I’m going to tell you right here and now…
I like things simple and I like things good.
You may have noticed that about me. This blog is replete with keeping life focused and simplified, so when I did an online search for a healthier version of our favorite caramel corn, I wasn’t about to try anything that had a ton of ingredients or required me to buy a whole bunch of products I don’t normally keep on hand. I don’t cook because I like to be all gourmet. I cook because I need to feed my kids!
I also wasn’t interested in the recipes that had comments like, “Tried this tonight, it was pretty good.”
Pretty good?! My caramel corn is phenomenal. No way am I changing up my recipe for “pretty good.”
After searching in vain for way longer than I should have, I decided I could do this without a recipe. Our resident caramel corn maker (aka our 15 year old son) was game to try it…once. To say he was skeptical would be an understatement, but I promised that if this didn’t turn out I would never mess with the recipe again. He appreciated that enough to let me try.
Here is our original version:
Amy’s UNhealthy Caramel Corn
1 pop (1/2 cup kernels) of popcorn (we air pop)
Bring to a boil:
6 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp cream or milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour over popped popcorn and stir in. A few minutes later, stir again. A few minutes after that, stir again. Or be impatient and eat it after the first stir in. It’s sticky, but no one really cares because it is phenomenal! (See! I told you like things simple!)
We took the basics of this recipe and thought through what we had on hand that would reduce calories and processed foods. The only thing really processed was the brown sugar, so we replaced that with sucanat. The cream or milk added calories, so we traded it for almond milk (something we keep on hand and is about 1/3 the calories of milk). I would definitely be game to try this with something like coconut milk or even soy milk, but we drink almond milk and it just made sense to try that first.
So, we ended up with this recipe:
Amy’s HEALTHY Caramel Corn
1 pop (1/2 cup kernels) of popcorn, placed in a large metal or glass bowl (we air pop)
In a small saucepan, boil:
6 Tbsp butter (we used unsalted, but this wouldn’t matter)
2 TBSP almond milk
1/2 c. sucanat
Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture should be dark brown and slightly thickened.
Pour over popcorn and stir. A few minutes later, stir again. A few minutes after that, stir again. Or, yep, you guessed it! Eat it sticky and hot!
And the verdict…
This caramel corn is PHENOMENAL! In fact, I liked it BETTER than the old recipe! It was simple, it was easy, it was well received. I’m so glad I tried to make my caramel corn a bit healthier. It was well worth it! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
And by the way, I hope you are having a PHENOMENAL Fall! I sure am!