Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Too often that salty sweet treat is off the table for my lactose intolerant husband. When my son asked if I could make a batch that Daddy could eat, how could I refuse?

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is loosely based on one I found at Cooking Light. It includes many of those ingredients you would expect to find: brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. I added some hand harvested French sea salt (Sel de Camargue) and substituted coconut oil for the butter. Coconut oil has a lovely flavor and is my go-to substitute for pistachio brittle. That is, when I'm not using bacon grease for my bacon pecan brittle!

Cooling the hot popcorn before we dig in.

Cooling the hot popcorn before we dig in.

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Serves 8, recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1 cup popping corn
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Pop the popping corn according to the directions. 1 cup of un-popped pop corn, will make approximately 16 cups of popped popcorn. Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 250 F. Lightly grease a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and sea salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will bubble vigorously.

Pour the hot mixture over the popcorn, coating thoroughly. Pour the popcorn on the greased sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes to ensure even coating.

Once cooked, pour the hot popcorn onto parchment paper and let cool for 15 minutes. Will keep for up to a week when stored in a cool, dry place.

 

Lactose Free Caramel Sauce

Our sad lactose free world has opened up soooo much in the past couple of years. Almost simultaneously I learned that select Cabot cheeses are naturally lactose free, AND an organic dairy company started making lactose free sour cream (and yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese). My husband developed lactose intolerance in his mid-20's, so although I can enjoy all the dairy I want, when I'm cooking for the family, I do not make 2 different dishes. Nowadays, I can go to my local grocery store and even pick up lactose free half and half. The one thing I'm waiting for is butter. Lactose free butter (that still has butter flavor unlike ghee), who's going to make it first?!?

lactose free caramel sauce

A couple of nights ago we had friends coming over for dinner. For dessert, I had apples on hand and I whipped together an easy apple sharlotka. My husband, while admiring my handiwork, said that it looked like it needed a caramel sauce. It certainly did sound like a good idea. I looked at several different recipes and settled on a brown sugar base. With the addition of lactose free half and half and by substituting coconut oil for butter, I had a winner of a sauce. It would be an easy way to dress up lactose free ice cream or olive oil cake.

Apple Sharlotka hot out of the oven. Isn't it just asking for some yummy caramel sauce?

Apple Sharlotka hot out of the oven. Isn't it just asking for some yummy caramel sauce?

Lactose Free Caramel Sauce

Adapted from Pioneer Woman, makes about a cup

Ingredients


1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup lactose free half-and-half
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Mix the brown sugar, lactose free half-and-half, coconut oil and salt in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk frequently for 5 to 7 minutes, until the caramel begins to thicken. Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar or squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until cold. Caramel keeps refrigerated for about a week.

When you're ready to serve, you can reheat the caramel sauce by placing the container in hot water for a few minutes or microwave until a pour-able consistency.
 

lactose free caramel sauce