Me and J. are really addicted to movies. One of our favorite hobbies is going to the cinema or having a "movie marathon" at home.
And with movies there comes the...popcorn!
Unfortunately, cinema popcorn is made with animal fat and tons of sugar. As so, it no longer makes part of my cinematographic ritual...
When I found out that cinema popcorn is made with animal fat I felt sorry but also relieved. Finally I had a really strong reason for stop having it (I was willing to quit cinema popcorn for a long time but usually "health" reasons are not enough and it is easy to fall of the wagon and open exceptions now and then). But for me, having the image of animals suffering for me to have a brief moment of pleasure is a big and 100 % effective red card.
I felt relieved because every time we would go to the movies, we would have a big bouquet of popcorn and the following morning would be "popcorn hangover morning"...I swear to you, the following morning after having popcorn I would literally feel the sugar "hangover"...I would wake up without energy, feeling sick and with a huge felling of shame and guilt for having given in popcorn temptation one more time...
At the beginning I would really missed popcorn at the movies, specially because J. still have it (I haven't convince him quit yet...) and the popcorn smell is magnetic. But I quickly discovered other interesting treats to take to the movies (peanuts, dates, dried figs, lupins, grapes, strawberries, etc) and I might start take my homemade popcorn to the movies. These ones do not cause hangover or sugar crushes and for me they are even more delicious than cinema popcorn...
Healthy Caramel Popcorn
Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes stove + 5 minutes oven (optional)
Difficulty Level: Easy
1/3 cup Corn Kernels (~65 g)
1 tbsp solid Coconut Oil
3 tbsp Date Caramel
For the Date Caramel:
6 Medjool Dates (~110 g)
1/3 cup Water (80 ml)
The seeds from 1/2 Vanilla Bean (optional)
To make the date caramel:
1. Place pitted dates and the water into the food processor and process until you get a smooth cream (about 3 minutes).
2. Add in the vanilla and pulse to incorporate.
To make the popcorn:
1. Place the coconut oil into a medium pop and heat it over medium heat.
2. When the oil has melted, place in the popcorn kernels and put the lid on. Shake the pot to coat the kernels with oil. The kernels should start to pop in about 1 minute.
3. Continue to shake the pot occasionally while the kernels pop and once they have all poped (when the sound stops or becomes less frequent, in about 3 minutes), remove from heat and transfer the popcorn to a big bowl. It is normal that a few kernels do not pop. It is important that you keep stirring the pot occasionally and that you do not leave the popcorn for too long in the pot so they don't burn.
4. Add about 3 tbsp of the date caramel to the popcorn and stir to coat. You can serve the popcorn right away or place them in the oven for 5 minutes 350 F/175 ºC over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they become crunchier (the disadvantage is that they reduce on size). Serve and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious popcorn. Any of you are addicted to Cinema + popcorn as well? Comment below!