These easy recipes are a hit with people of all ages and use local produce! Local families say that teens and older kids with basic kitchen skills can make these on their own for the family. Younger kids can help out with adults supervision and may like to add the spices! Find more recipes and tips for meaningful family conversations at the Family Dinner Project.
Sweet Potato Oven-baked Fries
Prep time: 5 minutes.
Cook time: 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how small you slice the fries.
- Sweet potatoes (with orange flesh inside). About 2 pounds/3 large sweet potatoes makes 4-6 servings.
- Olive oil, vegetable oil, refined coconut oil, or some other medium to high heat oil of your choice. You just need enough to lightly coat the sweet potatoes.
- Optional: black pepper and other spices or spices combinations that you like (e.g. cinnamon and nutmeg; thyme and parsley; cumin and coriander; chili powder).
- Optional: ketchup or other dipping sauce
This is a very flexible recipe.
– If you are in a hurry, cut the sweet potato slices thin (as thin as 1/4 inch) and watch them closely to make sure they don’t burn.
– You can use a toaster oven instead of a large oven.
– Leftovers can be heated up later.
– If you like them softer, reduce the oven temperature 25 – 50 degrees and cook a little longer.
– If you like them crispy, increase the oven temperature 25 – 50 degrees and watch them closely.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (See notes above about softer and crispier fries and oven temp.)
- Peel the sweet potatoes and chop off the ends.
- Slice them as evenly as possibly into long, thin French-fry shapes, skinny rectangles, or wedges.
- Put them on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan or lasagna/brownie pan.
- Coat them lightly with oil. Toss to evenly cover with the oil.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Put the fries in oven and check them after 5-10 minutes if you sliced them thin. They may take up to 20 minutes if they are thick wedges.
- Carefully turn them over in the pan with a spatula partway through if they are getting too brown on the bottom.
- The fries are done when they are soft all the way through (you can easily poke them with a fork) and they are as brown or crispy as you like on the outside.
- Once out of the oven and still on the pan, add any spices you are using and toss on the hot pan.
- Serve with dipping sauce or on their own!
Stove top apple sauce
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 20 – 40 minutes, depending on how big a pot of sauce you make
- Apples of any variety or a combination – at least enough to cover the bottom completely and as much as fill the pot 3/4 of the way to the top.
- Apple juice, apple cider, another fruit juice that you like the taste of with apples, or water
- Spices and flavors – Any or all of the following work very well: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, vanilla.
- Any other fruit you want to add, fresh or frozen, like pears, peaches, blueberries, etc. Cranberries are great too and usually require some sweetener for most people’s tastes.
This is a very flexible recipe.
– If you are in a hurry, cut the apples smaller, add more liquid, turn the heat up to medium, and watch the sauce closely to make sure it’s not burning on the bottom.
– Leftovers last in the fridge for several days.
– You can bake the apples instead. Put all the ingredients in a roasting pan, lasagna/brownie pan, or pie pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until soft at 375 degrees, checking the apple chunks after 20 minutes. They may take up to 45 minutes, depending on how much sauce you are making.
- Wash the apples (and any other fruit you are using). No need to peel them unless you hate the peels.
- Core the apples and cut them into chunks that are all about the same size – it doesn’t need to be exact. Different varieties will take different amounts of time to cook too, and that is fine.
- Put them in a medium or large saucepan or soup pot. A thicker bottomed pot is helpful but not necessary.
- Add enough juice or water to cover the bottom of the pot about an inch deep.
- Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and checking every few minutes to make sure they are not burning.
- Once they partially soft, add spices/vanilla to taste, about 1/2 tsp per apple.
- The sauce is done when all the apples are soft and fragrant.
Serve the sauce on its own or stir it into yogurt, use it top cottage cheese, or have it granola, oats, or another whole grain cereal.