What better way to start the new year than with a box of new food to try and some fabulous new recipes using that food? Recipes like Bacon Salted Caramel Corn? Oh yes, that happened.
Got your attention? Let’s dig in!
Alo Light Refresh
Here’s a product that I personally have mixed feelings about. Honestly, I like the cool flavors of melon and aloe (I guess it’s aloe, I’ve never actually tasted sunburn ointment before), and the mild sweetness of it. This would be great on a nice hot day when you’ve been out doing yardwork, but it’s not quite beer-o-clock. I found it to be surprisingly refreshing. There’s just one big problem: there are small chunks of aloe in the drink. You don’t see them, because they’re the same green color as the drink, but when you take that first sip – surprise! It’s not that it tastes bad, but getting a bunch of gel bits when you think it’s just a drink can be somewhat offputting. That being said, I still like the way it tastes, so maybe buy a single to try before you buy a whole case.
Cello Whisps – Parmesan
Do not buy these unless you want to eat the whole bag. It’s as if Whole Foods decided to make Cheetos. Lots of delicious cheesy crunch with none of the fluorescent orange fingers (for the record, I love Cheetos, but I feel REALLY bad about myself after I eat a bag, so they’re more of a guilty pleasure). They have an intensely savory, cheesy flavor, and a very satisfying crunch. Definitely worth a try.
Go Organic Fruit Snacks
C’mon, it’s fruit snacks! Who doesn’t love fruit snacks? And the “Organic” in the title makes it healthy, right? While I can’t say that these taste any better than their non-organic brethren from my childhood, and I am happy to report that they taste just as good. And at 70 calories, they make a rather sensible snack to throw in your lunch box when you are looking for that touch of sweetness at work. It’s the perfect size portion to eat before returning to your job.
Bacon Salted Caramel Corn, with Jolly Time Healthy Pop
Getting some popcorn to try made me remember that I really like popcorn. Since so much of the volume is air, you can eat a pretty healthy portion without it weighing you down, and this particular variety comes nicely flavored. Of course, when Liz got a hold of it and added some salted caramel and bacon, the flavor went through the roof! The salted caramel goes perfectly with the butter flavor on the popcorn – sweet and savory all at once. When you add bacon, whoah. Stand back. And it made tons! We were happily crunching on it for several days afterwards, and the caramel did a great job of sealing in the crunch. This one will be kicking Orville Redenbacher out of panty. Scroll on down for the recipe.
So while I am sure many of you out there are working your way through your 2017 resolutions, I hope this gives you some help in picking out a good snack to go along with them. Happy munching!
- 2 bags of butter flavored microwave popcorn (standard size)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 strips bacon, cooked, chopped
- Preheat oven to 250 F.
- Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Pour it into a stockpot or very large bowl (big enough so you will be able to stir it without the popcorn flying everywhere).
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the salt, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Stir and bring to a boil, then let boil for about 4 minutes. Keep your eye on it, but no need to stir.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add baking soda and vanilla, stirring to combine. The caramel will bubble quite a bit, so be careful!
- Add the chopped bacon to the caramel and stir, then pour the caramel over the popcorn. Stir until the popcorn is evenly coated. Pour the popcorn onto a rimmed sheet pan, lined with silpat or parchment.
- Bake popcorn for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven. Stir it about 15 minutes to allow it to cook evenly. It's done when it's quite crispy and the caramel is no longer very sticky.
- Allow to cool on the pan, then serve. Leftovers can be stored for a few days in a sealed container.