Healthy Caramel Corn

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

What? Is there really such a thing as healthy caramel corn? "Can it be healthy?" is the first thing I ask myself every time I have a hankering for a childhood treat. Let's see how we can enjoy caramel corn without the guilt and shame. First we take popcorn kernels, organic of course, because the insecticides used on GMO corn rip holes in the abdomen of insects. Though not proven by science yet, anecdotally they rip holes in most human abdomens too. Have you ever heard of "leaky gut"?         

Second, since corn is indigestible, (anyone who has taken a peak in the pot after eating it knows this first hand) we must add something digestible to nourish the body. Introducing the healthy fat butter. Now, as you may already know butter burns at a high temperature which is why my dear husband who came up with this recipe used home rendered lard or bacon fat to pop the corn and butter for the carmel.

I'm not really sure the science of heating fats is why he used bacon fat; it may have been something about delicious flavor! But, the key to making popcorn healthy is in the fat. Do NOT use any vegetable oil under any circumstance if you love your liver, gallbladder, and heart. You can use a saturated fat that is solid at room temperature and does not oxidize into a trans fatty acid at high temperatures. Your choices are:

Healthy Fat Options for High Heat

Duck Fat Ghee Coconut Oil Lard Beef Tallow Goose Fat

I'm not sure who has goose fat just lying around, but bacon fat, that's an easy task. Also bacon fat blends very nicely with the maple syrup in this recipe, so I highly recommend it when popping your corn. Remember to use leftover bacon fat without hormones, added nitrates, or "natural flavorings" which always means sugar.

Alas, here is the recipe for my dear husband's, begged for in our house, healthy carmel corn.