Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

Another week has started, and we have been having some gorgeous weather these last few days! This makes me SO happy! Unfortunately, I haven’t been outside to enjoy the weather as much as I would have liked. This is my first year singing in the Faith and Life Choir, and the last two days we spent many hours rehearsing and performing for our spring concert. It was a really great experience, and I plan to continue singing in this choir when it starts up again in the fall. The only downfall was that we spent a lot of time indoors while the lovely weather was calling us to be outside!

I did make sure to enjoy the warm weather at least for a little while today. Luna sure didn’t complain about us taking her for a walk! But now, I’m excited to share this Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn recipe with you!

Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn

This household really enjoys caramel popcorn! Over a month ago I decided to try to come up with a healthier version for this delicacy. Now, by healthy I don’t mean that it is something incredibly nutritious that you should eat every day. However, I did manage to make it refined sugar free, which is something that I have been trying to consume less of. The first time I tried to make this recipe, there was too much moisture in the caramel, causing the popcorn to shrivel significantly. It was still delicious after baking it, but I knew the recipe required some adjustments.

Today I tried making it again, tweaking the recipe a little, and it turned out much better! It has a rich caramel-like colour and flavour, and baking it causes it to acquire the perfect amount of crispness. It is incredibly delicious, and makes the perfect snack for a movie or game night! However, you might not be able to stop eating once you start. You have been warned!

Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn

I hope you give this recipe a try! If you do, I’d love your feedback! May this week be joyful, productive, positive, and rewarding! Thank you for stopping by!

Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn
This is a healthier version of caramel popcorn, and it is to die for!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  2. 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  3. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  4. 3/4 cup packed pitted dates
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Add the pitted dates to a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it sit for half an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 F°.
  3. While the dates are soaking, add the popcorn kernels and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a stovestop popcorn maker. Heat on medium-high until most of the kernels have popped, stirring consistently. When the popping slows down to several seconds between pops, empty the popcorn into a large bowl immediately.
  4. Drain the dates. Using a food processor, purée the dates, pure maple syrup, and the remaining coconut oil, until a smooth and thick mixture forms.
  5. Using a non-stick pan, bring the date mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Continue boiling on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has a rich and brown caramelized colour.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
  7. Add the date mixture to the popcorn and fold in gently until evenly combined.
  8. Spread out the popcorn on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you don't have a food processor you may also use a blender, or a hand held immersion blender.
  2. Don't heat the coconut oil on high, as it might cause your throat to feel scratchy.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Life Update & Mango, Pineapple and Coconut Yogurt Popsicles

IMG_4550(a)

Hello my lovely readers! I’ve been having a little too much fun trying different popsicle combos. I quickly wanted to share a flavor combination that I really enjoyed. I won’t even make a recipe card, because it’s really that easy, and doesn’t require much explaining. Using a popsicle tray, fill each slot a quarter of the way with mango juice, and two quarters with coconut flavored yogurt (I used Activia brand). Then, simply pop in a piece of freshly cut pineapple, and place it in the freezer until frozen. 

IMG_4542(a)

IMG_4546(a)

Hmmmm… my human is holding something strange… wait a minute, perhaps I recognize what that is… could it be? No… I doubt it… oh my goodness… I think it is… it DEFINITELY is! Popsicles!!! 

IMG_4549(a)

As I was trying to take pictures of the popsicles, Luna must’ve seen what I was holding (she usually get’s part of my popsicle), because she got really excited and was desperate to have some! She started jumping, trying to reach for the popsicles, photobombing my pictures in the most adorable way! No worries, she definitely got some in the end! 😉

IMG_4552(a)

Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, all of Luna’s hair got chopped off! She looks so different with short hair! Needless to say, we were pretty amused by her look right after her hair cut. Especially since we were only used to her cute teddy bear look. It’s definitely nice and fresh for the summer though!

IMG_4556(a)

I also wanted to update you a little on what’s going on at the Kampens these days. Kevin started tearing down our old deck on Saturday. It is in pretty poor shape, and needs replacing. The reason why we’re tearing it down now, is because my parents are coming for a visit (so exciting!), and my dad wanted to help us build a new one!

