By Anna Olson

CARAMEL PEANUT POPCORN
Makes about 7 cups
•    5 cups popped popcorn kernels
•    2 cups salted peanuts
•    1 ¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
•    ¼ cup unsalted butter
•    ¼ cup pure maple syrup
•    2 tsp vanilla extract
•    1 tsp white vinegar
•    ½ tsp salt
•    ¼ tsp baking soda

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper and toss the popcorn and peanuts on tray.  Keep this warm in oven while preparing the caramel.

2. In a saucepot over medium-low heat, stir the brown sugar, butter and maple syrup until the butter has melted.  Increase the heat to high and boil sugar mixture until a candy thermometer reads 255 °F (just past softball stage), about 4 minutes.  While boiling, occasionally brush the sides of the pot with a pastry or silicone brush dipped in cool water. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, vinegar, salt and baking soda (the mixture will bubble). Slowly pour the syrup over the popcorn and peanuts, gently stirring to coat completely.

3. Bake the mixture until the caramel feels dry, about 1 hour 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and stir the mixture before it cools completely, to break up the bigger pieces. Cool completely in pan.
It will keep up to a week when stored in airtight container.

SWEET & SALTY TRAIL MIX
Makes about 4 cups
•    1 cup whole almonds
•    1 cup unsalted peanuts
•    ½ cup shelled unsalted pumpkin seeds
•    ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
•    3 Tbsp     maple syrup
•    1 tsp celery salt
•    ½ tsp coarse sea salt
•    ½ tsp ground cumin
•    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
•    ½ cup raisins
•    ½ cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Toss the almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds with the maple syrup, celery salt, sea salt, cumin and cinnamon.  Spread this onto the prepared baking tray and bake, stirring once halfway, for 18-20 minutes, until the nuts are toasted.  While still warm, stir in the raisins and cranberries.  Let the mix cool and store in an airtight container. The mix will keep up to a month in an airtight container.
From “Fresh with Anna Olson”, Whitecap Books 2009