Got friends coming over? Skip serving the usual microwave popcorn! There is an alternative to microwave popcorn that is healthier for everyone — puffed corn! Sounds boring? Well, the recipe below will surely help keep boredom at bay because it will teach you how to make caramel puffed corn that’s healthy, which is free of lactose and gluten.
There are many reasons why caramel puffed corn is way better to serve than microwave popcorn. But to set things straight, popcorn per se is not a health-wrecker. It’s actually the microwave kind that is bad for you. According to experts, the artificial flavoring used in it creates toxic fumes when heated in the microwave.
What’s more, the kind of popcorn you make with the use of a microwave is loaded with salt, sugar and fat — clearly not healthy! Still the best kind of popcorn is the one that’s air-popped. However, you need to have a special kitchen appliance for that, or you should be willing to pop popcorn in the old-fashioned way, which can be wearing.
Luckily, there’s puffed corn that you can simply reach for. Most supermarkets are selling bags of puffed corn — they can be found right where those popcorns and potato chips are.
When shopping for a bag of puffed corn, make sure that you opt for one that contains no sugar and other additives. In short, look for something plain. In the recipe below, you will learn a very simple way of turning plain puffed corn into something so extraordinary that you and your friends will surely fall madly in love with!
By the way, see to it that the packaging says that the puffed corn is gluten-free. While corn from which puffed corn is made is naturally devoid of gluten, cross-contamination is possible — the manufacturer may be using machines that are employed for producing gluten-containing food products. If you can’t seem to find any indicator that the bag of puffed corn is gluten-free or may contain gluten, simply get in touch with the product manufacturer.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the said recipe:
- 2 12-oz bags of plain puffed corn
- 2 cups of vegetarian butter — completely your choice
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1 teaspoon of finely ground sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- Have your oven preheated to 250°F.
- In the meantime, grab a large roasting pan. Empty your bags of puffed corn into it.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, combine vegetarian butter, brown sugar and honey. Bring to a boil using low heat. Make sure that you continuously stir to prevent burning the ingredients. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes then turn off the stove.
- Pour vanilla and baking soda into it. Doing so will cause bubbles to form, so get ready to stir.
- Immediately, pour the mixture onto the puffed corn you earlier placed in a large roasting pan. Gently stir the puffed corn with a wooden spoon to have as much of them covered with the mixture.
- Stash the roasting pan in the oven and bake the caramel-covered puffed corn for about an hour. Every 10 to 15 minutes, take the roasting pan out of the oven and stir the contents to ensure that the puffed corn are equally baked.
- After about an hour, sprinkle finely ground sea salt on the puffed corn and give it a good stir. Allow to cool for a while and serve. You may keep your lactose- and gluten-free caramel puffed corn fresh for days by placing it in an airtight container which is stored in a cool and dry place in your kitchen.