I love popcorn. To an almost unreasonable extent. I’ve been to known to get a little giddy at the prospect of having an evening alone, simply because I’ll be free to have popcorn for dinner without enduring the judgment of my boyfriend. Popcorn is pretty much the only reason I’ll agree to go to a movie theatre. And when I get home from work starving, there’s only one thing I’m craving. You guessed it. Popcorn.
I know there are many ways to pop – microwaves and air poppers, for example – but my preferred method is the old fashioned stovetop way. Just glug some coconut oil (refined so it’s not coconutty-tasting) into a pot, toss in few kernels and turn on the heat. When the test kernels pop, the oil is ready. Dump in the rest of the kernels (usually 1/4 cup per person) and put the lid on. gently shake the pot until the popping stops, and you’re done! Turn the popcorn out into a bowl, and add whatever seasonings you want. For me, I usually drizzle a little more oil over top and then liberally douse with nutritional yeast. With a big dish of sriracha for dipping, this is pretty much my ideal food.
BUT say you wanted something a bit more decadent to celebrate Popcorn Day (January 19th) or maybe to serve as a snack at your sports game or award show viewing party. I have the perfect solution for you: Honey Caramel Corn. It’s indulgent, but made with honey instead of refined corn syrup, so you can feel like you’re making a healthier choice while stuffing yourself full of caramel corn. Life is all about balance.
- 1 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil if you’re dairy-free)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pop the popcorn however you like and place it in a large bowl (the larger the better). Preheat the oven to 250, and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium pot, melt the butter/coconut oil and mix in the honey, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to gentle simmer for around 5 minutes, stirring the whole time.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. It’ll get little foamy – that’s normal.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and mix it through with a wooden spoon. You’ll need to do this pretty quickly, so the sauce doesn’t harden before all the popcorn is covered.
- Spread the popcorn on the baking sheets and bake for 30-45 minutes, checking and stirring it often so it doesn’t burn.