Hi friends! So here’s my challenge, while I’m not a big sweets eater I must admit there are times when I long for a sweet treat. However, it’s pretty tough to find one that’s not full of sugar and other bad things, as well as highly caloric. If you’ve read my posts in the past you know that I LOVE popcorn, and I wanted to find an easy way to make a dessert that incorporates popcorn and nuts, which are another favorite of mine.
I started thinking about chocolate caramel popcorn, like the kind you get from Garrett’s and other popcorn stores, and I thought that really it’s a fairly healthy sweet treat because popcorn has so much fiber and the nuts have protein. However, popcorn shops usually coat the popcorn so heavily with the sugary ingredients that you can’t even see white anymore, so I set out to find a recipe in which the sugary coatings are drizzled instead of completely coated onto the popcorn.
I meandered through the internet trying to find a recipe that had all of these things in them, and found quite a few for caramel/chocolate popcorn. I synthesized numerous recipes into one that I think is healthy, pretty easy and very delicious. Danielle and I had a lot of fun making it, and I know the fam had a ton of fun eating it. In fact, it went over so well I made a second batch two days later, which was immediately scarfed up. I’d like to share it with you now.
Caramel Chocolate Popcorn
- 5 cups popping corn popped with canola oil
- 1/2 cup Karo syrup
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 cup any kind of nut butter
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 teaspoon popcorn salt (or regular salt)
First, you need to pop your corn. I use my whirly pop, canola oil and good ole Orville Redenbacher popcorn. I’ve tried MANY other kinds of popping corn but it’s by far the best. I get the non gmo version now though so it makes me feel less guilty. After the popcorn is done, get two big trays, cover them with parchment paper, and spread the popcorn on the trays. Sprinkle the nuts on the tray with the popcorn.
Next, prepare the caramel. Put the Karo syrup and the sugar in a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil, and then turn down to simmer for TWO MINUTES (make sure to time it), stirring the ENTIRE time. Stir in the nut butter when it’s done and immediately pour over the popcorn.
Then, melt the chocolate by breaking the big bar into small pieces and placing it in a big bowl. Put the big bowl over a smaller pot with 2 inches of water in it. Turn the heat onto medium and stir the chocolate until it is melted. This is called a double boiler method and I like it better than melting it in the microwave, as I think it changes the texture and taste of the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate immediately over the popcorn and caramel mixture on the trays.
Last, take your spatula and stir all the ingredients on the trays until they’re completely combined and then sprinkle the salt over the top of it all.
It is really so yummy, and at 140 calories per 1 and 1/2 cups you can indulge and still feel good that you haven’t totally derailed your healthy eating plan! Enjoy this with your family and friends, and let me know how you like it. Eating healthy desserts like this will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie!