HEALTHY NUT BUTTER POPCORN

October is National Popcorn Month in the United States!

Home-popped popcorn (popped in coconut oil) is a regular snack in my household—I’m always looking for fun, nutritious, low-salt and low-sugar ways to enjoy this filling, high-fiber, low-calorie nutritious snack. Yes, I did just use the word “nutritious” to describe popcorn! You may not realize this, but popped corn contains more of the antioxidants known as polyphenols than any other snack food and as many antioxidants as many fruits and vegetables.

In fact, a two-cup serving of popcorn contains more than two grams of protein and fiber, with trace amounts of the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, B6 and folate, and the minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper and iron. All for about 60 calories.

Plus, it’s economical, easy to store, and fun to eat. Especially if you try it in a fun recipe, like this recipe for Nut Butter Popcorn.

NUT BUTTER POPCORN
Makes 8-10 servings

One of the easiest and most nutritious ways to dress up popcorn is with nut butter, such as almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter or even a seed butter like sunflower seed butter. That’s why I love this recipe: It’s fast, easy, doesn’t use any exotic ingredients, and everyone loves it. And because it’s high in protein, it’s a snack you can feel good about feeding your family. Enjoy Nut Butter Popcorn in clusters or shape into popcorn balls (I give instructions below).

 

Ingredients:
 

  • 5 cups plain, unsalted popped popcorn (I use coconut oil to pop popcorn kernels in a kettle over a high flame; feel free to use an air popper or any other method)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons non-hydrogenated (natural-style) almond, cashew or peanut butter
  • Optional: 1/3 cup or more chopped nuts or seeds of your choice
  • Optional: 1/3 cup or more goji berries, chopped raisins, or other chopped dried fruit
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons whole chia seed

Directions:
 

  1. Place popped corn in a large mixing bowl. (The larger the better to avoid spilling during mixing.)
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together honey and nut butter until bubbling.
  3. Pour the honey nut butter mixture over the popcorn. Combine well with a spatula.
  4. If using optional ingredients, stir them in.
  5. Popcorn ball instructions: Dip hands in ice water and roll popcorn into 2-inch balls (dip hands in ice water in between balls). Makes between 8 and 10 balls.

 

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