LOW CARB CARAMEL POPCORN
Popcorn and Weight Gain
Many of my clients often grab popcorn as a bed-night snack. 5 cups of air popped popcorn is very low in calories, but it is ALL SUGAR! 38 grams of carbohydrates = 9.5 teaspoons of sugar in our blood, which is way too much (and this is just plain AIR POPPED popcorn…no caramel sauce on it). Complex carbohydrates are just glucose molecules hooked together in a long chain…our body breaks it apart into blood sugar. In air popped popcorn, there is no fat to slow the insulin spike from happening (which is why I always use full fat real foods AND never a carbohydrate by itself). Our Brain Neurotransmitters also get out of balance when we have chronic high insulin levels…cravings, moodiness, depression, anxiety or fatigue.
This is how weight gain happens:
First, insulin tells your body to eat, particularly sugar or carbohydrates.
If you follow cravings, insulin rewards you with extreme gratification (dopamine).
Second, insulin escorts the energy from these foods, which is now blood sugar, to wherever it is needed in the body.
It tells the liver to turn any extra carbohydrate into triglycerides, to be stored in the fat cells.
And third, it orders the body to keep the food energy locked inside the fat cells, not burning it for energy, but storing it…increasing triglyceride levels!
9 eggs, separated
1 cup vanilla egg white or whey protein
2 tsp vanilla extract (or other extract: almond, coconut, maple)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Separate the eggs, and whip the whites in a clean, dry, cool bowl for a few minutes until VERY stiff (see photo). Blend in the whey protein. Gently stir in the yolks and extract. Grease a bread pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting (I usually wait until the next day). Once cool, cut into small popcorn sized squares. Set aside.
6 TBS organic butter
1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream
Swerve: Before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Work fast or the sweetener will burn. Heat butter on high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart (2 L) or 3-quart (3 L) saucepan. As soon as it comes to a boil, watch for specks of brown (this is brown butter….so good on veggies!). Immediately add the Swerve and the cream to the pan. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, and then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Xylitol: Again have everything ready. Wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water. In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart (2 L) or 3-quart (3 L) saucepan, heat sweetener on moderately high heat. As it begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as it comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. As soon as all of the xylitol crystals have melted (the liquid should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note that when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per 2 TBS)
Traditional Caramel Sauce = 130 calories, 24 carbs, 0 g fiber
“Healthified” Swerve Caramel = 51 calories, 12 carbs, 12 g fiber, (0 effective)
“Healthified” Xylitol Caramel = 60 calories, 1 carb, 0 fiber (1 effective)
Place the “popcorn” bread onto a baking sheet. Warm caramel until soft and pour over the “popcorn.” Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, or until the caramel has hardened onto the “popcorn.” Let cool and enjoy! Makes 10 servings.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Caramel Corn = 317 calories, 39.5 carbs, 4g fiber
“Healthified” Caramel Corn = 193 calories, 14.5g fat, 14g protein, 1g carbs, 0g fiber (68% fat, 30% protein, 2% carbs)
Here is a video showing how to make the caramel sauce!
Testimony of the Day
“Maria, I have been on your Accelerated Meal plan for almost THREE WEEKS now. I have lost about 11 pounds. I can almost zip my skinny jeans, so the inches are falling off. Thank you so much for changing my life, and changing my way of thinking and living.
The aches and pains are disappearing and I have been walking for 30 minutes each day for the last week. I will be 50 in a month and now I am not filled with dread, but filled with hope of healing! All of that to say I appreciate your help. I appreciate your wisdom, recipes, and advice. Have a great rest of the week! Donna”