“Oh, no!” Hazel wailed. “Popcorn! Our fatal weakness!” Rick Riordan, The Blood of Olympus
Sometimes you just need to snack. That is easier said than done in a household that includes vegetarians and omnivores, a couple non-dairy types and one who eats no gluten.
Popcorn to the rescue! Here is an ultra-light, vegan recipe that can please almost everyone the next time you’re watching a movie, playing board games or simply staying out of the rain or snow.
Moo-free Maple/Cashew Popcorn
(Air-popped corn is low calorie, but tasteless. If you want something good, go for kettle corn as directed below.)
Place a large, heavy-bottomed kettle on a stove burner. Place 1-2 Tablespoons high-heat oil (such as canola or coconut) in the bottom and swirl to coat. Add 1/3 cup popcorn kernels.
Turn the heat to medium high. Put on the lid and put a glove-style pot holder on each hand. When the first kernels start to pop, lift the kettle off the burner and vigorously shake it from side to side (not up and down) to redistribute the kernels that aren’t yet popped. Make sure to hold the lid down while you are shaking. Put the kettle back on the burner. Repeat the shaking maneuver every 30 to 60 seconds until the popping slows down to almost nothing.
Turn off the heat. When the popping entirely stops, open the lid away from your face. (The steam will be hot.)
Leave the popcorn in the uncovered kettle, add 1 cup roasted/unsalted cashews (or unsalted nut of your choice — if using salted nuts, leave salt out of the glaze). Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan (sized big to avoid boil over), heat 1/4 cup maple syrup to a boil. (The real thing is way better, but I won’t tell if you use the fake stuff.) Boil for about a minute.
Turn off the heat and add 1 teaspoon nut butter (your choice) and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt to the syrup. Stir thoroughly. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and toss with a large spoon until evenly coated.
Dry in kettle or on a cookie sheet (or in your tummy…). Serves 4-6 people.
Leftovers (as if) can be stored several days in an airtight container.