Perfect for an evening in, this caramel corn has all the flavor and crunchiness of classic caramel corn, but without the butter.
- Make plain popcorn:
- (You can use an air-popper according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or use this stovetop method.) The first step is to place the coconut oil and three kernels into a large, deep pot and heat to medium with the cover on.
- Once you hear the three kernels pop, then remove the pot from the stove and allow it to cool for 30 seconds.
- Carefully lift the lid, remove the three pieces of popcorn from the pot and set them aside.
- Add the remaining cup of kernels to the pot, replace the lid and return it to the stove over medium heat.
- Pay attention to the pot during this entire process. Leave the lid on. You will be able to hear the kernels pop. Remember to shake the pot very often so that none of the corn burns. You may need to increase the heat to medium-high, but the kernels should begin popping after a few minutes at medium heat.
- Once all of the kernels have popped, remove the pot from the stove and uncover it.
- Make caramel sauce:
- Add coconut sugar (OR cane sugar), buttery spread, almond milk and vanilla extract to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for ~10 minutes, or until the sauce reaches the desired thickness.
- Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the baking soda, if using. Be careful since it might foam up a lot.
- Lay the popcorn out on a large parchment paper-lined baking tray.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and mix to coat. Sprinkle the top of the popcorn with sea salt to taste.
- Bake at 275°F for 15 minutes if you like it chewy, or up to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, if you like it drier.
- If there are any leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple days.