Rapadura Carmel Popcorn

My daughter Emma invented this recipe on movie night last fall, and since it’s similar to a candy recipe, with specific instructions on boiling, I didn’t expect it to work with rapadura and honey – but it did!  Good job, Emma – it’s a real treat!  (And I never would have thought of it.)

8 cups popped popcorn

3/4 cup rapadura

6 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Butter 2 9×13 baking pans and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

In a heavy saucepan mix the butter, honey and rapadura.  Cook and stir over medium heat until it boils.  Then turn the heat down a little and continue boiling, without stirring, for 5 more minutes.

Remove the pan from heat.  Stir in the baking soda and vanilla, and pour the whole mixture over the popcorn, stirring to coat.

Pour the popcorn into the prepared 9×13 pans and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan onto buttered foil to cool.   Makes 8 cups.

High Fat Coconut Energy Bars

I know, I know: high fat has certainly been taboo. But many people actually try to add more nutritious, lauric-acid-rich coconut oil to their diets, our family included. Here’s one of our favorite ways to do it.

From my good friend Christine, a very tasty, edible winter moisturizer that soothes skin from the inside out. These are very, very rich – cut the bars small, like fudge, and eat them (don’t rub them on your face).  ;-)

2 cups soft or melted virgin coconut oil

2 cups smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter (Christine’s recipe actually calls for almond butter, but we don’t care for the almond flavor in these and changed it to good ol’ peanut butter. Feel free to use either or.)

1/2 – 3/4  cup raw honey

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 cups fine unsweetened coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all the ingredients together and spread or pour into a 9×13 pan, preferably one with a lid.  Chill them until solid, then cut into small bars.  Store in the fridge so they don’t melt.

Gingerbread Flaxseed Squares

Mmmm… gingerbread.   These are so good, and so good for you, that you can eat several without fear of blowing any diet.  They keep you regular.  They’re practically a supplement – loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, and, with the addition of orange peel, vitamin C.

3 cups flax seeds

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup raw honey

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1/2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon vanilla

rind of 1/2 organic orange, including the pith, grated

Soak the flax seeds in water for about 7 hours, then add the other ingredients.  I use my Vitamix to grind everything together, including the flax seeds, but you can easily mix it all by hand and leave the flax seeds whole.  Once it’s combined, spread it about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick on teflex dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 105 degrees.  Flip the squares onto mesh sheets when one side is dry enough that it doesn’t stick to the mesh (about 4 hours), and continue drying for about 4 more hours or until dry and leathery, but not crisp.  In my 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, this recipe fills about 4 trays.  I cut each sheet of flax squares into 16 3″ squares.   Store in a sealed container in the pantry for up to 1 week, or refrigerate or freeze much longer.