Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hippie Jacks - Vegan Salty Sweet Popcorn

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. It is easy to make and is perfect for munching while reading a book.

I like mine air-popped because I don't need the extra oil used to pop it on the stove top. I recently found a bowl to microwave pop it, also without oil. Either way is great. Then I give it a quick spray with cooking oil and add salt. Sometimes I go for nutritional yeast or garlic salt with vegan parmesan.

This popcorn takes a few extra steps than my easy snacking ones, but is worth it for a snack that is a bit more special than plain popcorn. My son is allergic to peanuts so I used sunflower seeds and a caramel coating for a modern take on Cracker Jacks. I like to call it Hippie Jacks.

Hippie Jacks


15 cups air popped popcorn

1/2 cup unsalted vegan margarine
1 cup natural brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup raw sunflower seeds toasted
1 tsp soy sauce


Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Spray a rectangle glass baking pan with cooking spray.

Air pop your popcorn and place it in a large mixing bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Try to avoid adding any un-popped kernels. I scoop the popcorn one cup at a time and then pick through the popcorn at the bottom to avoid picking the kernels up.

Heat a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle some sea salt in the pan and add a layer of raw sunflower seeds to the pan. Let them toast, stirring frequently until they are golden brown and smell fragrant. Pour the hot seeds onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with soy sauce. Stir to distribute the soy sauce. Continue toasting and seasoning the sunflower seeds until you have enough. Save any extra in a sealed container. They are great on salads, as a snack or even sprinkled over brown rice.

Melt the margarine over low heat in a saucepan. Add the brown sugar, syrup, and salt. Let the mixture come to a slow boil and let it simmer for 3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Be sure to stir it frequently during this time. Once it is ready take the mixture off the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Stir to incorporate. It will lighten in color and puff up from the baking soda.

Add the toasted and seasoned sunflower seeds to the popcorn and pour the sugar mixture on top. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to coat everything with the caramel sauce. Pour the popcorn into a rectangle glass baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake at 250 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. It will come out crisp, sweet and impossible to stop snacking on.

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