Popcorn Bark \\\ Croquant au maïs soufflé

(Version française plus bas!)

I know we probably all went overboard on chocolate during the holidays, but, what can I say, I’m just addicted! I also wanted to make something portable that my boyfriend could take with him to work as a snack or an afternoon pick-me-up. This is really simple to prepare, you can personalize it, and it’s really yummy!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut syrup
  • 4 cups popcorn
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Toppings:

  • sesame seeds
  • raisins
  • coconut flakes
  • dried fruits

Here is what you do:

  1. Line a baking tray with some foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place the coconut syrup in a small saucepan on medium heat and let reduce. You know it’s ready when you can see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds after you drag a spatula at the bottom (the liquid is slow to fill up the space left by the spatula). This takes around 10 minutes.
  3. Place the popcorn on the baking tray and pour the coconut syrup on top. Using your spatula, mix the syrup so that all the popcorn is well coated. Pat it down to make it stick together as a big block and smooth the top to make it as flat as possible.
  4. Melt the chocolate in your microwave or in a bain-marie (I use a big bowl that I fill up with boiling water and place a smaller bowl into it with the chocolate). Pour the chocolate over the popcorn and spread it in an even layer.
  5. Sprinkle your toppings on top of the chocolate while it is still melted. Once you have everything you like stuck to the chocolate, place the baking tray in your fridge for 1 hour until your chocolate is solid again.
  6. Cut in small chunks and keep this in an airtight container. Enjoy!

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I love this because the texture of the popcorn is amazing! This would make a great snack if you are planning on a movie marathon, but I like the idea of having a small chunk as an afternoon snack. It’s also great because you can personalize it with any topping that you like. Let me know if you try this out!


Je sais que nous avons probablement tous abusé du chocolat pendant le temps de fêtes, mais je dois avouer que je suis vraiment accro! J’avais aussi envie de préparer une collation que mon copain pourrait apporter avec lui au travail pour pouvoir avoir un petit boost d’énergie en après-midi. Cette recette est vraiment facile à préparer, vous pouvez la personaliser et c’est vraiment délicieux!

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Voici ce dont vous avez besoin:

  • 1/2 tasse de sirop de coco
  • 4 tasses de maïs soufflé
  • 1 tasse de pépites de chocolat

Garnitures:

  • graines de sésame
  • raisins secs
  • noix de coco râpée
  • fruits secs

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Recouvrir une plaque à biscuit avec du papier d’aluminium ou parchemin.
  2. Placer le sirop de coco dans une petite casserole à feu moyen et laisser réduire. Vous saurez que c’est prêt lorsque la ligne tracée par une spatule prend du temps à se refermer (le sirop est épais et se déplace lentement pour recouvrir le fond de la casserole). Cela prend environs 10 minutes.
  3. Placer le maïs soufflé sur la plaque à biscuit et y verser le sirop. Mélanger le tout à l’aide d’une spatule pour que chaque morceau soit bien recouvert. Presser le maïs pour former un rectangle homogène et plat qui se tienne.
  4. Faire fondre le chocolat au micro-onde ou au bain-marie. Verser le chocolat sur le maïs et l’étaler pour former une couche uniforme.
  5. Ajouter vos garnitures sur le chocolat. Placer votre plaque à biscuit dans le frigo pendant 1 heure pour aider le chocolat à solidifier.
  6. Découper en petits morceaux et garder dans un contenant hermétique. Savourez!

J’adore cette collation car le maïs soufflé apporte vraiment une texture incroyable. Ça ferait également une très bonne collation si vous prévoyez une soirée cinéma, mais j’aime l’idée d’en apporter quelques morceaux à grignoter en après-midi. C’est aussi chouette de pouvoir personaliser les garnitures selon mes envies! Dites-moi si vous essayez cette recette!

Protein-Packed Chocolate Fudge & Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I contacted Manitoba Harvest to know if they would be interested in organizing a giveaway with me, and they were! I have to say I have been a fan of their hemp hearts for a while. These little seeds are packed with protein and have a very mild flavour. This means you can pretty much add them to everything! Mix them up with some nuts and you have a wonderful pie crust, add them to your smoothies for an extra kick, or sprinkle them on salads and soups. I also add them to my overnight oats to add protein. Yum!

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I really love this particular brand of hemps seeds because they are Canadian, always super fresh and particularly tender. This makes the seeds very easy to add to any dish that I might be making.

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Today, I wanted to create something that was really hemp seed central. If you like fudge, this is the recipe for you! It’s super creamy, rich and chocolaty, without the guilt. It also takes 5 minutes to prepare. What else is there to ask for? Receiving a free bag of hemp hearts perhaps? I got you covered. Read on to find out how you can win one!

Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (I used coconut sugar that I processed)
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

Here is what you do:

  1. In your food processor, process the hemp seeds with the sugar and coconut oil until you have a thick butter consistency. Scrape down the sides often to make sure everything is smooth. This should take about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder and process until completely incorporated. The consistency should be thick.
  3. With clean hands, roll 1 tsp of the dough at a time to form fudge balls. You can also spread the dough in a pan and make fudge squares if you prefer. Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container, and try not to eat them all at once! Enjoy!

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This is seriously easy while being seriously delicious! And nutritious too! Hemp hearts are packed with protein, healthy omegas and a good source of many essential minerals. Seriously, these little things are incredible! You should check them out and add them your pantry essentials.

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Now for the serious stuff! If you want to win your own bag of hemp hearts and make these delicious fudge balls, here is what you need to do:

  1. Make sure you live in Canada or in the US.
  2. Make sure your address is not a P.O. box.
  3. Like my Facebook page and follow my blog.
  4. Comment below what you would do with these hemp hearts or what is your go-to recipe if you already love hemp hearts.

I will pick the winner next Thursday and announce it on Facebook, so make sure you check that out! I will also send an email to the winner, so make sure I can reach you. I’m really excited by this as it is the first giveaway I’m organizing, and the prize is so fun! So participate, and eat your hemp seeds!

 

Simple Chocolate Pudding

Lately, I’ve been juggling with the idea that desserts can be packed with proteins too. Why not, right? Here is an easy way to add protein to your meal, as well as chocolate! But, it’s all for the sake of nutrition, of course… Not quite. This is creamy, delicious and takes 2 minutes to prepare.

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Here is what you need for one portion:

  • 150g silky tofu
  • 1-3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • coconut flakes to garnish

Here is what you do:

  1. Place all the ingredients in your food processor or blender, and mix until everything is smooth.
  2. Garnish with some coconut flakes and enjoy!

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That’s it! It’s seriously ridiculously easy to prepare this, and it’s so good! The texture of this pudding is creamy without being heavy, while also being fresh and fat-free. It’s also a great addition to any lunch. Finally, you can pretty much add anything on top to make it even more delicious. I’m thinking frozen raspberries would be great here. Let me know if you try it out!

Maple Glazed Pecans

I don’t have any story to tell you about this recipe. I just love pecans and maple syrup together! These two ingredients are the perfect combination, and it’s even better when you add some ginger to the mix! This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare, is delicious, and makes for a great ‘mason jar’ gift.

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Here is what you need:

  • 4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 pieces of candied ginger, cut into small pieces

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all your ingredients and spread in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet.
  3. Place in your oven and mix every 5 minutes. The overall cooking time for these are 20 minutes. You know they are ready when all the maple syrup is really thick (almost caramel like), and your pecans are slightly brown.
  4. Place the pecans in your fridge for 30 minutes until they are completely cooled. Placing them in the fridge makes them crispier.
  5. Once cooled, keep the pecans in an air-tight container.

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This makes for a great snack or nice cream and salad topping. It is crispy, sweet, full of maple flavour and so easy to put together! The ginger pieces also add a little bit of heat and balance the maple nicely.

Let me know if you try this out!

 

Chai Coconut Mascarpone Cups

This week-end I was craving desserts, in particular yogurt parfaits where you place fruit over yogurt and add nuts, granola or other toppings. I have been experimenting with vegan yogurt, but so far the results have not been to my liking. Yet, I yearned for this rich cream consistency. So, I gathered a few things that I thought would work out and created this!

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Amazingly smooth, rich and thick, this cream is reminiscent of a simple yogurt or mascarpone cheese. I had to add a little bit of excitement to it (even though I was so happy to have cream, I was pretty much already dancing in my kitchen), and so I decided to add some Chai spices: cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and cloves. This really makes this cream unique and quite spectacular and it reminds me of mascarpone cheese.

Here is what you need for the cream:

  • 250mL of coconut milk
  • 4 tbs of almond powder
  • 4 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 cm piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of black pepper corns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Topping ideas: Fresh berries, coconut flakes, crushed almonds, shopped dates, chocolate chips, granola, grilled nuts: use your imagination!

Here is what you do for the cream:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, oil and sweetener on medium heat.
  2. Crush the cardamon pods in your mortar (or use the back of a spoon). Set aside.
  3. Add the almond powder in the pan and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken up (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add the spices and vanilla extract and let them infuse for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick to your liking.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain to remove the spices.
  6. Let the cream set and firm up in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving with your favourite toppings.
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I used some fresh raspberries, coconut flakes and sweet samosas.

I used some of the fruit leather to make sweet samosas (how-to tomorrow). It’s fun and easy! And that cream! So much flavours and the consistency is just smooth and thick and wonderful. Of course, you could avoid using the spices for a mellower flavour. This is a great substitution for yogurt and makes for an easy dessert. Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

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