The holidays mean family, an abundance of wonderful eats and of course, a few too many desserts. Here at Green Valley, as we try and navigate the chips, dips, and cookies, whenever we can make a healthy swap with respect to snacking, it helps. Enter popcorn. Naked, it’s pretty wholesome, but loaded with salt, butter or worse (whatever liquid comes out of that spout at the movie theater); not-so-great.
But naked popcorn is bland. It needs some pizzazz. Thus, here are eight Green Valley-favorite popcorn hacks that will shake up your bowl, satisfy your taste buds (and budget), and leave your mind worry-free about the calories, fat and sodium content. Try one on for size the next time you gather ‘round the TV for movie night this holiday season, with or without the kids.
You won’t be disappointed!
8 – Apple Pie Popcorn
You’ll swear you’re chowing down on a very light and delicate apple pie. You still get a little taste of fat, courtesy of the coconut oil, but it’s a healthy lipid instead of the yucky kind that doesn’t fill you up. Pair this with a hot apple cider for the perfect snack.
7 – Pumpkin Glazed Popcorn
If you’re one of those folks who has a calendar countdown to pumpkin spice season, then this topping is for you. Try our canned organic Green Valley Pumpkin to make the puree and get your base started. This recipe is so good; we guarantee the pumpkin partisans in your family will end up licking the empty bowl.
6 – Lemon Kale Popcorn
Kale’s certainly having its moment. From salads to smoothies to side dishes, you’ll find the incredibly powerful superfood nearly everywhere. And now, the leafy antioxidant can make its way into your popcorn bowl. By grinding kale with lemon, sea salt and some grapeseed oil (healthy in small doses), you end up with a fragrant topping that’s so tasty, you won’t even realize you just ate a cup of kale with every serving.
5 – Lime Cilantro Popcorn
If this flavor profile tastes eerily familiar, that’s because this is essentially the recipe Chipotle uses with their staple rice. With a zesty squeeze of vitamin C-enriched lime, and a solid handful of bright cilantro – renowned for helping oral health – this quick recipe leaves you full and happy, giving you flavors you love without the traditional delivery vehicle of rice. This iteration calls for two tablespoons of butter, though you can easily swap that for coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil to bolster the wholesomeness of this snack.
4 – Italian Breadstick Popcorn
If you’re like us, you’ve probably over-indulged on the bread basket at an Italian restaurant, simply because it was too good to stop eating. Our solution: Italian breadstick popcorn. This creative twist on a family favorite welcomes the addition of basil, parsley, and the (heart-healthy) twosome that is garlic and olive oil. The taste is spot on, so – unlike breads – you won’t have to worry about going back for fourths.
3 – Rosemary, Black Pepper and Parmesan Popcorn
Keep all of your ingredients fresh – no bagged popcorn, dried rosemary or processed Parmesan – and this recipe is unequivocally all natural. And when it comes to the taste department, it packs a wallop. Try this perfect mix of flavors for the savory snack-lovers in your family.
2 – Peanut Butter Popcorn
Heaven may be inside a jar of peanut butter, so it’s nice that this recipe delivers on that nutty goodness. A sweet hint from a small hit of agave syrup and some salt – applied as liberally or sparsely as you prefer – and you’re good to go. You don’t even have to bake this delectable treat. If your peanut butter is of the all-natural variety, you’ll pick up a powerful punch of potassium and protein, too.
1 – Margarita Popcorn
If you’re somewhere frosty this holiday season, channel the beach with this fun recipe that transforms your popcorn into a beloved summer beverage: the margarita. The recipe is simple: sprinkle 8 cups of freshly popped popcorn with 1 ½ teaspoons each of salt, chili powder and grated lime zest. For an extra crunch, toss in some finely crumbled blue tortilla chips. Pair with an actual margarita, if you dare, or simply enjoy it on its own!
We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a message on our Facebook page and let us know which one of these outside-the-bag popcorn recipes is your favorite this holiday season.