Vegan Caramel Popcorn and G.H. Cretors Popped Corn Review

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You know the saying on the potato chips commercial about how “you can’t eat just one”? Well, I’m sure they wrote that for me because I love salty, crunchy snacks and when I get near a bowl or bag of potato chips, it won’t last very long. My best defense is to not buy any so I don’t have to worry about my lack of willpower. Instead, when I’m craving a snack, I make popcorn…well, Tom makes me popcorn and I eat it. My favorite toppings are also simple – salt, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic powder. Everything is better with garlic.

I don’t usually buy bagged popcorn because (1) sometimes they don’t have the best ingredients and (2) fresh-popped just tastes better. Recently I got to try some bagged popcorn from G.H. Cretors.

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G.H. Cretors has a fascinating history with popcorn – “It all began in 1885 when Great Grandpa Cretors invented the popcorn machine and our family began perfecting the art of popping corn. His modern machine appeared at the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893, and for five generations we’ve been following in his corn-popping footsteps, taste-testing recipes around our kitchen table.” Wow, who better to make popcorn than the family of the guy who invented the popcorn machine?

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G.H. Cretors doesn’t add any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives to their popcorn. They use only Non-GMO popcorn and organic ingredients that have been verified by the Non-GMO Project.

I got to try the two vegan flavors of popcorn that G.H. Cretors makes: Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Simply Salted.

The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Popped Corn has only 3 ingredients: Organic Popcorn, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt. It’s delicious. It has just the right amount of oil so that you taste the flavor without it being oily or greasy. There is also just the right amount of sea salt. Usually I find bagged popcorn to be overly salted. This was so good, I didn’t even put garlic powder on it (that’s saying a lot!)

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The Organic Simply Salted Popped Corn also has 3 ingredients: Organic Popcorn, Organic Sunflower Oil and Sea Salt. It’s also delicious and this is the one I used to make my Vegan Caramel Popcorn recipe.

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When I was a kid, I used to eat Cracker Jacks but mostly because I wanted the prize inside. I liked the roasted peanuts but the popcorn was always way to sweet for me. So I took this opportunity to make my own caramel popcorn where I could control the level of sweetness and the ingredients. Most caramel corn you buy isn’t vegan because it usually contains butter in the caramel. I used vegan butter in my recipe.

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Making your own caramel corn is easy. Just mix up a few ingredients to make the caramel,

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pour it over the popcorn and bake it until crispy.

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That’s it. I made it thinking I would taste it and Tom would eat it but I was surprised by how yummy I found it. It’s not overly sweet at all (though if you like it that way, you can certainly adjust the recipe to your liking). My Vegan Caramel Corn is crispy, just sweet enough and addictive. Starting with a great popcorn like G.H. Cretors’ Organic Simply Salted just made it even easier.

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Check out G.H. Cretors’ web site and try their 2 vegan flavors of popcorn. Then try my new recipe for Vegan Caramel Popcorn. Add roasted peanuts and a prize and you’ll feel like a kid again! Enjoy!

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

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GF, SF if using soy-free vegan butter

8 cups popcorn

½ cup vegan butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tbs. agave nectar

A pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. baking soda

Roasted nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the popcorn on the baking sheets. Melt the vegan butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix in the brown sugar and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir often and bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the agave nectar. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes and then reduce the heat. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring often, and then remove from the heat. Add the salt, vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will get very foamy. Keep stirring.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn while someone mixes the popcorn by flipping it with a spatula. Make sure all the popcorn is coated with caramel. Smooth it out on the baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, flipping it every 15 minutes. Bake until it is as crispy as desired. Mix in any extras like dried fruit or roasted nuts. Let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

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The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. 

Vegan Caramel Popcorn
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert; Snack
 
Ingredients
  • 10 cups popcorn
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. agave nectar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • Roasted nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the popcorn on the baking sheets.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix in the brown sugar and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir often and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Add in the agave nectar. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes and then reduce the heat. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring often, and then remove from the heat.
  4. Add the salt, vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will get very foamy. Keep stirring.
  5. Pour the caramel over the popcorn while someone mixes the popcorn by flipping it with a spatula. Make sure all the popcorn is coated with caramel.
  6. Smooth it out on the baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, flipping it every 15 minutes. Bake until it is as crispy as desired.
  7. Let cool completely before serving. Mix in any extras like nuts or dried fruit.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

 

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2 Responses to Vegan Caramel Popcorn and G.H. Cretors Popped Corn Review

  1. Jatarian January 16, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    I love making my own popcorn but it is good to have healthy convenience food on hand. I will be checking this company out thanks for sharing!

    • Rhea January 18, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      Thanks! xoxo


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