Gluten-Free Caramel Corn (Without Corn Syrup!)

IMG_9270[1]

Every once in a while, a bowl of caramel corn sounds pretty delightful, doesn’t it? I definitely have had my cravings for it, that is for sure! πŸ™‚ Yet, the downside of most caramel corn recipes is that they call for corn syrup (corn starch that is broken down into glucose). Many corn syrups also add high fructose corn syrup, which definitely has it’s health risks. To avoid using this ingredient, I tried making the caramel corn with Lundberg’s Brown Rice Syrup, and was I pleased! The final product has a rich, addicting flavor, and there is NO corn syrup! πŸ™‚ Try this snack for your next movie night. You will probably be filling your popcorn bowl many times. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Ingredients:
15 cups popped plain popcorn (set aside in a large bowl)
1 1/2 cups packed organic brown sugar (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
12 tablespoons organic butter, plus more for greasing the roasting pan. (My next mission is to try
replacing the butter for coconut oil!)
6 tablespoons of Lundberg’s Brown Rice Syruyp
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, and generously coat a roasting pan (You may need 2 roasting pans depending on the size of your pan). In a medium saucepan, add the butter, sugar, brown rice syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat and stir fairly frequently with a spatula for five minutes, bringing to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let it stay at a low boil for 3 more minutes, continuing to gently stir so that it doesn’t burn. At the end of the 3 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, and add the vanilla and baking soda. Whisk vigorously for 10 seconds. It will turn light in color and increase in volume. πŸ™‚ Immediately pour over the top of your popcorn. Toss the popcorn until it is evenly coated with the caramel mixture, and spread it onto the roasting pan, making a single layer. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing the popcorn every 15 minutes. Start checking for the corn to be done at 30 minutes. To check if the popcorn is done, remove a couple pieces from the roasting pan and let them set on the table for a short bit. Crunchy caramel corn is done. πŸ™‚ Cool the caramel corn on a piece of parchment paper, and then dig into the sweet goodness. πŸ™‚

*Optional: Try tossing the cooled caramel corn with chocolate chips, peanuts, peanut butter chips, or whatever your heart desires. πŸ™‚

*Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links.

Homemade Plantain Crackers

IMG_9151[1]

Okay…I am addicted to these. Seriously! I love them. I discovered this recipe from The Paleo Mom about six months ago, and I have made them several times. I will admit that my early batches did not turn out as well, and it took some time to play with the mixing times, the oil amount, the baking times, etc. Here are some things I have discovered:
1) Take time to mix the batter well. It should take about 4 minutes to mix in your food processor, and you will have to probably stop the processor a couple times to scrape the sides.
2) Start with 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil in the beginning of mixing your ingredients. Slowly increase the oil to reach 1/2 cup. Sometimes you will not quite need 1/2 cup, while other times, you may need a bit more. A lot depends on the size of your plantains. (A little update: I LOVE the Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I think it almost has a buttery flavor to it. Otherwise, another great coconut oil is Wilderness Family Naturals, and I have provided the link to that on Amazon at the end of the post. πŸ™‚
3) Baking times have varied with my batches. Some crackers are done in 55 minutes, while others have taken 1 hour and 10 minutes. Sometimes the crackers toward the edge of your pan will be completed sooner than your center ones. If that happens, simply remove the ones on the outside of the pan, and place the remainder back in the oven.
4) As they cool, they will harden. πŸ™‚
5) They are great with cheese or hummus! πŸ™‚
6) Make sure that you store any unused plantains in the fridge until you bake with them. This will keep them from ripening. You WANT the greenest plantains that you can get. This creates the “crisp” cracker. As soon as they start to ripen/turn yellow, they will not turn out as well. They stay green in the fridge for approximately 2 weeks, but you should keep an eye on them. πŸ™‚ Use them right away if you observe that they may be ripening.

This is a great option for those choosing to avoid grains. Plus, plantains are full of great nutrients! πŸ™‚ I have found mine at Whole Foods. Thank you to The Paleo Mom for this great recipe! Click HERE for the recipe link.

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=avocad-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B005GWW97E&asins=B005GWW97E&linkId=EUQOBVFTUZ32LFCY&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

Disclosure: This blog contains links/ads of which I may earn a small compensation/commission by your purchase