Whole Foods Blogger Gobbler

I was recently invited to compete in the Whole Foods first annual Blogger Gobbler challenge at the Yorkville location. A group of bloggers and I were given two secret ingredients, sweet potatoes and balsamic vinegar, and asked to come up with a creative recipe.

As a long time fan of the show Chopped, I was eager to compete.

Since I believe the essentials to the perfect bite are sweet, salty and crunchy, it was easy to come up with these 'Sweet, Salty, Crunchy Sweet Potato Pockets' .

We were given 10 minutes to set up in front of the judges, "dish out” samples, give our 1 minute presentation, and answer a Q&A.

This 10 minutes involved me running to the bakery to quickly use their oven, running around for plates, and setting up plastic cutlery for the judges.  I was excited to present my dish even though it was tough to tell if they liked it by their expressions.  Good practice for future food competitions?  I think so!

Our recipes were judged on 3 criteria: taste, creativity and our presentation.

There was some tough competition there, including Patricia from Luxual with her killer looking sweet potato and edamame dish.  She even brought her own plates and toaster oven.

She also kept me calm, shared a kombucha with me, and a few laughs.  She's a keeper.

The final 3 recipes/participants that move onto the Final taste-off event in November will be chosen based on the highest accumulation of points.

We find out today.  Wish me luck!


Sweet, Salty, Crunchy Sweet Potato Pockets

Serves 4


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • handful of pecans
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar reduced to a thick reduction


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut 2 sweet potatoes in half, cover the tops with coconut oil, and roast 30-45 minutes until a fork slides easily into the centre.
  3. Remove insides while keeping the skin intact and puree with 2 tsp coconut oil, maple syrup, spices and sea salt.
  4. In a pan heat sugar until it turns to caramel, coat your pecans, remove themand place them in a bowl.
  5. Fill skins with puree, top with candied nuts, and heat 5-10 minutes in the oven before serving.
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt, drizzle on balsamic reduction and enjoy.