Hearty Caramel Corn Trail Mix

Even though this has brown sugar and corn syrup, it's still a pretty healthy snack with 191 calories; 2 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 198 mg sodium; 27 mg potassium per 1 cup serving.

8 cups popped popcorn, (from 1/3 cup raw kernels), preferably air-popped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup craisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, seeded
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon smart balance omega 3 butter
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Spread popcorn, nuts and craisins(dried cranberries) on a baking sheet with sides and set aside. Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 250°F and is at hard-ball stage (when a bit of syrup dropped into ice water forms a hard ball), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and immediately stir in baking soda. Pour the mixture over the reserved popcorn and nuts, stirring until most of the kernels are coated. Bake the popcorn for 15 minutes. Stir, coating any kernels that were not coated at the beginning. Continue baking until amber, 5 to 10 minutes longer. (Longer baking produces a deeper caramel color and flavor.) Let cool until the caramel has almost hardened, about 2 minutes. Gently break up large clumps and let cool completely.


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