Here is a healthier version of a smash-up between caramel corn and kettle corn. This tasty snack is not too sweet and just a little bit salty, without all the corn syrup and hydrogenated oils you find in many store-bought varieties. I adapted this recipe from the Snack Girl blog using SunButter in place of peanut butter and adding the oven time at the end to make the caramel corn a bit crispier. And, thanks to the microwave, this recipe is super easy and lower in fat than popping the corn kernels in oil.
Popping corn in the microwave without buying microwave popcorn bags is a cinch. Just place the corn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds, and you have a healthy snack! You can add any toppings you like, such as cinnamon, sea salt, Parmesan cheese, herbs, or Cajun seasoning.
Salted “Caramel” Corn
Serves 4 (makes @ 4 cups)
Vegan, Gluten-Free; Free of: soy, dairy, eggs, cane sugar, nuts
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
Paper lunch bag
1-1/2 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1-1/2 Tablespoon SunButter (or other nut butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/-1/4 teaspoon salt (to your taste)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag. Roll the top down a couple times to close the bag and microwave on high power for 1 minute 20 seconds, until the majority of the kernels are popped but not burned. Remove the popped corn, and return any un-popped kernels to the microwave for 1 minute to pop the rest. If you don’t want to use the microwave, you can pop the corn using your favorite method (machine popper, stove, etc.).
- In a small bowl or cup, microwave the maple syrup and SunButter for about 30 seconds to soften. Add in the vanilla and stir well.
- Place the popped corn in a large bowl, and drizzle the maple syrup mixture over the popcorn. Toss to coat evenly (or you can cover the bowl and shake to coat). Sprinkle in the salt to taste, and toss again.
- Spread the popcorn on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes or until the “caramel” corn is lightly crisp. Enjoy!