National Popcorn Day is coming up (January 19th) and that’s a food holiday on my food bucket list . . . my literal list of foods to eat from a bucket (haha)! But, seriously, popcorn is totally worth its salt as a snack food, it’s a healthy whole grain (a seed, actually) that is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free and a great source of dietary fiber. It’s inexpensive and delicious gobbled up simply fresh-popped or drizzled, coated or tossed with any number of other yummy things. And, “yummy things” is the segue into my recipe for Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha Popcorn.
Yes, Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha Popcorn! It’s like a coffee house and a movie theater hooked up and produced hundreds of perky little chocolatey offspring. It’s just so delicious, and you don’t even have to feel guilty – only 99 sugar-free calories!
I found a recipe for something similar floating around the Internet, credited to The Popcorn Board. However, this recipe had 3 cups of granulated sugar — bless their hearts, literally. Since I’ve made sugar-free caramel coatings for other popcorns (like for my Healthier Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn), I figured I could suck the sugar out of this one too – if Starbucks will let your order and “make it skinny” then I want that with all my sweet snacks!
The secret is using a sugar substitute that measures cup-for-cup, so that you’re not losing any bulk. Read the labels carefully, because some brand say ½ cup equals 1 cup (you can experiment, but I’m not sure how this is going to turn out). I prefer “Sugarless Sugar” made under the gourmet Ellyndale label from Now Foods. It’s not completely calorie-free, but it does have just 1/3 the calories of a regular table sugar. Many large grocers carry it, you can ask your grocer to order it, or buy online from Amazon HERE! I really stand by it and it’s just as awesome for baking, beverages, cereals and other places where you like a little sweetness.
First, you’ll want to pop your corn, preferably without oil in an air popper or in a brown paper lunch sack in the microwave (find out how to do this).
Next up is making the caffe mocha sauce, it’s easy. However, please ensure that you are using a sauce pan that provides an abundance of clearance above the ingredients – when you toss in the tiny bit of baking soda at the end, it will rapidly bubble up – and you don’t want that hot sticky mess flowing out like lava. Pronto, pour and toss that sauce with the popped popcorn that you’ve laid out on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes and then set out for at least 10 more to cool. Keep a watchful eye, as sugar substitutes are notorious for burning easily.
Seriously, I think NowFoods.com makes all the healthy foods I love. Here are some the ingredients used in today’s recipe:
What are you snacking on these days? How do you make your popcorn? What is your favorite drink at the coffee shop? Do tell! XOXO — Jennifer