Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh of the Sweet Potato Chronicles offer up these recipes that kids will like -- especially if you get them in the kitchen to help with the cooking...

Applewiches 

These are the easiest snacks in town. Older kids can even prepare them themselves with some supervision. Pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) are rich in fibre and immune boosting antioxidants.

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 lemon wedge

Directions:

Wash apple well. Cut apple horizontally into about six slices. Core each "round." Squirt lemon juice over the apples if you won't be assembling and eating the applewiches right away.

Spread almond butter on each slice. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Press two apple slices together to make your ‘wich!


Pumpkin and Sage Cannelloni

These easy-to-make cannelloni are a great way to add a serving of nutrient-rich pumpkin to dinner. The pumpkin flavour of the dish is subtle when combined with the ricotta and sage.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 3 sage leaves
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated, plus 2 Tbsp for baking
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 leek, sliced thin (only the white part)
  • 14 cannelloni tubes

Quickie Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

**Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauce

Saute onion and garlic in pan with olive oil. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup of water. Simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occassionaly. Place in food processor. Process and then put to the side.

Shortcut number 1: Use pre­pared sauce.

Cannelloni

Grease a glass oven dish. Melt butter in saucepan then add the pumpkin and the leeks. Cook on low heat until the pumpkin begins to soften. Mix in garlic and 1/2 cup water. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for about 10 minutes or until pumpkin in tender.

Shortcut number 2: Use canned pumpkin. Skip adding pumpkin and water and just sautee leeks and garlic in butter. Jump to the food processor.

Drain and slightly cool. Place pumpkin mixture in food processor with sage and nutmeg. Process until smooth and then add to bowl with ricotta and Parmesan.

Shortcut number 3: Use pre-grated Parmesan cheese.

Fill a piping bag with cheese mixture and pipe into cannelloni shells. Pour half the sauce in the baking dish then fill with cannelloni. Pour the remaining sauce on the cannelloni and sprinkle with extra Parmesan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.


Dessert:

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cup­cakes

These spicy sweet cakes are definitely a treat but you can choose: ice them and call them cupcakes or leave them plain and call them muffins.

Cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 cup cake and pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup expeller pressed canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

Directions

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray and flour the pan using olive oil or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, blend flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and then add pumpkin, oil and vanilla. Combine with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 — 20 minutes, or until a tooth­pick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to completely cool. Frost or leave plain.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions

Cream together cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add maple syrup until thoroughly blended. Or you could leave them plain and call them muffins.