Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

 

This deliciously moreish maple cinnamon popcorn was inspired by Serious Food Co.’s maple cinnamon popcorn that’s only available once a year at Christmas time.

There’s something about the combination of pure maple syrup and cinnamon that’s SO mouthwateringly good, whenever I see one of their reindeer marked bags I can never resist putting it in my shopping basket.

This isn’t surprising given as I’m a huge cinnamon fan from way back and am often guilty of adding WAY too much when baking. Aside from it’s exotic sweet flavour, cinnamon has some pretty impressive health benefits too which makes it even more appealing in my book.

Cinnamon is jam packed with antioxidants that have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, help fight bacterial and fungal infections, and may also have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

It’s important to note however, that not all cinnamon is created equal and one of the varieties can be quite harmful in large doses.

There are two main types of cinnamon called Ceylon i.e. “true” cinnamon and Cassia. Most of the cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety.

Unfortunately, the Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin that’s believed to be quite harmful in large doses, wheras Ceylon only has a negligible amount of it. Ceylon cinnamon also has a milder, sweeter taste and smell, and is much better suited to sweet dishes and baking.

 

 

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

 

Alas, it’s now March (already?!) and Serious Food Co.’s coveted maple cinnamon popcorn is nowhere to be found.

So with all things maple & cinnamon on my mind, rather than wait another year for it to grace the supermarket shelves again I took matters into my own hands and created a Swoon Food version.

My aim was to create a completely plant based, gluten and refined sugar free maple cinnamon popcorn using as little sweetener as possible.

Obviously popcorn itself is a simple carb so naturally it contains a reasonable amount of simple sugars. But by using pure maple syrup as the sole unrefined sweetener, you can create slightly better nutritional value as opposed to using a refined sugar which has had all it’s natural nutrients (vitamins and minerals) stripped from it.

This maple cinnamon popcorn is naturally dairy and gluten free, entirely plant based, and perhaps best of all it’s SUPER quick and easy to make!

 

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

 

Sold? Already got your popcorn pot out?! Fabulous.

Let me know when you make this maple cinnamon popcorn by leaving a comment down below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy!

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

Makes: 1 large bowl/ 2 oven trays
Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 10 minutes

1/3 cup popping corn
3 Tbsp coconut oil

Maple Cinnamon Glaze
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Heat 3 Tbsp coconut oil in a large pot with a lid over medium high heat.

Once melted, add a couple of corn kernels and wait for them to pop. When they have all popped, add 1/3 cup of popping corn to the oil.

Place the lid on the pot and shake to coat evenly. Remove pot from heat for 30 seconds then return to heat and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, gently shaking the pot until the popping slows.

Transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake and line two baking trays.

Place all the glaze ingredients into a small pan and stir over low heat until melted.

Pour the maple cinnamon glaze over the popcorn and use a spatula to fold it through.

Spread the coated popcorn over the two baking trays and place into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the glaze starts to bubble and turns golden.

Remove the popcorn from the oven and allow to cool – the glaze will harden as it cools.

Store your maple cinnamon corn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

 

For more cinnamon recipes check out these Feijoa & Cinnamon Muffins, Hot Cross Bun Smoothie or these Cinnamon Bun Pancakes.

 

Maple Cinnamon Popcorn

Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls

Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls

Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls

 

I created these Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls at the same time as these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.  My aim was to create a healthy sweet treat that tasted like a treat and not just another healthy bliss ball, and both recipes totally fit that bill!

I considered posting the recipes together, but they’re both so good in their own right it seemed only fitting to give them their own posts, so here we are.

These Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls have a rich, almost gingerbread-like flavour thanks to the cinnamon and pure maple syrup. The pecans add a slightly savoury element, and coconut and cashews add some creaminess and bring it all together nicely.

 

 Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls

 

These little treat balls can be whipped up in under 20 minutes minutes, all you need is a food processor and some measuring cups.

Once you’ve blended everything together, simply roll the raw dough into balls and chill until firm. You can skip the chilling step if you really can’t wait, but the dough for these fragrant little balls is pretty soft so chilling is a good idea.

These maple pecan bliss balls are completely raw, dairy, gluten, grain and refined sugar free. They’re also plant based/vegan and full of nutritious whole food ingredients with a generous dose of fibre and protein to balance out the (unrefined) sugars present.

You can eat these beautiful balls as a snack, before or after a workout, for dessert, with a cup of chai, or as a topping on your favourite breakfast bowl!

 

 Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls

 

When you make these Cinnamon Maple Pecan Balls let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures#swoonfood on Instagram or Facebook. Enjoy!

 

Maple cinnamon Pecan Balls

Makes: approximately 20
Prep time: 20 minute  Chill time: 20 minutes

1 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups cashews
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

 

Place the pecans and cashews into a food processor and pulse until you have crumbs.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture is evenly combined and comes together – it should look like a ball of cookie dough.

Roll spoonfuls of mixture into bite size small balls then place in the fridge to chill and firm up for 20 minutes.

Store these maple cinnamon pecan balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Maple Cinnamon Pecan Balls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
 
I created these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls because I wanted a healthy sweet treat for after dinner that tasted like a treat and not just another healthy bliss ball!

I was inspired by the last sweet recipe I posted for these Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons because they have the creamiest vanilla “cake” layer, made from cashews, coconut, vanilla and rice syrup, which reminded me of vanilla cookie dough! From there you can see how I got to Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls 😉

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

 

Like most bliss ball recipes all you need is a food processor, some measuring cups and about 20 minutes.

In the recipe I suggest chopping the chocolate into “chips” in the food processor as an easy way to keep things super simple and save on washing up. But if your chocolate already comes in chips, or you prefer to chop your chocolate with a knife, then simply disregard that step.

Once you’ve blended everything together, simply roll the raw cookie dough into balls and chill until firm. Or not. If you can’t wait that long feel free to eat the balls at room temperature….or you can even skip the rolling step and just spoon it out of the food processor. I won’t tell anyone.

There isn’t too much else to say about these delightful little balls… they’re obviously raw, dairy, gluten, grain and refined sugar free. They’re completely plant based/vegan and full of nutritious whole food ingredients with a generous dose of fibre and protein to balance out the (unrefined) sugars present. 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

 

So next time you fancy something sweet but still mostly healthy, make these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls and let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures#swoonfoodon Instagram or Facebook. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Makes: approximately 20
Prep time: 20 minute  Chill time: 20 minutes

1 cup cashews
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate (ideally dairy free/raw/refined sugar free)

 

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes while you measure out the remaining ingredients.

Place the cashews in the food processor and pulse until you have chunky crumbs. Then set aside.

When the chocolate is chilled, place it into a food processor and pulse until you have a mixture of chunky crumbs and fine bits.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the mixture is well combined and comes together. At this point it should look like a ball of cookie dough.

Roll spoonfuls of mixture into bite size small balls then place in the fridge to chill and firm up for 20 minutes.

Store these chocolate chip cookie dough balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

I’m the first to admit I’m a sucker for a lamington.

There’s something so nostalgic about the combination of a freshly baked vanilla sponge, smothered in rich chocolate icing and rolled a layer of desiccated coconut.

It brings back memories of my 5 year old self being taken to the local bakery after school to choose a treat off their nearly empty, flour dusted wooden shelves. Luckily there’d still be one or two lamingtons left and after I’d carefully carried it home, I would eat it as slowly as possible, savouring every bite. 

Rather surprising that I became a pastry chef really.

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

If you’re not familiar with lamington cakes, they’re believed to have originated in Australia in the early 1900’s, and are still popular in New Zealand, South Africa and some parts of the U.K to this day.

Lamingtons are traditionally made from a square of vanilla sponge cake which is coated in an outer layer of chocolate icing and rolled in desiccated coconut. A popular variation is to put a layer of raspberry jam and cream in the centre, and in New Zealand raspberry iced lamingtons are also very common.

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

Despite being a HUGE lamington fan, I haven’t been able to indulge in these little cakes for quite some time because they’re traditionally made with dairy, gluten and lots of refined sugar! And while I created this raw chocolate and raspberry lamington slice a little while back, it wasn’t quite the same.

So it was high time I gave these iconic little cakes a Swoon Food makeover!

I needed to create a low sugar, dairy, gluten and grain free version that was also ideally plant based and made with whole food ingredients. So I decided the best way to achieve this was to create a raw version in order to keep to the whole food brief, as let’s face it, a vegan, gluten free vanilla sponge cake just doesn’t taste good.

