I was at the drug store the other night and saw the bags of caramel popcorn and was really craving some of it, but they are really quite horrible for you. The first two ingredients is "Sugar" and "Corn Syrup". I had some popcorn kernals at home by Eden Foods so I decided to make something similar without all the junk ingredients.
I was worried the popcorn would get all soggy after pouring the syrup mixure over top but they remained crispy and not too hard to bite into. Definitely making this again.
- 4-5 tbs popcorn kernels
- 1-2 packets of xylitol or truvia/stevia
- 2 tbs blackstrap molasses
- 3-4 tbs maple syrup
- 2 tbs vegan butter
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp mesquite (gives a slight caramel flavour)
- 1 tbs unsweetened carob chips
- 1-2 tbs pepitas, sunflower seeds, small pieces of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, pineapple, papaya)
- Make your stove top popcorn (or use premade popcorn to save time) and place in a medium-large bowl. I popped mine with a small amount of coconut oil and kept the heat to low-medium so it didn't burn.
- Next, add in the blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, vegan butter, xylitol/stevia, sea salt, vanilla, cinnamon and mesquite into a pot and heat to medium heat, continuously stirring for about 1-2 minutes. The mixture should do a soft boil but don’t let it get too hot so that it burns to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda.
- You can preheat the oven to 250F at this point. Immediately pour over the pop corn and start stirring with a spatula so that all of the popcorn is coated. Then you can stir in the carob chips, seeds and dried fruit if you are adding those in.
- Get out a baking sheet and lay a piece of parchment over top. Place the popcorn on a single layer and bake in the over for around 30 minutes. I flipped the popcorn over about halfway through.
- Remove from oven and allow to fully cool before placing in any closed container. Mine stayed crispy for 2 days.. and then I had eaten them all. But I was happy that they didn't get too hard or too soft the next day.