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My kids love popcorn. Like really love popcorn. It’s the first thing they ask for when I pick them up from school, and usually what they want after dinner for another snack! My husband makes the BEST homemade popcorn and that is saying a lot. I was raised on my dad’s popcorn, formerly the BEST (sorry, Daddy), but Dave’s popped kernels are always a treat. We drizzle our corn with melted Earth Balance and dust it with sea salt and nutritional yeast. The BEST! It is truly a comfort food in our family, and a fairly healthy one at that.
We ditched the microwave bags a while ago after learning about how many chemicals are in them. Although easy and quick, we have replaced them with this microwave popper that yields about 4 cups of popcorn in about 4 minutes. It’s just a tad more effort than the Orville Redenbacher bags, but much healthier.
I have recently discovered Miyoko’s Kitchen’s European Style butter and highly recommend it as an alternative to Earth Balance that will blow your taste buds. I am kinda in love with it right now. Besides salt, I have been having fun with some other healthy popcorn toppings. The ones below are savory and salty, just what my family always craves. They also include some surprise superfood ingredients, kicking up the nutrition factor in this already healthy snack. Read on below and I dare you not to pop up a batch now!
1. Kale Cheezy Popcorn
This is a fun way to sneak kale into your kids’ snacks. You essentially make a batch of kale chips and sprinkle them over freshly buttered popcorn. Make things even easier and crush up a bag of your favorite store-bought kale chip brand. To make the kale crumbs, follow this recipe:
4 cups of lacinato kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I used Penzey’s Spices Sandwich Sprinkle)
4 cups of popcorn (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons dairy-free butter (such as Earth Balance)
1. Toss the kale with the olive oil, seasoned salt and nutritional yeast.
2. Place the kale in the basket of an air fryer at 370 degrees for 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the kale will become bitter. Crumble the kale into a bowl.
2. Salsa Popcorn
I am a huge fan of the Beanfields Bean and Rice chips. Made with wholesome ingredients like beans and brown rice, each bag is full of fiber and protein. Place half a bag of their Pico de Gallo chips in the food processor and give it a whirl until it’s dust! Sprinkle over buttered popcorn for a salsa-esqe taste, or try their Nacho chips for a deliciously cheesy option.
3. Seaweed Popcorn
Dulse flakes are seaweed, rich in protein and iodine. Instead of salt, sprinkle your freshly buttered popcorn with these and toss with some sesame seeds for additional nutritional benefits.
For more popcorn bliss, try my popcorn snack mix, or create your own with one of the blends below.
Combine 4 cups of popcorn with 1 cup of almonds, and 1 cup of gluten-free cheerios. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese.
Combine 4 cups of popcorn with ¾ cup of dried fruit (cranberries and raisins work well), 1 cup of plantain chips, and 1 cup of peanuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
What healthy popcorn toppings do you like on your popcorn?