What do turtles use to communicate? A shell-phone. (eye roll) Speaking of, you’ll be shell-shocked at how simple and positively delightful this recipe is. Find out more below!
I love this recipe because of its simplicity but also easy diversity. You can definitely swap out almonds or walnuts for the pecans. You could even try sunflower seeds if there’s a nut allergy! They’re decadent without being saturated in sweetness. They’re crunchy yet smooth. They’re sweet yet a little salty. They’re just perfect, okay. There, I said it. I even brought them to a few friends and they were gobbled down instantly! Definitely a recipe that pleases the masses, and one that won’t have people thinking there are any modifications to it. I have a few people in my life who are physically averse to the word healthy, and these weren’t a deterrent!
Before we jump right into the recipe, I wanted to pause to talk about the little pecan. Because this blog is all about learning and laughing (ie horrible food/animal puns, see above) and licking (see turtle recipe below) and just overall loving.
- They’ve got your covered with antioxidants from A to Z, particularly vitamin A to Zinc. Zinc helps with our immune system in terms of both the cell development and function. It also plays a roll in our reproductive and nervous systems , keeping them regulated and communicating well.
- They play a roll with cholesterol excretion, and help contribute to overall healthy levels of cholesterol – both LDL (the “bad” boi) and HDL ( the “good” boi).
- Not bad in the fiber department. One serving boasts about 2g (we want to aim for ~30g per day for healthy digestion).
- Good source of magnesium, which assists with overall inflammation.
- good source of phosphorus: key ingredient for proper bone health
Overall: lots of antioxidants, and good for cholesterol, digestion, immunity, bone health, and inflammation.
Now onto the recipe. The caramel recipe is from Downshiftology.
Healthy Pecan Turtles
A simplified caramel delight treat made with real food ingredients. Perfect for the holidays!
- 2 cups pecans (whole)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate (melted)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk ((13.5 oz))
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar ((or date sugar / cane sugar))
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut oil
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Arrange pecans in small clusters in rows on the tray (I used ~5 pecans per cluster, and made 20 of them)
Before melting the chocolate, begin making the caramel.
Combine 1 can full fat with sugar and sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until well combined.
Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally for ~45 minutes. (note: the time may differ for you. It took me ~an hour until the texture of the caramel felt right). This is somewhat of a labor of love, but well worth it!
Once the caramel is thickened, stir in the vanilla extract and coconut oil until well combined.
Once the caramel is made, pour a small amount (~1 tsp) over each pecan cluster and store in the freezer.
As it's freezing, melt the chocolate. You can either toss in the microwave, stirring occasionally until melted or do so over the stove top.
Once melted, pour ~1 tsp of chocolate over the caramel of each cluster.
optional: you can place back in the freezer for ~5 minutes, then drizzle more chocolate on top of each for a more ~dramatic effect
Top with a sprinkle of sea salt
Win favorite daughter/son/wife/husband/sister/brother/friend/person award when you bring these to the table.
caramel recipe is from Downshiftology.