Thursday, June 18, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

Snacks have always been a tricky thing for me to think about in our allergen-free living. Everything seems to take a long time to prepare from scratch. It is so much easier to open a bag or a box and have an instant (and unhealthy) snack. What is odd is that I was never much of a snacker before I started the limited diet. We almost never ate dessert, and snacks were more likely to be cheese and pepperoni than potato chips or cookies. Nowadays though, I'm always foraging in the cupboards looking for a quick nibble.

My mother suggested I purchase a popcorn maker so I could whip up a yummy bowl of popcorn for a healthy snack. This turned out to be a great idea, and for the last week I've been enjoying popcorn with salt and Becel RSF. But today I have a new favourite -- caramel popcorn! And it was easy and quick to make.

My recipe inspiration came from a spiced popcorn and nut recipe in Super Natural Cooking. I have adapted the recipe to fit with our allergies:
  • 10 cups popped popcorn (1/3 to 1/2 cup unpopped, popped any way you choose)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on your counter (or on a baking sheet).
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, mix the syrups and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, swirl the pan over the burner for about 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to reduce. On my gas cooktop, I tipped the pan a little then let it rest again on the burner. Then I tipped it another direction and brought it to rest again. This was more gentle on my grills than a swirling motion. After 5 minutes of the swirling or tipping motion, remove pan from heat.
  4. Add popcorn to the pot and stir gently to thoroughly coat.
  5. Spread coated popcorn onto the parchment paper and allow to cool and firm (or not!).
This recipe will serve two only if my husband gets home soon.


  1. I'm having a hard time getting to my specialty store for rice syrup. Do you think agave nectar or corn syrup would work instead?

  2. Consistency-wise, corn syrup would probably work but it won't have the same rich taste. Agave would probably create a sticky mess. You probably should hold out until you can get to the store for rice syrup -- I promise it will be worth the wait!