Adapted from The Vegan Lunch Box, by Jennifer McCann
As Jennifer McCann points out in her book Vegan Lunch Box, these are a lovely seasonal treat to bring into the classroom. You can point out to the kids that the ingredients were common to the Native Americans, and are all indigenous to North America. They’re delicious, too!
Ingredients (Makes 12 balls)
• 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
• 10 cups popped popcorn, unsalted (1/2 cup, unpopped)
• 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
• 1/3 cup dried blueberries
• 1/3 cup dried cranberries
• 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• Butter or oil for hands
• candy thermometer
1. Combine the popcorn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried blueberries and dried cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, brown sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of water over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Stop stirring, but pay attention to the heat so that you can maintain a constant boil without letting the mixture boil over.
3. Boil for about 8-10 minutes (240° on a candy thermometer).
4. Pour the sugar mixture evenly over the popcorn mix, stirring constantly until everything is completely coated. Coat your hands with butter or oil, and then scoop up large handfuls of the mixture and press firmly into balls. Work quickly, as the mixture will harden as it cools! If it gets too firm, place in a warm oven (300°) for a couple minutes to soften.