Recent time spent with my grandchildren got me to thinking of my childhood. I remember eating pink caramel popcorn. Remember that? All that sugar just seemed wonderful, and the artificial coloring made it very attractive! Fortunately, now, most people are gearing up towards healthier choices. No more red dye no. 40 which contains petroleum and less refined sugar. I decided to try a popcorn ball recipe sweetened with agave syrup. This is a great recipe to use up your left over popcorn, too! I am sure kids will enjoy this sweet treat!
A popcorn balls recipe using agave syrup which is lower on the glycemic scale. Eat them plain or spice them up with cinnamon or chili powder!
3 cups plain popped popcorn*
1/4 - 1/3 cup agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
3-5 shakes fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a small sauce pan add all ingredients except for the cooked popcorn. Heat over medium heat and stir until it comes to a boil. Cook until it reaches about 240°F. Depending upon which brand of sea salt you use, it may not dissolve. Allow the mixture to cool a bit.
Place the popcorn in a bowl.
Pour the syrup over the popcorn and gently toss with a spoon or knife. Be careful not to over stir or you will end up with mushy, broken popcorn.
Refrigerate until it cools enough to handle without sticking to your hands..
Roll on a handful of popcorn on a clean, flat surface, forming compacted balls.
Store any left overs in a zip lock bag.
*To avoid gluten in my popcorn, and many chemicals, I used Orville Redenbacker's Original Popcorn and popped it myself. They have many gluten free microwavable ones, too. There a number of other gluten free brands, as well.
If you wish to make your glaze pink try adding a bit of pure cranberry juice to the agave syrup while cooking.
If you desire additional flavor in the glaze, try adding a dash of cinnamon, or even chili powder.
Make sure you use fresh popcorn. They make more attractive popcorn balls.
Popcorn pops at about 450 degrees. Check the Smoke Point of your favorite oils at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point .
If you do not allow the syrup to cool it will contributed to the shrinking of the popcorn.