Nature’s Candy

$2.93 recipe / $0.73 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.85 from 13 votes
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I’m calling this one “Nature’s Candy” because my first thought upon tasting it was, “OMG, WHO NEEDS CANDY WHEN THIS EXISTS?!” … Yep, I thought it in all caps and everything.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Rachelle, who wrote to tell me that this has become her go-to side dish and even her 3 year old loves it! I was immediately intrigued by the cinnamon/basil combo and I just happened to have some extra apples that I bought on sale. All of the stars were aligned…

All I can say is that it completely blew me away. I fully expected to have to sprinkle a little salt or sugar on after baking, but it needed absolutely nothing. When is the last time you made a recipe that didn’t require even a little pinch of salt? The apples are incredibly sweet after roasting and the subtle creaminess of the sweet potato perfectly compliments them.

It’s sweet enough to eat as a snack, but subtle enough to eat as a side dish to a regular meal. I think it would be awesome with any number of roasted meats, Herb Roasted Pork Loin in particular. So, I hope you’ll try this one! I don’t think you’ll be sorry! :D

Nature’s Candy

Two bowls of Nature's Candy (Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples)

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Nature's Candy

4.85 from 13 votes
Nature's candy is a mix of oven roasted sweet potatoes and apples that have been lightly seasoned with cinnamon and basil.
Servings 4
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 40 minutes


  • 1 large sweet potato ($1.18)
  • 2 medium apples* ($1.37)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.03)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the sweet potato. Cut the sweet potato into one inch cubes. Wash the apples and then cut them into one inch cubes as well.
  • Place the cubed sweet potatoes and apples in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, cinnamon, and basil. Toss until everything is well coated in oil and spices. Spread the apples and potatoes out onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil. Make sure they’re in a single layer and not piled up on one another.
  • Roast the apples and potatoes for 30 minutes, or until they are tender and begin to look shriveled. Serve hot.

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*I used Gala apples, which are a nice middle ground between sweet and tart.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 171.5kcalCarbohydrates: 22.78gProtein: 1.1gFat: 9.38gSodium: 111.68mgFiber: 3.83g
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Top view of two bowls of Nature's Candy - Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples



Step By Step Photos

one sweet potato and two apples
I used one large sweet potato (1.19 pounds) and two medium Gala apples (about 1 lb.). Cut both into one inch chunks. I peeled the sweet potato, but left the apple skins on for color and texture.

cubed apples and sweet potato with seasoning added in mixing bowl
Put the cubed apples and sweet potatoes in a large bowl and then add the olive oil, cinnamon, and basil.

tossed and coated
Toss until everything is coated in oil and spices.

Sweet potato and apples spread out on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Spread everything out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil. Make sure they’re all in a single layer or else moisture can build up and make them soggy.

roasted fruit on baking sheet
Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until they are tender (particularly the sweet potato). They will also look a little shriveled. You may die a little from the amazing smell coming from the oven – just a warning.

close up of roasted fruit on baking sheet, ready to eat
And then you can dive in!

Thanks, Rachelle, for sending me this amazing and addictive recipe!!

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  1. Thank you for this recipe and I will be sure to give you some feedback after I try it 

  2. YUM. I didn’t make this for a long time because I thought it was a dessert based on the title. I added a sprinkle of salt after baking, it needed some after a taste test. I served as a side to a large dinner salad.

  3. Have made this twice now. So simple and so good!!! Kids love it. Thank you!

  4. Yum! Went really well with a pork tenderloin. I find it odd that there’s no salt in the recipe. I made the recipe as is. If I were to make it again, I’d probably do just a touch of salt and switch Gala to something like honey crisp apple. It would be a home run!

  5. I made a huge batch of nature’s candy on Monday. I had cooked roast pork and made a Caesar salad – even 20 year old sons have particular dishes they want on their birthday. My husband has recently given up potatoes, so I made these instead. What a winner! The apple and spices went so well, with the pork. I’ll be doing it again.

  6. This recipe (even though it’s been posted for years!) is one that i always make for my family around Christmas! Even my dad and brother, who don’t like things they don’t know like sweet potato, eat it up! This year, i added pears to the mix, and it was great! Thanks so much for these great recipes!

  7. Does this dish reheat well? Should be eaten same time as made? I am taking to work tomorrow to go with grilled cheese sandwiches. we have the traditonal sides covered, Do you have any other suggestions for side dishes? Thanks, Annemarie

  8. WOW. This is incredible!

    I substituted Bosc pears for the apples (because I never let not having the proper ingredients stop me from trying a recipe!) and it was just wonderful. I’ll definitely be trying this again with apples, and maybe butternut squash or carrots too. We ate this by itself as a snack, and also as a side dish with several meals, and it goes with everything.

    I also plan to bring this to my office as part of the next potluck. Many of my coworkers are vegetarian / vegan and this would be just perfect for everyone.

    Fantastic recipe and thanks for posting it!

  9. I used Pink Lady and added butternut to the combination. I loved the texture of the cooked apple. A great snack after for a slow day.

  10. I added chick peas because someone else mentioned it, and substituted coconut oil and OH. MY. GOD. I was iffy because I don’t usually like fruit in my food but this was to die for! I served alongside Honey Spice Chicken Thighs and it was a huge hit! Thank you!!

  11. I have made roasted sweet potatoes like this with beets and also rutabaga!! Never eaten either of those before and it was awesome. Just like candy! you can do just about any veggies roasted with a little olive oil and spices as you prefer. It is my go to method to get the kids to eat more veggies. Even had my 9 yr old asking for brussel sprouts last week!!

  12. I didn’t change a thing about this recipe, which is rare for me! Such a surprisingly good combination!

  13. I LOVE this as written, and make it all the time. It’s also great if you extra fresh pineapple laying around – just throw in a handful or two. Nom nom!!

  14. Delicious, easy, pretty on a plate. What more could you ask for? I add an extra apple for my hubby and hog the sweet potatoes (he doesn’t care for sweet potatoes).