Tailgating Fun with Mariano’s! Healthy Babycake Caramel Apple Popcorn

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#healthy caramel apple popcorn #mymarianos #shop

Football season is here!  This really means my husband, dad, brother, and uncles will go missing for the next few months.  I have never been the biggest football fan but I must say I am coming around a bit, and rooting for the Chicago Bears.  The tailgating and super bowl parties are what really grab my attention.

tailgating fun with mariano's #healthy caramel apple popcorn #mymarianos #shop

I took a trip to Mariano’s to check out some of their tailgating food options, and of course, I was never disappointed.  From the amazing grilling options (the kabobs, burgers and sausages all made their way into my cart!) to the great snack food that always makes an appearance at a tailgating party, I felt more than prepared (more like armed) to try some fun football friendly recipes at home!

tailgating fun with mariano's #healthy caramel apple popcorn #mymarianos #shop

Braced with my Mariano’s reward card, I got great deals and was on my way!  For those of you who would like to learn more about #MyMarianos and all of the amazing tailgating options they have, not to mention their incredible community of fresh ideas, follow them on facebook or on twitter.   And you simply must check out this fun video of a singing flash mob at Mariano’s!

tailgating fun with mariano's #healthy caramel apple popcorn #mymarianos #shop
Now that fall is officially on its way in and apples are in season in Illinois, I thought a fun yet healthy caramel apple twist in the form of popcorn would be the best snack ever for those tailgating this season.  It has a mix of apple pie spices and a healthier version of caramel sauce so you won’t feel too guilty indulging.  Did you know that popcorn can be super healthy and full of nutrients and even low in calories depending on how you prepare it?

tailgating fun with mariano's #healthy caramel apple popcorn #mymarianos #shop
This popcorn is:
A. Highly Addictive (you have been warned)
B. Super easy to make
C. Fun to eat
D. Much healthier than your standard caramel corn!
Try it out and get a fun jump on fall and the football season!!

tailgating fun with mariano's #healthy caramel apple popcorn #mymarianos #shop
Tailgating Fun with Mariano’s! Healthy Babycake Caramel Apple Popcorn


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons healthy butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. To make popcorn, add popcorn kernels to a large brown paper bag and fold over the top twice to properly seal the bag.
  2. Microwave the bag for 2 minutes or until the popping starts to totally slow down to a few seconds in between pops.
  3. To make caramel, add earth balance and olive oil to small pot and melt together over medium heat. Next, whisk in the brown sugar until it completely dissolves and begins to slightly bubble.
  4. Add apple cider and cornstarch and continue whisking.
  5. As it thickens, remove from heat and add vanilla extract and cinnamon and set aside.
  6. Pour caramel over cooked popcorn and toss together to make sure all popcorn is covered.
  7. Let coating set and serve.
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  1. Wow! You had me at Caramel! Love that it’s truly a yummy and healthy version. :-)

  2. ugh football season :P

    YAYYYYY caramel corn!!! This is like pure carnival/circus-y fun!

  3. This looks SO fabulous! I could make a meal of this!

  4. We don’t have football season over here, but this looks like a perfect anytime snack! I love that it’s healthier too!
    Have a lovely day c:

  5. We won’t be doing much tailgating here, but the.boy will be doing a ton of football watching! And I’ll be sitting there eating a whole batch of this to try to stay awake lol.

  6. Oh wow, that has got to be the perfect fall treat!

  7. At the risk of sounding totally juvenile… I cannot wait to get my braces off and try this! haha, seriously. Pinning it!

  8. I totally love this, Jocelyn! Such a wholesome and delicious snack for tailgating or anytime during fall. Wonderful recipe!

  9. This caramel corn sounds delicious! We are going to have to try this when we get more apples. We love peanut butter caramel corn too.

  10. Oh, that sounds good! Must try!

  11. What a wonderfully tasty and healthy recipe. I am stopping by from TastyKitchen. I hope you’ll add this recipe to the apple link up I am hosting today. I have created an apple craisin roll to feature for today’s post…this would make a wonderful addition.


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