Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

We all love caramel corn, but as a kid, due to some dental misfortune, I had silver caps on all of my teeth. This led to my parents being very careful about what I ate, fearing I would damage my shiny chompers. Sticky caramel was for the most part off the table, leading me (of course) to develop a lifelong affinity for the stuff. At that time the mysteries of caramel never compelled me to look farther past the sticky substance wrapped in cellophane papers made by Brach that was quickly confiscated from my plastic trick or treat pumpkin. Post baby teeth, but not many Halloween’s later, I decided to make caramel apples and bring them to school for my class.

Making caramel for the first time I did not need to consult a recipe, I just unwrapped around 100 little squares of purchased caramel and melted them, but I had a pot of caramel filled with unknown ingredients that took forever to make, while driving me crazy. At the time I just figured that caramel apples were way too much of a pain in the booty and while they sure were tasty, not worth the trouble. However, caramel is really just melted cooked sugar. For the kid in us all, I have adapted my forbidden childhood sweets into a real food Halloween treat that features organic popcorn, pistachios and a spiced up coconut sugar caramel made with grass-fed butter. A spicy-sweet treat without scary, tricky ingredients.

Octavia Klein Photography

 

Recipe:

1 C unpopped popcorn

2 C Coconut Sugar

1 C Butter

1 T Sea Salt for caramel, additional salt to finish.

1 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup toasted chopped pistachios

 

Prepare popcorn either in air popper or on the stovetop. To make popcorn on the stovetop use a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed large pot with a lid and warm over medium to medium high heat. Coat the bottom with a little heat friendly oil or ghee. Once the pan is warmed put in three popcorn kernels and close lid and allow to pop. If kernels look over browned turn pot down. If they took forever to pop and came out soggy, then turn down the heat. Remove those three kernels and add the rest of the popcorn and cover with lid. Once the popcorn begins to pop vigorously I crack the lid a tiny bit to let excess steam out and keep popcorn crisp. You will also want to continuously shake the pot so that they kernels don’t stick and burn. Once the popping seems to be slowing down turn off the heat and leave it covered for a moment so stray pops don’t shoot popcorn all over your kitchen, then transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.

Make caramel by heating butter and coconut sugar together over low heat. When sugar melts add salt, vanilla and cayenne and turn up heat to medium high, bring mixture up to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so mixture doesn’t burn. Caramel should smell awesome and look thick and bubbly.

Octavia Klein Photography

While cooking caramel you can prepare your pistachios. A lot of bulk bins at major markets sell pistachio meats out of the shell. If you buy these they will probably be un-toasted so you will want to put them in a 350 degree oven for around 12 minutes to toast, stirring occasionally. Or you can do what I had to do with my last batch of caramel corn and shell toasted and salted pistachios. If toasting your own pistachios you may want to add more salt to the caramel. No matter your method, after toasting or shelling place your pistachios in a dishtowel and rub the majority of the skins off the nuts. You may want to work in handful-sized batches at a time and rub until at least the larger loose chunks of the papery skin are removed. Roughly chop the pistachios and reserve.

Octavia Klein Photography

Be careful to let caramel cool to a reasonably warm not scalding temperature before adding to the popcorn so you don’t burn yourself. It helps to have another person to toss the caramel corn as you slowly pour the caramel over popcorn to ensure it is evenly coated. Next add pistachios, sprinkle with additional salt and toss mixture gently. Using your perfectly clean hands make balls out of the mixture, I think large fist sized caramel corn balls are the best. This caramel corn will keep well tightly covered in a cool dry place for a few days.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

Coconut Sugar Carmel Corn! Gluten free & refined sugar free! Traditional food & Paleo friendly recipe! Click through to get recipe.

Carmel Corn

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes

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Some of my most vivid memories from childhood storybooks are food related. I’ve always  been particularly fascinated by the seemingly ubiquitous pink layer cake with a berry or cherry or whatever on top. Strawberry Shortcake, the book about the school teacher elephant who lives the good life in her classroom, after hours, has a particularly inspiring bathtub tea party picture that as I recall featured pink cakes. 

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This year my birthday falls on a Friday and I teach a 10:15am spin class in Silverlake. As bribery to my friends and students for coming out to ride with me for my birthday class, I used the fantasy cake from my childhood to create a tasty example of 80/20. The cupcakes are a sweet treat but not junk food and the pink comes in the form of my personal favorite: cream cheese frosting. As an adult who is very into fitness and wanted a cupcake I felt good about feeding to a room full of people after they just exercised for 45 minutes, I kept away from some of the higher glycemic ingredients: refined wheat flour & white sugar. Coconut came to the rescue here and gave the cake a nice fluffy texture while providing protein & fat. A whole bunch of eggs boost the protein content and give the cupcakes some serious richness and contribute to their golden color. 

Birthday Cupcakes with Pink Frosting *grain free, dairy free*

3/4 Cup Coconut flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

1 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil 

9 large eggs

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, pulverize the coconut sugar until fine. If coconut oil is solid, gently warm until liquid, but not hot. I found this super easy to do with two mixing bowls and a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would also work. If you are looking for an upper body workout, you could do it by hand.

Whip the coconut oil and pulverize coconut sugar until combined. Break all the eggs together and mix into the coconut oil and sugar, one at a time to incorporate each egg. When all the eggs are added, blend until creamy. Sift the coconut flour into another bowl and add the salt, vanilla & baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend. Line a cupcake pan with undyed parchment muffin liners and scoop in 1/4 C of the batter to each one, an ice-cream scoop works well for this. Conveniently this recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Set your oven timer for 10 minutes. After 10, turn the tray in the oven, keeping on the same oven sheet and bake another 10 minutes. Ovens vary, but after the first 10 minutes the cupcakes should be firming up and lightly browning at the edges. The middles will still be kinda soupy. After the pan rotation and 10 more minutes the cupcakes will be just cooked and not dry or heavy. Do not over-bake! Use the timer. Or they will suck. Allow all cupcakes to fully cool before attempting to frost. Cupcakes can be frozen but will dry out a bit. I plan to leave them to cool and store on the counter overnight, unfrosted and have zero leftovers as I only made 12

Birthday Cupcakes! Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, protein packed, made with whole food ingredients. Click through to read recipe.

Pink Strawberry Frosting 

 1.2 oz freeze dried unsweetened strawberries

1/4 C Coconut Sugar

2 blocks full fat cream cheese, room temperature 

1/4 to 1 C heavy cream (start with 1/4 C increase in incremeants until consistency is acheived)

One at a time pulverize the strawberries and coconut sugar in a blender until fine. Beware of breathing in a strawberry  and/or coconut sugar dust cloud when opening lid. In a deep bowl whip together the strawberry powder, fine coconut sugar and cream cheese. This may make a tiny mess but don’t sweat it. Thin the mixture with the cream and it will also help keep your frosting in the bowl. Whip it up until it’s fluffy. Boom! Pink frosting for any occasion.

 

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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