Thursday, January 21, 2010

Work Challenge

So to start the New Year off some my coworkers and I are participating in a weight loss challenge. We started on January 11th and will continue the deprivation for three months with a good bit of money at stake. I decided last week that I would contribute by providing them with an email each week containing some low calorie recipes.

When deciding on what recipes to present to my work friends all it dawned on me, "how can you provide fellow starving coworkers with an untested low calorie recipe?" Truth is I can't and most of the time when I read a recipe I generally think that it sounds disgusting sans that requisite stick of butter. So, to ease my conscience I decided to test these recipes and once tested provide them with a taste to help them decide if they wanted to recreate the treat at home. So... Thursdays are the days I have chosen to provide them with this snack. Last week I tinkered with a banana bread recipe from the Weight Watchers site and it was a big hit and this week... caramel corn.

The recipe is delicious. I did modify this - because once I started pouring the syrup over the corn I thought there was way too much... so I popped more corn.  A 1/2 a cup of popcorn only popped to about 6 cups for me, don't know why - all the information I have read has said 1 cup is about 15 to 16 cups of popped corn.   So I popped about 12 cups which seemed to provide the correct syrup to corny goodness ratio for me.  To save calories I air popped the corn instead of popping it on the stove in oil. This recipe is messy, which is why there aren't any pictures accompanying this post, caramel syrup everywhere... not pretty but 'tis yummy.

(image from fitness - thankfully likes turquoise as much as I do!)

Caramel Popcorn
adapted from fitness

3/4 cups unpopped popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped - air popped or fat free microwave)
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Pop popcorn.  Lightly coat 3 large baking pans with cooking spray. Pour popcorn into pans and preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey, remaining oil, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden or silicone spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in baking soda until smooth.  Evenly drizzle over popcorn; stir to coat. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

This recipe has about 180 calories per cup.   A cup - is pretty hard to a) measure and b) limit yourself to.

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