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If you enjoy sweet and salty snacks without all the sugars then my Sugar-Free Kettle Corn is the perfect snack! This popcorn is ready in under 20 minutes with these four simple ingredients. How perfect is that?
Sugar-Free Kettle Corn Made At Home
Kettle corn is a deliciously sweet version of popcorn that is typically mixed or seasoned with a light coating of refined sugar, salt, and oil.
Long ago, when it was first appearing in history, they would make this sweet treat in huge cast iron kettles, hence the name, and you can still find those large kettles at the specialty popcorn stores around malls and such.
It has a long time been an item you can find at the fair or special events like festivals and such. But if you’re like me you don’t want to wait until those come around to enjoy Kettle Corn.
So you’ll be happy to know it is very simple and we can even make it at home on our own personal stove tops in small batches. How great is that?
Not only can you make it at home, but you can also make it a much healthier version by avoiding bad oils such as vegetable oils, and you can swap the refined white sugars out for a sugar alternative and still have the sweet treat you crave!
Making this popcorn at home also allows you to control the sodium you have in your end product. You can add as much or as little as you like to fit your dietary needs.
You’ll be surprised at how easy this Sugar-Free Kettle Corn is to make and I promise you it will be a hit with the whole family!
Should I use Yellow or White Popcorn for Kettle Corn?
When it is concerning the white vs yellow popcorn taste, some will say that yellow corn beats out the white variety, but personally, I find myself partial to the white variety I’ll tell you why in a bit.
Of course, the difference in tastes is purely subjective if you get right down to it. Although I’ve heard that some people claim that the yellow corn retains the original flavor while the white changes as it is cooked.
Honestly, I can say I can’t tell a huge difference in the taste of the two and think they bost taste great. I do, however, prefer the white variety and the reason why is I find that it has a much smaller hu than the yellow kernels.
The smaller the hull, that little orangy brown thing left behind when the corn pops, the less chance of breaking a tooth or chomping on a hard bit.
One visible difference between the two popcorn kernels is that the yellow kernels are larger than the white kernels and when they pop they often hold different shapes.
I tend to see the yellow variety in more stores than the white, but both are found pretty easily these days. I’ve used both types in this recipe and they were both fantastic so I say use whichever you have on hand.
What Sweeteners Work Best for Sugar-Free Kettle Corn?
When you’re trying to find a way to avoid sugar there are many sweetener choices out there on the market. They range from Allulose to Monk Fruit. All have different properties that will work for different recipes since they have different properties.
I’ve tried a couple of different types of sweeteners with this recipe and those are Allulose and an erythritol and stevia blend. Those types of blends are offered by Truvia, Pyure, Swerve, and my personal favorite Trim Healthy Mama Brand called Super Sweet.
Of course you can use any brand you choose for the blend, but those are the only brands I’ve tried so far. These all work great for this recipe.
As far as the Allulose I’ve tried it and it works okay, but it takes a good bit more volume-wise to get it sweet enough that you can taste it in the final product, and I’ve noticed the Allulose is much easier to burn while waiting for the popcorn to pop.
So I would stick to the erythritol and stevia blends myself but if you choose to use the Allulose or any other sweetener of choice just make sure you watch it carefully and that you are constantly moving the pan while it is on the burner so the kernels and sweetener are moving.
How To Make Sugar-Free Kettle Corn
Making this recipe is super simple. All you need is a nice large pot with a lid, four ingredients, and your stove of course. Let’s talk more about the ingredients for this kettle corn.
- Popcorn kernels: You can find loose kernels of popping corn at any supermarket and health food store these days. In most big box stores you’ll find the popcorn kernels near the aisle where they house the chips or crackers. Remember you can use any brand or any color kernel (white or yellow) you have on hand or can find.
- Coconut Oil: You can use your favorite neutral cooking oil, my favorite is coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is the oil that doesn’t have the coconut flavor at all, but man does it makes a yummy kettle corn oil. It is a very neutral and clean oil that is much better for us than vegetable oil or canola oil. Use your favorite, just make sure it is an oil that can handle high heat because you need high heat for serval minutes to pop the kernels.
- Sugar alternative: Classic kettle corn uses white granulated sugar, but we want to avoid all these carbs and the spike it would give our blood sugars, so go for your favorite sweetener. Just remember that you may need more or less depending on what type you choose. For any erythritol and stevia blend like we talked about in an early section, you should be able to use the 1/4 cup as the recipe calls for, but if you choose something like Allulose or Monk Fruit you may need more to get it sweet enough.
- Salt: It is one of the key components in this “sweet and SALTY” snack, so don’t level it out. However, you can choose how much you want to add. You can use my measurements in the recipe card, or you can wing it and just sprinkle some in at the end once it is popped. It is always important to taste and adjust!
After you have the ingredients this recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes. Just place your large pot on the stove and turn the burner on high.
Then you’ll melt your oil and toss in the other ingredients before stirring it quicking and placing the lid back on the pop. This is important if you don’t want to be hit by flying kernels, ha.
As you wait for the kernels to do their magical transformation it is key that you are constantly moving the pot back and forth in a sliding motion so that the kernels are moving around the bottom of the pot.
This will help with evening out the heat in the kernels and keep them from burning. Trust me you don’t want burnt sweetener, not even if you burnt popcorn.
As soon as the kernels have popped pour them into a large bowel and stir them around a bit. This is the time you can taste for salt and add it if you wish.
Be super careful though because the sweetener on the popcorn can burn you quickly. After you salt and stir it let it cool completely and dig in. You’re going to thank me later my friends!
A sugar-free version of a sweet and salty Kettle Corn that will cure any crunchy craving without all extra the fats and sugars!
- 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
- 1/4 cup of Erythritol Sweetener Blen ( I use THM Super Sweet Brand)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt, depending on your tastes.
- Place a large pot on the stove and turn the burner on high. Add the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Let it melt.
- Next, add in all the other ingredients and stir them quickly then place the lid onto the pot.
- Keep the pot on the high burner making sure to shake the pot back and gently to keep the kernels moving so they don't burn as they heat up.
- The kernels will start popping after a couple of minutes so continue to move the pot gently back and forth until you hear the popping slow down and get far between. Do not open the lid at this point during popping!
- As soon as the kernels sound like they are finished remove the pot quickly, but carefully from the burner and remove the lid.
- Empty the popcorn into a large bowl and toss it a couple of times with a large spoon, being careful not to burn yourself.
- Taste and adjust salt if needed before enjoying. See the blog post for the best way to store this popcorn to keep it fresh or how to make it into a giftable product!
Serving Size2 cups
Amount Per ServingCalories 84Total Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 197mgCarbohydrates 22.4gNet Carbohydrates 10.11gFiber 2.3gSugar 0gSugar Alcohols 9gProtein 0g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!