With Christmas just around the corner, there's a good chance you’re already drowning in sugar-laden holiday sweets and treats. ‘Tis the season! While this healthier recipe variation based off of the magical caramel corn that my mom made for us growing up is still a treat through and through, it's one filled with nutrient-dense ingredients like grass fed butter, blackstrap molasses, and warming spices.
Grass fed butter is full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins like A and K2, and a host of trace minerals. Blackstrap molasses boasts the mineral richness of potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, as well as the likes of iron and vitamin B2. All wins, in my book!
One word of caution, at the expense of betraying my own recipe: keep in mind that corn, which is actually a grain, can be irritating to the gut. If you suspect it might be something that doesn’t settle well with you, I recommend avoiding it for a season to allow the gut time to heal. Want to know more about how to determine which foods may or may not be working well for you? Find more info here on nutritional therapy and how we can work together!
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this sweet, salty, crispy holiday treat. This makes a great gift, or just a fabulous treat to enjoy at home with friends and family, cozied up by the fire watching Christmas movies. You do you. Be sure to tag me on Facebook and Instagram if you try it out using @ashley_castle_nutrition and the same hashtag!
Gingerbread Caramel Corn
Makes approx. 10 cups
- ½ cup grass fed butter
- ½ cup coconut or maple sugar
- 2 tsp organic blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Pinch cloves, optional
- ¾ cup organic popcorn kernels (approx. 8-10 cups popped)
- 1 cup chopped nuts, optional (but HIGHLY recommended!)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Using whatever method desired (air popper, stove top, over a campfire…), pop the popcorn kernels. You want to end up with around 8-10 cups popped.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, and molasses over medium heat. Mix in the cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir well. Remove from heat. You just want to heat it enough to incorporate all the ingredients together.
- Add vanilla and mix to combine (make sure you do this AFTER you’ve removed the mixture from the heat)
- In a large bowl, drizzle the popcorn with the melted caramel mixture. Toss well to incorporate.
- Spread the popcorn on one large or two medium rimmed cookie sheets. You want it to be decently spread out. Bake for 15-20 minutes to allow the caramel to set.
- Remove, let cool, and devour!
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
In loving health,
Note: This post does contain affiliate links. The sole purpose is to help you find quality ingredients easily and take out some of the guess work. It is my hope that your experiences in the kitchen are free of stress and frustration, and this is my way of helping you get there. I also never advocate for anything that I don't 100% believe to be a quality item.