yogurt mix
- Chives or Green Onions finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Everything Bagel Seasoning
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and Greek yogurt
Fold in Everything But The Bagel seasoning
Transfer to a pretty bowl, top with chives or green onions and sprinkle Everything Seasoning
Serve with Sweet Potato Toast, Potato Chips, Veggies Crudite and Crackers
Your Resource For The Best of Fresh From Florida
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Big Thank You to the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Fresh From Florida, Agriculture Communicators of Florida, UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, local family farms L&M Farms, Tater Farms, Smith Farms, and Blue Sky Farms for the wonderful behind the scenes tour allowing us to see where our food comes from and to appreciate the incredible bounty the comes from around the state of Florida. Don’t forget to look for the “Fresh From Florida” label when you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables to get the freshest and tastiest produce!
I hope you’ll enjoy my “Everything But The Bagel” Sweet Potato Toast recipe with family and friends and are inspired to celebrate life and do all the fun things you’ve been putting off to “someday.” Go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip, and trip at a time.
Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with CK Mondavi and Family Wines. As always, all opinions are my own. I only share with you products and experiences I love to inspire you to get together with family and friends, celebrate life, and go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip, and trip at a time! To learn more about my guidelines, check out my disclosure policy. Cheers!