Patty's Salted Vegan Caramel Popcorn... (A.K.A Crack)
I got this game-changing whole food plant-based no oil recipe from my Facebook friend and fellow breast cancer survivor, Patty Falo, who created it, brings it to potlucks and is now famous for it.
I met Patty a little over a year ago via Facebook through another Vegan Coach I know, Diana Lawson Goldman, who also knows her only from Facebook. I was immediately interested in connecting with Patty because she is a breast cancer survivor also interested in preventing breast cancer recurrence with a whole food plant-based no oil diet and lifestyle.
Patty is more than 6 years out from her stage 1b, grade 2 breast cancer diagnosis and lumpectomy in 2012 when she just turned 41.
"I was very scared early on as my mother passed away from cancer treatments in her 40's when she was a child," said Patty. "Because of my early experience, I had an instinct that treatments are not very beneficial and that I have to do everything I can in my power to keep from dying of this disease."
Patty was already familiar with a macrobiotic diet when she was diagnosed, so she immediately gave up all animal foods but she wanted to know more about diet since that is one main thing we can all can control and eating is something we all do several times a day which affects our bodies.
And, that eating...that food you are putting in your body three times of more every day... can affect your body negatively or positively.
Patty found so many excellent resources along the way but one physician and resource stood out.
"Dr. McDougall is a passionate advocate for using diet to prevent the onset and recurrence of breast cancer and he wrote an excellent book called 'The Starch Solution.' He advocates a low-fat starch-based diet for optimal health. I learned that this is the same diet you find in populations where breast cancer is very rare," said Patty.
Patty also runs a free Facebook group called Dr. McDougall's Cancer Thrivers for cancer survivors adopting this lifestyle and way of eating to avoid cancer recurrence. We both believe it's so important for cancer survivors (and everyone) to understand the relationship between food and cancer cell promotion and progression. We have often both commented and remarked what an empowering feeling it is when you eat this way to know you are doing one of the most important and things you can do to avoid cancer recurrence.
It was through Patty's Facebook group that I watched Dr. McDougall's webinar explaining how fat and diet affects cancer growth in which I learned that women who are breast cancer survivors need to avoid fat because body fat promotes cancer. He speaks very candidly about following the way of eating exactly and also telling yourself and facing the truth. He says women like us, and all cancer survivors, need to keep themselves very slim and lean, on the bottom end of the weight chart range to avoid cancer recurrence.
That's when I also first learned about how even vegetable oils effect weight and health negatively which also led me to Dr. Esselstyn's famous "NO OIL" video in which he explains all the negative effects oil has on the body.
After checking the Centers for Disease Control weight and BMI chart I found that I was at the top of the weight range and I immediately set about getting to the bottom of that range. Since then I have lost about 17 more pounds, which has been easy once you drop the oil.
Patty's eating pizza, pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob and lots of great fruits and vegetables without oil or animal products and feels amazing, too. I can second that statement.
"I don't worry about the breast cancer anymore because I know I am creating an alkaline and anti-cancer environment in my body. I just live my life," says Patty.
Two years ago, she and some friends created ATX Alive, a support group in Austin where they meet for healthy potlucks every month and listen to inspiring speakers including chefs, medical doctors and people with amazing and life-saving testimonials.
"It’s been quite a journey and looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way," says Patty. I agree and actually think my breast cancer gave me this great gift, not the least of which is this popcorn recipe!
Patty's Salted Vegan “Caramel” Popcorn (A.K.A Crack!)
Ingredients for single family-sized bowl
1/2 cup UNPOPPED popcorn kernels
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. salt (your taste
How to pop it up
Step 1: Heat oven to 300 F. Heat the maple syrup in a sauce pan with the salt until the salt dissolves.
Step 2: Airpop the popcorn kernels and place in a large mixing bowl with plenty of room for stirring the popcorn around. Try to remove as many un-popped kernels as you can (no one likes getting one of those in a mouthful).
Step 3: Slowly drizzle the salted syrup on the popcorn, mixing as you go taking care to spread it evenly around the popcorn. Spread the flavored popcorn kernels out on 1 baking sheet (for the family-size batch) or 3 baking sheets (for the potluck size batch) lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the popcorn dries out. Remove from oven and let cool. Eat directly, or after cooling for approximately 15 minutes, store popcorn in airtight plastic containers or Ziploc bags.
Measurements for Patty's Epic Potluck Popcorn Batch
2 cups UNPOPPED popcorn kernals
1 cup maple syrup
1.5 tsps. salt