Homemade Caramel Corn

Free of gluten, nuts and corn syrup!

Caramel corn is just about everywhere this time of year. It’s being sold in gallon sized buckets at warehouse stores, in fancy tins for teachers, and even in mini lunch sized bags for kids. I can see why, the stuff is delicious! Unfortunately, it’s also a major sugar bomb, generally filled with GMO ingredients AND, it’s actually pretty expensive. That’s why in this week’s video (see below), I’m sharing my Homemade Caramel Corn recipe, healthified!

Most caramel corn recipes use corn syrup (aka “Karo syrup” which, like Jello-o, is simply a brand name). Unless you purchase organic corn syrup, it’s a product that likely contains genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). This goes for the sugar and the popcorn as well.

Additionally, the caramel corn that we purchase from the store is expertly encased in the caramel coating. I understand that that sounds like a good idea, but actually it’s waaaay overdoing it. A little caramel goes a long way. That being said, this homemade caramel corn recipe is plenty sweet, and the popcorn can be quite coated in caramel (depending on one’s commitment in the stirring department). However, if you’d like it a little less sweet, using more popcorn than called for in the recipe can lend a lighter coating versus, a heavier one.

Watch how easy it is to make Homemade Caramel Corn in my short video tutorial:

Homemade Caramel Corn

Ingredients ½- 3/4 cup un-popped organic popcorn kernels, or 1 mounded cookie sheet of popped popcorn

1-2 tbsp. coconut oil or high heat oil of your choice

1 cup coconut sugar

¼ cup Lyles Golden Syrup

½ cup butter

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. baking soda

Instructions Preheat oven to 250°F. Pop popcorn kernels using an air popper, Whirly-Popper pan, or in a large heavy bottomed stainless steel pot (mine is about 5 quarts in size, like this one) in coconut oil.

Once popped, pour popcorn onto a large Silpat (silicone liner) lined cookie sheet.

Over just-under-medium heat ( on my electric stove I set the burner at 4- with 5 being medium heat), melt butter, sugar, salt and syrup in a medium sized (4 quart), heavy bottomed, stainless steel saucepan.

When mixture is melted and starts to boil, insert a candy thermometer and set timer for 5 minutes. Leave mixture alone, DO NOT STIR!

Watch the thermometer and smell frequently (be careful!) to make sure the mixture is not burning. It should come up to 240° F in about 4-5 minutes. If it is taking much longer than that, then you'll need to increase your heat slightly.

Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. The caramel will fluff up.

Pour over popped corn and mix around a bit. Be very careful, as the caramel is like hot lava and will burn your fingers, tongue, etc.

Put in oven, let bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Pour contents out on counter or large cutting board to cool and break apart.

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