Let’s be real with one another for just a minute, we all have the one indulgence you just need to have every once in a while right? Like that one food you love, can’t get enough of, would choose over the richest dessert? That for me is caramel corn. Crunchy, sweet, addicting caramel corn. I can’t even take the credit for it, that is my beautiful mom. She made this stellar, addicting, healthified version of caramel corn that I just have to share with you. Did I mention it is add-icting? She created this ingenious and easy way to make a spin off of caramel corn. I even sampled it with friends to make sure I wasn’t off my rocker when I said it tastes exactly (seriously, exactly) like caramel corn and they agreed. Maybe I have them warped as well? Oh dear, my poor friends.
It is so healthy (for caramel corn that is) that I’ve been sitting here looking and re-looking and then looking again at the nutritional analysis I did on this new version. You won’t believe it either! It has a fraction of the amount of sugar as traditional caramel corn or to be exact 18 grams less per cup. ->EIGHTEEN!!!!<- It seems impossible, like it can’t be, right? But it is true, after completing the analysis a dozen times. This is remarkable. I have even called her trying to figure out if I am missing something and nope. This is it, straight up guilt-free caramel corn.
Someone pinch me and wake me up from this dream…..
Yes, I know popcorn is a grain but one that is full of a lot of fiber. This popcorn is not made with your typical sugar, nope. Instead it is sorghum syrup. What is sorghum syrup and where do you find it?
Well it is pretty simple, most grocery stores actually carry it. Sorghum is sweet but not quite as sweet as honey or maple syrup with a bit of a hearty taste similar to molasses but not quite as strong. Sorghum syrup comes from a plant usually called “sweet sorghum.” This plant is grown in climates too hot and dry for corn. Sorghum syrup is made by cooking the juice from the stalk of the plant, evaporating the water and concentrating the sweetness. Sorghum syrup retains all minerals and it should never be cut with anything or need any chemical to produce. ->INSERT CLAPPING<-
Unlike sugar, which is 100% empty calories devoid of nutrition, you can actually expect some nutritive value from a purely natural sweetener like sorghum. Before multivitiams, some doctors would even prescribe sorghum syrup to help people obtain the necessary iron, calcium, and potassium needed in their diet (1). Sorghum naturally contains calcium, protein, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and riboflavin. Some other perks of sorghum, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated nor does it mold. Plus, it is generally less expensive than maple syrup. Need I give you any more reasons to run to the store to pick up some sorghum other than just to make this amazing popcorn?
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And let’s give my mom a round of applause for creating this. Trust me, once you try it, you will be thanking her as well! Can we get a thumbs up to this guilt-free treat? Pssst….definition of a treat, once-in-a-while, not everyday. Did I ruin it? Should I have stopped at the last paragraph? Just know that sorghum is still a sweetener and thus should be used in extreme moderation. I give you complete permission to have a treat this weekend ->WINK<-.
- 1 cup Un-popped popcorn (cooked in two batches)
- ½ cup Butter
- ½ cup Sorghum
- ½ tsp Salt
- splash of Vanilla
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Cook popcorn and place in a very large bowl (preferably oven proof).
- Melt butter, sorghum and salt together in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.
- Add a splash of vanilla and mix well.
- Add soda stir until it will foams up.
- Stir foamed caramel over popcorn and mix well.
- Place bowl in oven (or spread on cookie sheets) and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove let cool and stir.