HOW TO: Make a healthy, nosh-worthy, vegan holiday popcorn sampler

popcorn, flavored popcorn, holiday treats, green holiday ideas for kids

1. Gather the ingredients.

As always, we recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible.

For the caramel popcorn:

  • 15 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup  corn syrup or honey (but keep in mind honey isn’t vegan)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter, such as Earth Balance
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

For the cheesy popcorn:

  • 8-10 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1-3 Tbsp olive oil

For the festive, red and green popcorn:

  • 8-10 cups popped popcorn
  • 1-2 sheets of nori
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

caramel popcorn, vegan caramel popcorn, holiday popcorn sampler, recipe

2. Make the caramel popcorn.

Place the popped popcorn on a cookie sheet (one that is somewhat high-sided). Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, corn syrup or honey (but note, honey isn’t vegan), Earth Balance, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring well until the mixture is well-combined and starts to boil. Continue stirring for three to four minutes, then turn off the heat, stir in the baking soda (which will lighten the color and texture of the mixture), and then pour over the popcorn on the baking sheet, trying to spread the caramel mixture over as many kernels as possible. Do the best you can-the rest of the pieces will get covered throughout the baking process.

Place sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven and toss the popcorn with a wooden spoon or spatula, again trying to coat as many pieces as possible with the mixture. Return the sheet to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. Repeat process until the popcorn has cooked for an hour. Remove the sheet from the oven and let popcorn cool, using the spoon to break up any large popcorn clusters and to make sure the popcorn doesn’t stick to the pan. Try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting. Want to make it even more decadent? Drizzle a few tablespoons of melted dark chocolate over the kernels!

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