Carmel Popcorn Substitute – Corn-free, Gluten-free

Caramelized Brown Rice Puffs

Having a corn allergy means you miss out on a lot of popular snacks. Just about all chips are out due to the use of corn oil, maltodextrin, xanthan gum and citric acid. Popcorn is sooooo out. Most of the time even smelling popcorn is out. Which means movie theaters are often out. Sigh.

So as not to feel deprived, I converted an old family favorite into a healthier gluten-free and corn-free “popcorn” treat. My mom used to make  “puffed wheat” as a snack for us as kids. This meant melting some butter in a sauce pan and stirring in the puffs and sprinkling it with salt. Stir until the butter evenly coats the puffs and the puffs are warmed through. Voila! Instant salty snack.

When we discovered that kamut puffs are twice the size of wheat puffs, it was a happy day in my family! LOL

Caramelized Millet Puffs

Well today, I can’t have corn or wheat (or kamut) due to my allergies. So I’ve been experimenting with different puffed grains that are safe for me. I’ve discovered that millet puffs and some rice puffs are safe for me. Yeah! The old family favorite is back in rotation with modifications and added caramel. Because caramel makes everything better!

As far as movie theaters go, thank goodness for streaming. 🙂


5.0 from 2 reviews
Carmel Popcorn Substitute - Corn-free, Gluten-free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Buttery, salty, caramelized puffs
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbsp butter/coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 4 cups puffs (millet, rice, etc…)
  • salt to taste
  1. Add butter and coconut sugar to a large sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir until the coconut sugar melts into the butter.
  2. Add the puffs to the pan, making sure to only fill the pan half way.
  3. Stir to coat the puffs until all are covered and the puffs have heated through.
  4. Serve immediately while warm.
The recipe scales nicely. The amount of caramelized coverage you get is totally dependent on the amount of puffs you add. Feel free to modify it to your taste.

You can omit the sugar and serve as a savory snack.

You only want to fill the pan half way. Trust me on this one. With all the stirring, you'll wind up with more puffs all over your kitchen than in the pan.

Remove the puffs from the pan immediately. Once the sugar hardens it's nearly impossible to get the puffs out and you run the risk of burnt puff crust on your pan. Ugh!


Note to email subscribers: I’m moving my email newsletter over to MailChimp. If you see duplicate emails this week, that’s why. I apologize for the disruption. I’ll remove the WordPress ones as soon as I verify that the MailChimp service is working properly.


My post was reader favorite on Allergy Free Wednesdays. Thanks readers!

This post was shared on Time for a Party, Too Cute, Tempting Tuesdays, Inspire Me Tuesday, Inspire Me Monday, Show Me What You’ve Got, Homemade Tuesday, Good Tips, Meal Planning, Thoughtful Spot, Mad Skills, Recipe Sharing, Made by You, Mostly Homemade, Homestead Barn Hop, What’d You DoNatural Living, Sweet Sharing, Much Ado, Melt in your Mouth, Block Party, Mix It Up, Motivation Monday, Monday Funday, Sunday Best, Round Tuit, Inspiration Monday, Happiness is Homemade, See Ya in the Gumbo, Real Food Recipes, Clever Chicks, Sharing Time, Marvelous Mondays, Simple Sunday, Sunday Soiree, Wildly Original, Nifty Thrifty, Simple Saturday, Showlicious, Think Pink, Saturday Night Fever, Crafty Showcase, Dare to Share, Saturday Sparks, Get Schooled, Serenity Saturday, Recipe of the Week, Show Stopper, Show & Tell, Check Me OutSavoring Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff, Best of the Weekend, Party Palooza, Five Friday Finds, Welcome to the Weekend, Inspire Me Please, Weekend No Rules, Inspiration Spotlight, Inspired WeekendDIY Projects & Recipes, Freedom Fridays, Healthy Vegan, Party Bunch, Friday Frenzy, Fancy This, Anything Goes, Foodie Friday-2, Flaunt It Friday, Eat Create Party, Craft Frenzy Friday, Tempting Tuesday, Friday FlashFight Back, Pennywise PlatterHearth & Soul, Catch A GlimpseFresh Food WednesdayWaste Not Want Not, WFMWWonderfully CreativeCast PartyWhatever GoesNo Rules Weekend, Foodie Friends FridayWhole Foods FridayGluten Free FridaysWellness WednesdaysHomeacre HopFull Plate ThursdayWonderful WednesdayThriving on ThursdayReal Food WednesdayGluten Free WednesdaysWake Up WednesdayAllergy Free Wednesdays,  Tuesdays with a Twist,  Tuesday Talent ShowTurn It Up TuesdaysTasty Tuesdays, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.
This entry was posted in Appetizers, Desserts, Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Carmel Popcorn Substitute – Corn-free, Gluten-free

  1. Pingback: Ginger Apple Pork Roast, Sweet Potato Fries and Chocolate Mousse

  2. Pingback: Great Gluten-Free Recipes and Other Food-Related Posts Every Week--Gluten-Free Wednesdays 3-26-14 | gfe--gluten free easily

  3. Pingback: Healthy Chocolate Mint Recipes

  4. Pingback: - Whole New Mom

  5. Pingback: Paleo Coconut Chocolate Mousse, herb stuffed drumsticks | Gluten Free Pantry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: