Fall is a favorite time of the year for many. It brings a bountiful harvest, tasty food, delightful weather and fun activities. Sorghum grain harvest is also progressing throughout the Midwest and farmers are preparing for the next season of crops. Sorghum grain and syrup make for a great addition to fall-inspired dishes. Enjoy a few healthy fall treats from Simply Sorghum, a brand of the Sorghum Checkoff.


Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

1 cup pitted prunes 

1/2 cup Superseedz Cinnamon & Sugar pumpkin seeds or naked pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup Multi Grain Cheerios (gluten free) or sorghum based cereal of your choice

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (nut or seed butter could be used)

3 tablespoons ground flax seeds

Toppings:

3 tablespoons finely shredded coconut flakes

3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat 2. Add prunes to food processor and pulse until they are in small pieces. Add pumpkin seeds, cheerios, pumpkin pie spice, sorghum syrup, sea salt, pumpkin puree and flaxseed. Mix until only fine pieces remain. The batter should resemble dough and feel sticky. 3. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop out 1 tablespoon of “dough” and form into balls. Place onto lined baking sheet.  4. In a shallow bowl, add finely shredded coconut flakes and finely chopped walnuts.  5. Roll cereal balls in coconut and walnut mixture and return to baking sheet.  6. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 2 hours and serve.  7. Store in a labeled and dated airtight container for up to one week in the fridge.

Notes: If the batter is not sticking together, start adding 1 to 3 prunes and pulse. You could place one hand in a plastic bag while forming the balls which will make the process easier and less messy. Ground almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds could be used in place of the coconut flakes or walnuts.


Sorghum Caramel Apples

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Ingredients:

Caramel sauce:

1 cup pitted dates

1 teaspoon sorghum syrup or maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup light coconut milk, or milk of choice

1/4 cup pumpkin puree or nut or seed butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Apples:

4 honeycrisp or granny smith cut into 8 wedges

1 tablespoon lemon juice (sprinkle on apple wedges)

Toppings:

1/4 cup whole grain dry sorghum or 3/4 cup popped sorghum

1/2 cup 85% Pascha chocolate chips

1 teaspoon avocado, grapeseed or coconut oil

1/2 cup Superseedz Pumpkin Seeds Maple Sugar and Sea Salt or naked pumpkin seeds

32 wooden sticks or paper candy holders

Directions:

Popped Sorghum Instructions: 1. Preheat a saucepan over medium heat—it is important the saucepan is hot! Your pan is hot and ready to use once you sprinkle a drop of water to see if it sizzles and evaporates. 2. Place 1/4 cup whole grain sorghum into the preheated pan. Cover it with a tight fitting lid. This process takes about 3 minutes. Shake the pan to prevent burning until the sorghum starts popping. Once the popping slows to 6 to 8 seconds between pops, then remove from heat and pour onto the parchment lined baking sheet to cool. (see note) 3. Repeat this process.

Caramel instructions: 1. In a small pot over low-medium heat, add the dates, coconut milk and coconut oil. Bring to a simmer, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and allow caramel to sit for a few minutes to cool.  2. In a food processor or high speed blender, add all of the caramel sauce ingredients and blend until the sauce is smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of coconut milk or milk of choice. Pour the caramel sauce into a small bowl for dipping. 

Assembly: 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your popped sorghum into a shallow bowl with chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.  2. Place wooden sticks in the bottom of each apple slice or place paper candy wrapper on baking tray. 3. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread the caramel sauce over the apple wedge and dip each wedge into the popped sorghum topping mixture. 4. Place finished apple wedges on baking sheet and place in the fridge to set for 10 minutes or until serving. 5. Apple wedges can be refrigerated for one day.


Popped Sorghum Peanut Butter Balls

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole grain sorghum 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon peanut flour

3/4 cup fresh ground peanut butter 

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 

1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

2 ounces 70 percent dark chocolate

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat the saucepan over medium heat—it is important the saucepan is hot! Your pan is hot and ready to use once you sprinkle a drop of water to see if it sizzles and evaporates. Place 1/4 cup whole grain sorghum into the preheated pan cover it with a tight-fitting lid. This process takes about 3 minutes. Shake the pan to prevent burning until the sorghum starts popping. Once the popping slows to 6-8 seconds between pops then remove from the heat and pour onto the parchment lined baking sheet to cool. (see note) Repeat this process. In a bowl add the cinnamon, peanut butter, chocolate chips and peanuts and mix together then in batches add the sorghum to this mixture and mix until well combined. Cover the bowl and place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes until the batter is not sticky and on the firm side. While the popped sorghum mixture is in the freezer place water in the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the coconut oil and dark chocolate on the top of the double boiler stirring occasionally until melted and remove the pan from the heat. Remove the popped sorghum mixture from the freezer and use a 2 tablespoon scooper to scoop the mixture on the parchment lined baking sheet. Alternatively, you can form the popped sorghum balls with your hands. Spraying your hands with cooking oil can help with the stickiness. Transfer the melted chocolate to a zip-top sandwich bag, squeezing the chocolate down towards one of the bottom corners and snip the corner. Drizzle chocolate over each Popped Sorghum Peanut Butter Ball. Refrigerate the Popped Sorghum Peanut Butter Balls for a minimum of 15 minutes, so the chocolate can set before serving. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for a few weeks.

Notes: If you have not popped sorghum, a test batch would be helpful for you to see how the sorghum pops. Pop one tablespoon at a time for test batches. Not all of the grains will pop, a bonus is you can eat and use the unpopped sorghum kernels unlike eating unpopped popcorn. Store bought popped sorghum can be used. You could use a 10-quart pan with high sides without a lid and stir with a wooden spoon instead of shaking the pot. You could make extra popped sorghum and store the cooled leftovers in an airtight container. The popped sorghum will last for a few days up to a week and is a delicious snack sprinkled with sea salt or nutritional yeast.

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