Halloween has been known to be a popularly unhealthy holiday by most people due to the fact that most foods and candies taken on this holiday have almost no benefit to the body. They usually have an overload of carbs and sugars. This doesn't have to be so!
Here is a recipe that is a combination of tasty and healthy. Eating healthy does not have to be boring. You can eat sweet foods and still gain some amount of fiber and protein.
TOASTED PUMPKIN CARAMEL
Toasted pumpkin caramel is delicious, looks great and it is easy to make. You get to combine the sweetness of caramel, it's soft and chewy texture, and great taste with the healthy goodness of toasted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds give the caramel not only added nutritional value, but also added unique taste. It gives the candy a great crunchy texture alongside the pliable feel of the caramel in the mouth.
This recipe has higher nutritional benefits than your average caramel candy. The addition of pumpkin seeds gives it a dose of protein and fiber. It also contains phytosterol which helps to lower cholesterol levels. The dash of lemon combined with other ingredients like vanilla extract, spice, etc makes this recipe truly tasty!
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Leave for 1 hour
Cooking: 45 min
Serves: 24 candies
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin or apple pie spice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree, room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Special equipment: Candy thermometer
Line an 20x10cm loaf pan with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Brush the sides, but not the bottom lightly with butter and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds in the bottom.
Whisk the maple syrup, brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, pie spice, lemon juice, and salt together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Brush down the sides on the saucepan with water to remove every grain of sugar. Set the candy thermometer into the sugar. Cook the mixture over medium heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches the firm ball stage, 120 degrees C, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Carefully stir in the pumpkin puree. Return to the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel reaches the soft ball stage, 115 degrees C, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Pour the caramel over the pumpkin seeds in the prepared pan. Smooth to an even layer. Cool to room temperature.
When fully cooled peel from the waxed paper or foil and cut into 24 (2,5 cm) squares. Wrap individually in parchment or waxed paper and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Your pumpkin caramel is perfectly ready!