Monday, December 21, 2009

Easy Recipe – Gluten-Free Caramel Corn for Christmas

This is the fifth year that I have made this caramel corn recipe for Christmas. As I was reviewing the ingredients, I realized this is a gluten-free recipe- a rarity among all the Christmas cookies, pies and bread recipes.

Early this year, I decided to try and eat gluten-free. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley and is the common characteristic in most of the grain-based products we eat, such as cereals, breads, and pasta.

Celiac Disease

Millions of people are forced to eat gluten-free because they have Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a chronic condition in which foods that contain gluten-proteins trigger an immune system response that is not normal.

When a person with Celiac disease eats gluten, the body’s natural immune system attacks the gluten, which damages the small intestine. Symptoms of Celiac disease can include gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, and vomiting. (Forgive me for including these details in a recipe post!)The damage to the intestine makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which can lead to anemia or osteoporosis or both.

Now, fortunately, I am not avoiding gluten to due Celiac disease. For me, it is more of a side effect that evolved from choosing to follow the principles of the Blood Type Diet. It is best for my blood type to avoid breads. Even if you have only a mild reaction to gluten, you, too, may decide to keep this protein out of your diet.

This Carmel Corn recipe is not only gluten-free; it is an easy recipe to make. It calls for just eight simple ingredients, no candy thermometers are needed, and most importantly, it is the tastiest caramel corn recipe you will find!

When everyone else is baking cookies for the holidays, try this delicious recipe for something different. Place the caramel corn in a tin, glass jar or wrap in holiday cellophane. It makes a great little gift for co-workers or the service people that you associate with throughout the year.

Gluten- Free Carmel Corn


7 quarts plain popped popcorn (I use ¾ cup in my hot air popper)
2 cups dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
2 cups of brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jellyroll pans or disposable roasting pans. (I use one large roasting pan, which makes it more difficult to stir, but one less pan to clean!) Add the peanuts to the popped corn.

2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don’t worry too much about getting all the corn coated.

4. Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate into pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

Enjoy the following slide show! Merry Christmas!



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