As you embrace the back-to-school season, you might have noticed your penchant for snacking increases, seeking a delightful crunch to alleviate stress and soothe anxiety during those intense study hours. However, you're also mindful of the calories that can add up with mindless munching. That's why I've transformed a beloved snack into a more nourishing and enjoyable study-time treat.
Introducing LIVA date syrup, the star ingredient, boasting an impressive 5 grams of fiber per teaspoon—something other date syrups lack. A sweet syrup with benefits? Now that is a treat one cannot resist! Elevate this recipe's nutritional value further by incorporating flaxseed or pumpkin seeds into the popcorn mix. You'll be delighted to find this wholesome indulgence becoming a weekly ritual, just like it has for me!
1 cup popcorn kernels (unpopped) (makes 4 cups when popped)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/4 cup LIVA date syrup
2 tablespoons LIVA date sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or coconut oil for a dairy-free version)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1. Pop the popcorn kernels using your preferred stovetop or microwave popcorn method. Ensure you have approximately 4 cups of popped popcorn. Remove any un-popped kernels. If using the stove top method, heat the vegetable oil and popcorn kernels together on medium heat and cover. Occasionally & carefully shake the pot (while kernels are popping) to allow for equal cooking distribution and prevent burning. When the popping slows down, remove the pot from the heat and allow for the remaining kernels to pop. Set to the side (covered) to prepare the caramel.
2. In a small saucepan over medium to low heat, combine the date syrup, date sugar, and unsalted butter. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to boil.
3. Once the mixture is boiling, let it cook for an additional 2 minutes without stirring.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla extract, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. The mixture will bubble up, so be careful during this step.
5. Immediately pour the popcorn into the hot caramel sauce. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently coat the popcorn with the caramel sauce, making sure it's evenly distributed.
6. Let the caramel popcorn cool slightly before serving. It will firm up as it cools down.
7. Enjoy your delicious and quick stovetop date syrup caramel popcorn!