Luckily my raw version came out even better than I expected.

Thanks to cashews, the vanilla “cake” has a delicious creamy vanilla flavour with a texture that looks just like cake to the naked eye. I created a fresh raspberry jam centre and used raw chocolate as the icing. 

Best of all because these mini lamingtons are so nutrient dense, they only need to be bite sized so are perfect as a little mid afternoon or after dinner treat, and will last for ages in the freezer

 

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

 

When you make these Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or FacebookEnjoy!

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

Makes: 20
Prep time: 30 minutes  Chill time: 30 minutes

Vanilla ‘Cake’
1 cup cashews
3/4 cups desiccated coconut
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp rice syrup or pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
2 tsp vanilla essence (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)

Raspberry Jam
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 tsp basil or chia seeds

Raw Chocolate Icing
1/2 cup/70g raw cacao butter
1/2 cup/85g rice or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup/60g extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup/65g raw cacao powder
pinch pink Himalayan salt

1 cup desiccated coconut for rolling

To make the ‘cake’:
Line a small brownie pan (18cm x 30cm or 20cm x 20cm) with non-stick paper.
Place the cashews and coconut in a food processor and blend until you have fine crumbs. Add the salt, vanilla and syrup and pulse until well combined. The ‘dough’ should come together in a ball.
Press the dough into the pan in a thin even layer, and place into the freezer to set.

To make the jam:
Place the raspberries in a small pan set over low heat and stir until warm and juicy. Turn off the heat and add the basil or chia seeds. Stir well and leave to stand for 10 minutes or so, to allow the seeds to absorb the liquid.

To make the icing:
Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then turn off the heat. Place the cacao butter, coconut oil and salt in a heat proof bowl and place on top of the pan of steaming water, stirring occasionally until fully melted.
Melting the ingredients using this method ensures the temperature of the ingredients doesn’t go above 47ºC thereby keeping the nutrients in them intact.
Once melted remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

To assemble the mini lamingtons:
Removed the ‘cake’ from the freezer and spread with raspberry jam. Cut in half down the centre and flip one side on top of the other to create a sandwich. Return to the freezer for at least half an hour to let the jam firm up. Ideally you want both the ‘cake’ and jam to be semi-frozen, at which point remove it from the freeze and cut into small even cubes, approximately 1.5cm wide. You should get about 20. Return to the freezer until you’re ready to ice.

To ice the mini lamingtons:
Set up a bowl of cooled melted raw chocolate and a bowl of desiccated coconut. Use a fork to dunk each lamington into the chocolate, let it drain through the fork, then roll in the coconut. Place iced lamingtons back on the tray and then return to the freezer to set.

These raw mini lamingtons will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Serve frozen, chilled or at room temperature.

 

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Lamingtons

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge

Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge

 

This pumpkin pie spice peanut butter fudge is what fudge dreams are made of.

It’s silky smooth texture melts in your mouth, yet it’s firm enough that it doesn’t melt in your fingers. It’s deliciously creamy, while remaining dairy free, and has a rich caramelised, pumpkin spice flavour.

Would it surprise you if I said this perfect textured fudge doesn’t require any cooking either? No pots of bubbling hot sugar that require risking your hands and arms to searing hot spits as you stir it.

This pumpkin spice fudge is one of the easiest fudge recipes you’ll ever make. Once you’ve made the pumpkin puree, simply combine the remaining ingredients in a blender, pour into a tin and then into the fridge to set.

This pumpkin pie spice fudge is sweetened only with pumpkin and rice syrup. Unlike regular fudge, where refined white sugar is the main ingredient, this recipe only contains whole food sweeteners and unrefined sugar, and in much lower quantities.

Because this fudge is made with pumpkin puree it means it’s not just empty calories but a source of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene (hence it’s orange colour) which converts to vitamin A which is amazing for eyes and skin, as are vitamins E & C which are also abundant in pumpkins. 

For more pumpkin recipe inspo, check out these sugar free pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge

 

The warming pumpkin pie spices in this fudge make it the perfect healthy Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, but if you’re a pumpkin spice fan then you definitely don’t need to wait until those occasions to enjoy it!