My last update, which might make some of you a little sad, is that I will be taking a break from blogging (this will be my last post for a while) for two reasons. First, I want to be fully available when my parents are visiting, as I don’t get to see them that often. Second, Kevin and I are travelling to Thailand!!! What!? Yes, it’s happening! We’re really looking forward to it, and I can’t wait to show/tell you all about it!

Now you know, and don’t have to wonder why I suddenly vanished from the face of the earth! I will miss sharing posts with you, but it is also important to disconnect sometimes. Plus, this only means I will have a lot of new content to share with you. 

IMG_4558(a)

IMG_4560(a)

I want to thank each one of you for following me, encouraging me, and reading along. It means a lot to me! May this summer make you as happy as the popsicles make Luna happy. Here’s to summer! Cheers!!!!! -Erika

Self-Serve Strawberry “Cheesecake” Ice Cream

IMG_4078(a)

Howdy! I hope you woke up bright and chirpy! Actually, I feel like I should still be sleeping, like my husband and my dog, Luna. I know I’m tired, and my body still needs more sleep, but for some reason my brain thought I should be done sleeping, thinking instead of possible bear attack stories, because Kevin and I have planned a short camping/canoeing trip. Haha, really brain!? Instead, I thought I would get up and start blogging. I don’t mind it though. It’s dark inside because it’s cloudy, and it’s pouring on and off. Along with some thunder, it feels like a good set-up for writing. 

IMG_4071(a)

Who else is LOVING spring so far? It basically feels like summer, even though it’s technically still Spring. We have had some pretty warm weather already, and I’m loving it! When it gets almost too hot, I always try to remind myself that I’m not allowed to complain about it, since I know how long and cold the winter will be here, and that I would give anything to feel the heat of the sun on some of those days.

Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now. I have a delicious and almost embarrassingly easy recipe to share with you. Our friends encouraged me to post this a long time ago, because they really enjoyed it when we served it to them. So here you go friends, I’m finally posting it for other people to enjoy as well! You can be proud of me now. 😉  

IMG_4083(a)

I love serving this Strawberry “Cheesecake” Ice Cream as a dessert, especially when you didn’t have time to make anything in advance. It requires very little preparation, and since it is a self-serve dessert, it really is a breeze. You can totally get the toppings ready while you’re chatting with your friends. Well, except if you’re using a slap chop to crush the graham crackers, like I did. Things can get a little loud in the kitchen then. You might want to assure your guests that you’re not angry!

IMG_4075(a)

I would recommend serving this dessert after a heavier meal. I find that ice cream usually makes for a lighter and refreshing dessert, especially when served with fruit. 

All that is required for prep work is to cut up some fresh strawberries, and crush some graham crackers. Place both ingredients in separate bowls, then set them out as toppings, along with some cinnamon, and of course the vanilla ice cream.

I didn’t include any quantities for the ingredients, since you really can’t go wrong here. If you didn’t make enough, you can simply go and make some more. If you have left over crushed graham crackers, simply store them in the freezer in an air-tight container, or in a zip-loc bag, ready to be used for either a cheesecake, or for the next time you decide to serve this ice cream. And of course, I wouldn’t categorize having left-over strawberries as a problem. They will be gone before you know it. But, if you really need ideas on how to get rid of them, throw them in with your next cereal bowl, add them to a smoothie, OR feed them to your dog. My pup loves strawberries, and it really helps improve her breath. Sorry Luna, you never have bad breath! 😉

IMG_4087(a)

I really hope you give this recipe a try, and that you will enjoy it! Feel free to like and share my posts, as it helps increase my traffic. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend peeps! -Erika 

Self-Serve Strawberry "Cheesecake" Ice Cream
The simplest and yet very delicious way to quickly enhance a good traditional vanilla ice cream!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. Fresh strawberries
  2. Crushed graham crackers
  3. Ground cinnamon
  4. Vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Wash, trim, and dice preferred amount of strawberries.
  2. Crush graham crackers in either a blender, food processor, ziploc bag with a rolling pin, or with a slap chop.
  3. Set these ingredients out in separate bowls as ice cream toppings along with some ground cinnamon. Allow guests to prepare and layer their own ice cream bowls.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/