My kids always called the homemade caramel corn we would make “Sticky Popcorn”. Back in the day, butter and sugar were the main ingredients for its gooey goodness. But its incredibly simple to make a healthy, low fat vegan version of this that’s delicious and lives up to it’s name i.e. sticky. I’ve used honey or agave nectar to make it in the past, honey being more handy for most folks. For the sugar part you can use brown sugar, which is better than plain white sugar, or my preference is Xylitol because its so incredibly healthy for the body and teeth yet tastes just like sugar. You can find that in a health store or online. I buy this brand on Amazon though I get the 5 lb one which lasts me quite a while. Again, it tastes and can be used just like sugar in or on anything. We switched to Xylitol a few years back.
I like to add raw sunflower seeds in my popcorn sometimes. The one shown has some walnuts in it though they are hard to see. So feel free to toss in any nuts you like! The measurements don’t have to be exact on this. I tend to eyeball the ingredients.
Pop up your popcorn.Heat your syrup and sugar until the sugar melts. Then add in the baking soda. It turns it into what you see below!
There’s your sticky popcorn recipe! Works great for popcorn balls too.
- 8 to 10 cups popped corn
- ¼ cup honey (or agave nectar)
- ¼ cup Xylitol or Brown Sugar
- Scant ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- OPTIONAL: Handful of nuts (I love raw sunflower seeds)
- Pop your popcorn. Air popped is lowest fat. If doing it on the stove use canola or coconut oil.
- Place honey (or agave) and Xylitol (or brown sugar) in small pan on stove. Cook on LOW heat stirring till sugar dissolves.
- Take off burner and add in the baking soda. It makes the melted sweetener all puffy and creamy.
- Slowly pour the hot mixture over the popcorn while stirring popcorn to coat evenly.
- Toss in nuts if desired.
SCARY PROCESSED POPCORN STATS
While plain old popcorn you pop yourself is a fairly healthy snack (assuming you don’t mix it with unhealthy things), Microwave popcorn in those prepackaged packets is FULL of chemicals. The fake butter flavoring has been shown to cause lung disease in the factory workers who help make this stuff. The bags themselves are coated with PFC (perfluorinated compounds) which are carcinogenic.
Movie popcorn is likewise incredibly unhealthy. An average medium tub can have 1200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat. Eating that is the equivalent of three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders… and that’s BEFORE the buttery chemical topping they squirt on. Yikes.