I hope you enjoy this simple vegan fudge recipe, and when you make it be sure to come back and tell me what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

Serves: 10 to 12
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

1/2 pumpkin or squash (to make 1/2 cup pumpkin puree)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup rice syrup
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt

To make the pumpkin puree:

To bake, cut the pumpkin into large pieces rub with a little oil and place on a line baking tray in a preheated 180°C oven for approximately 20 to 30 minutes until you can easily mash with a fork.

To boil, remove the seeds and stringely bits from the pumpkin, cut off the skin and then into cubes. Place pumpkin in a small pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil approximately 10 minutes or until you can easily mash pumpkin with a fork.

To puree, place the cooked pumpkin into a high speed blender and blend on high until very smooth. Note, baked pumpkin has less moisture so you may need a little extra water to get the blender going.

To make the fudge:

Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.

Pour the fudge into a lined loaf pan, smooth the top and place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes to 1 hour. When the fudge is firm to touch cut into squares. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

 

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

 

You may have noticed a bit of a hemp theme in my recipes lately.

It all started with my hemp, pumpkin & sunflower seed bread, followed by the super moreish hemp heart clusters, and most recently this apple & raspberry hemp seed crumble.

And while it’s not officially hemp seed month at Swoon headquarters, I do have one more hemp seed recipe for you!

Because chocolate is always a winner, I want to round off my hemp seed recipe extravaganza with this uber decadent raw cacao & brazil nut hemp slice with sour cherries.

 

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

 

This raw cacao & brazil nut hemp slice with sour cherries has everything you want in a chocolate treat. It’s rich and decadent – yet not overpoweringly so. You can definitely go in for a second without feeling regret afterwards. And the best part is it’s packed full of nutritious goodies, completely raw, dairy, gluten, grain and refined sugar free, plant based/vegan.

It’s super quick and easy to make. You barely even need a blender if you’re a happy to chop the nuts by hand, and let’s face it, washing up the blender is always a job worth avoiding!

Once the nuts are chopped the remaining ingredients can simply be stirred together and pushed into a tin.

After a little chill time, sprinkle the slice with freeze dried sour cherries (or any freeze dried fruit of your choosing), drizzle with melted chocolate and it’s ready to serve!

 

 

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour CherriesRaw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

 

Why so many hemp recipes you may ask?

It recently became legal to sell and eat hemp seeds in New Zealand (read more about it here), which means this sustainable, eco-friendly, no waste, nutrient packed food is now readily available.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover hemp seeds have a mild, nutty flavour, and are great in both savoury and sweet dishes (unlike hemp protein powder which has a VERY strong flavour).

Hemp seeds are nutritional powerhouses largely due to their unique 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to 3 fatty acids. This is the most beneficial kind of ratio when it comes to omega fatty acids, and is in stark contrast to most western diets. 

If you’d like to read more about the benefits of hemp for us and the environment, you can check out the whole post I wrote on it here.

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour CherriesRaw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

 

When you make these chocolate hemp beauties, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or FacebookEnjoy!

raw cacao & brazil nut hemp slice with Sour Cherries

Makes: approximately 14 bars
Prep time: 30 minutes  Set time: 20 minutes

Base
1 cup brazil nuts
1 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup nut butter (e.g. peanut, almond, cashew)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or rice syrup
pinch pink Himalayan salt

Topping
1 packet freeze dried cherries (or any freeze dried fruit of your choice)
250g dark chocolate

Line a small brownie pan (18cm x 30cm or 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.

Place the brazil nuts in a food processor and blend until you have coarse crumbs, or alternatively chop by hand to save on washing up! Put the nuts in a mixing bowl and set aside.

If you used a food processor for the nuts put the remaining base ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, place the ingredients into another mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

Add the brazil nuts to the chocolate mix and stir well to combine.

Press the mixture into the lined tin, then into the fridge to chill.

While the slice is chilling, melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of steaming water.

When the chocolate is melted, remove the slice from the fridge and sprinkle over the freeze dried cherries. Drizzle generously with melted chocolate and return to the fridge to set for approximately 20 minutes.

Use a sharp knife to cut the into bars, and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Note: this slice won’t freeze well with the freeze dried fruit on it so it you want to freeze it, do so before adding the topping.

 

Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour CherriesRaw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries

 

 

 

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