Candied Walnut Popcorn

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Hope you’re all having an amazing day so far! I know this Christmas looks a little different than past years, but hopefully you guys can find some way to hang out with family, whether it be virtually or with a small, socially distant group in person.

For a fun and festive Christmas recipe, I thought I’d share a delicious popcorn mix! It’s a quick and easy recipe that you can whip up while celebrating the holiday. The walnuts are beautifully candied in some maple syrup on the stove, making them tender and sweet, balancing perfectly with the salted popcorn! I also threw some cinnamon in there for some extra Christmas flavour.

Also, we’re making our popcorn from scratch! Of course, you can use pre-made popcorn if you want to speed things up even more, but making your own is surprisingly easy and healthier. You’ve just got to heat up the oil, toss in the kernels, and listen to them pop! Plus you can season to your own taste with salt.

I’m going to keep this post short today so you can get straight to the recipe and go back to making holiday memories! I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a great rest of your day:)

Candied Walnut Popcorn

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon + more to taste
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Add in the popcorn kernels to the pot, and put on the lid, leaving it slightly ajar so that the steam can escape. Listen to the kernels pop! When the popping slows, remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Season the popcorn to taste with salt.
  4. In a small pot, combine the walnuts and maple syrup. Put the pot on the stove over medium-low heat, and wait for the maple syrup to come to a slight simmer. Keep stirring the walnuts and maple until the maple syrup begins to caramelize and turns into a sticky coating on the walnuts, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Take the pot off of the heat and let the candied walnuts cool for about 2 minutes before adding them to the popcorn. Mix everything up and season to taste with some more salt and cinnamon.
  6. Enjoy!!

Merry Christmas and I’ll see you soon with my 2021 Bullet Journal Set-Up! I’m so excited:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Brussels Sprout, Fig and Walnut Salad

Who else thinks Brussels sprouts are the most underrated vegetable?!??! Because they are. It’s a fact. If I unwrapped a Tupperware full of roasted Brussels sprouts on Christmas morning, I don’t think that I would be mad about it. These little green bundles of joy are one of my favourite winter side dishes. Today we’re getting even more festive and mixing some roasted sprouts with figs and walnuts to make an AMAZING quinoa salad that is a perfect take on a classic accompaniment to your holiday dinner.

Like many other great recipes, we’re starting this one off by roasting a vegetable! Brussels sprouts are chopped in half, then given a nice massage with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. They go in the oven cut-side down (so they get nice and crispy) on a parchment lined baking sheet. But guess what? You get quadruple the roasty deliciousness because at various stages during the cooking time, the figs, walnuts, and some garlic get added onto the pan. The result is some crispy Brussels sprouts, caramelized figs, golden brown walnuts, and amazingly aromatic garlic.

Since we’re on the topic of garlic, let’s talk about the dressing, shall we? It starts with some tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup, which would all make an awesome dressing on their own, but when they get combined with the roasted garlic, everything gets kicked up a notch. Actually, like, quite a few notches. This dressing is creamy, full of flavour, and is the best thing that you could possibly drizzle all over those roasted sprouts, nuts, and figs on a bed of quinoa. Because yes, there’s quinoa in here too. Talk about hearty and delicious!

This salad is a great side dish for dinner with your family, or just lunch on a weekday. Add a protein like some cooked chicken or chickpeas, and you’ve got a filling and super tasty meal! The best is when you get a bite of Brussels sprout, fig, and walnut all together…. MMMMMM!

Hope you enjoy!

Brussels Sprout, Fig, and Walnut Salad

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup shelled Walnuts
  • 3 figs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skins on, wrapped in tinfoil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss them with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Place them in the oven to roast.
  3. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and add on the packet of garlic. Place back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
  4. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and sprinkle on the chopped figs and the walnuts. Place back in the oven and continue to roast for a final 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully unwrap the garlic packet. Remove the cloves from their skins and use a garlic mincer to mince the roasted garlic into a small bowl. Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Spread the cooked quinoa on the bottom of a large serving dish. Scoop all of the roasted Brussels sprouts, figs and walnuts on top. Finally, pour the dressing over everything and toss the salad so that it is evenly mixed together. Serve warm and enjoy!

I’ll see you guys Friday with another festive recipe!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Ginger Oat Cookies

It’s December, which means it’s time for the holiday baking to begin! I have yet to decorate my room which is kind of sad but last night I baked up some delicious cookies! Baking cookies is so fun and I haven’t done it in a while. I love cutting them out, and decorating them is just so relaxing! These Ginger Oat Cookies are made in one bowl and baked for 15 minutes so that you can get to icing them (my favourite part) in a snap.

I used so many tasty ingredients in this recipe! We’ve got ground walnuts, oat flour, maple syrup, and of course lots of ginger. The result is a golden-brown cookie that is deliciously crumbly and full of oat-y, Christmas-y flavour. And did I mention the chocolate icing?!!!??? It’s probably the easiest icing you’ll ever make- it only consists of cocoa powder, maple syrup, and almond milk. And it’s SO rich and delish! I piped it on to my little ginger-oat men (that’s what I’m calling them lol) and gave them cute faces and outfits:) You can adjust the amount of milk you add to it to make it thicker or thinner, depending if you want to spread it on like frosting, pipe on some details, or flood the whole surface. The chocolate goes so nicely with the warm spices in the cookie.

To start make these festive beauties, I simply mixed together all of my ingredients in a big bowl until it came together to form a nice dough; then I rolled it out, cut out my cookies, and baked them up. Super quick and easy! I cut my cookies into the shape of gingerbread men, but feel free to use any fun holiday-themed cutters:)

I love how healthy these cookies are too. They’re vegan, refined sugar free, and can easily be made gluten free if you use gluten free oats. The oat flour and ground walnuts can either be bought or easily made by throwing either oats or walnuts into a blender, which is what I did. The holidays are definitely about treating yourself, but if you’re looking for something a little lighter or that’s maybe a nice and nutritious Christmas snack, then these are for you.

I hope you enjoy these Ginger Oat Cookies! They’re so tasty and cute:)) I can’t wait to share more of my holiday baking with you guys so make sure to keep checking out my blog!

Ginger Oat Cookies

Serves: Makes about 12 Cookies (I used a cutter that was roughly 4 inches by 3 inches in size)

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Ginger Oat Cookies:

  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

For the Chocolate Icing:

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 1/2-5 tsp almond milk (depending on how thick/thin you’d like your icing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all of the cookie ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands to form it into a big ball.
  3. Place the dough on top of a large piece of parchment paper, and cover it with an equally sized piece. Roll it out with a rolling pin so that it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick. Remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, placing the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. When you run out of room to cut more cookies, collect all of the excess dough into a ball and repeat step 3. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the dough, and you have a pan full of soon-to-be cookies in front of you!
  5. Bake the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let cool completely.
  6. To make the icing, mix together the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and 2 tsp of the almond milk in a small bowl. Gradually add more milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  7. Scoop the icing into a piping bag and cut a small hole at the bottom. Use this to pipe decorations on to your cooled cookies.
  8. Let the icing on the cookies harden and proceed to enjoy! These can be stored in the fridge for about 10 days, or frozen and thawed when needed:)

Have a great rest of your week everyone! I’ll see you Friday with another great recipe:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))