Tacos, chocolate, and cheesy bread: 5 tasty popcorn recipes that go beyond "just butter"

December 18 | Guest post by Robin DeMarco

She taught you how to make a mean almond milk, now Robin is back with these amazing popcorn recipes that'll improve your snack time, or make the perfect DIY popcorn tin gift!

By: madame_furieCC BY 2.0

Let's be honest: sometimes you just want to plop in front of the TV and munch away. What's a better snack for doing exactly that than popcorn!? If you can resist smothering your popcorn in butter, you're actually left with a very virtuous snack — one that's low in calories, high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and gluten-free!

Below are five tasty, easy-peasy ways to make delicious popcorn recipes…

First you'll need to pop the kernels. The recipes are for one big ol' serving (four cups popped), which means you'll need to pop two tablespoons of kernels. (Definitely buy organic. A whole bag will run you under $4 and lasts forever.)

You can use an air popper if you have one, or do as I do — microwave them in a disposable brown paper lunch bag. Just make sure you fold over the bag a couple of times so popcorn isn't flying around the microwave! Set the microwave on High for three minutes and hang close by. You'll want to stop it when there is two seconds between pops, otherwise you'll burn the popcorn. (It could take anywhere between two to three minutes.)

PEANUT BUTTER CUP POPCORN

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Lightly spray popcorn with olive oil or coconut oil spray and toss with the mixture.

TACO POPCORN

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Lightly spray popcorn with olive oil spray and toss with the mixture.

SWEET CINNAMON POPCORN

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of stevia or xylitol (I prefer Truvia brand stevia for this recipe because it's granular like sugar)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Lightly spray popcorn with olive oil or coconut oil (I use coconut oil for this recipe) and toss with the mixture.

CHEESY GARLIC BREAD POPCORN

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Lightly spray popcorn with olive oil spray and toss with the mixture

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE POPCORN

  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of stevia extract (I like the consistency of the Trader Joe's Stevia Extract powder for this recipe — it's similar to confectioner's sugar.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Lightly spray popcorn with olive oil or coconut oil spray and toss with the mixture.

Get creative with your own spices and see what you come up with! Or let us in on YOUR "creative" popcorn flavor recipes.

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  1. I'm so sending this to my mom.
    Also, this post probably just changed my life forever with the inclusion of three words: powdered peanut butter.

    9 agree
  2. It's a little unconventional, but I love parmesan cheese and dill popcorn. Two easy sprinkles, it's lazy girl cooking.

    1 agrees
  3. I have neither a microwave nor an air popper. I've been making popcorn lately in a large pot on the stove. The healthy quotient is slightly reduced because you do use oil. But without any butter or salt added, it's still yummy and not toooo unhealthy.

    I'm interested in the taco recipe, but I don't usually cook so I don't own any of those spices. It would kind of be an investment to buy all those spices just for popcorn!

    1 agrees
      • I LOVE mine! My grandma got it for me years ago, but I didn't realize the joys of it until recently and I've been having so much fun experimenting with recipes.

      • We love our whirlypop. We're even giving one for my extended family's gift exchange. Om nom nom POPCORN.

      • I'm on my 2nd Whirlypop and I love it oh so much. I love how little oil you can get by with using it and it seems to be easier to get creative with different oils. I'm currently obsessed with using olive oil infused with chilies and curry powder on my popcorn.

    • So, my mom loves popcorn and I grew up with her making it in a pot on the stove. When I was little, we even did the "popcorn dance" while it popped (basically jumping up and down and saying "pop! pop! pop!"). When I got to college, I mentioned something to a friend about making popcorn they said, "…but you don't have a microwave. How can you make it?" I realized not everyone knew this was possible. I have since blown many friends minds and converted many to stove-top popcorn-making (as opposed to the gross/delicious but less healthy buttery microwavable popcorn).

      2 agree
  4. I swear my papaw is literally made of popcorn. He eats it constantly. My mom and I are making him "fancy" popcorn for Christmas. These are some great ideas to add to our list! Thanks!

  5. I use the paper bag method, and I just wanted to add that as soon as you are done, open the bag and pour it out. If you let it sit in the bag it gets a little burny. It could just be my particular microwave or bags, though.

    I love olive oil and nutritional yeast on mine. You, know once you get past the name…

    3 agree
  6. I tried the taco recipe tonight and it was amazing! I highly recommend it! (Especially with Spanish smoked paprika- yum!)

  7. I didn't even now that you can make popcorn in the microwave! Maybe it's a cultural thing… We always make popcorn in a large pot on the stove. So I'll try the garlic one my guy just loooooves garlic! So thank you!

  8. Also always used the hob to make popcorn, i guess its just one of those things that you do the way your parents or whoever showed you how to make popcorn made it!

    Im going to try the cinnamon one, as im having a our annual Christmas party on Saturday and just got told i have a stomach ulcer. It would be a nice, healthy option to make for me to much on while everyone else gets to get merry!
    Will try the mexican one when im all healed up too, thanks for the post.

  9. This will sound odd, but my dad used to make his own sauerkraut and pickles, and one of the ways he used to use up the brine was to pour or sprinkle it on popcorn. It sounds really weird, but I swear it tastes awesome – but you probably have to love pickles and sauerkraut to really like it.

    2 agree
    • I love both of those things, and popcorn, so I am sure I would love that! Too bad I just dumped out some pickle juice last week! Do you put anything else on the popcorn, or just some of the juice?

      • Usually, we just sprinkled the juice. On occassion, I'd smash just caraway seeds too, to give it a stronger "punch." My dad also liked to chop or grind up juniper berries too (but that is very traditionally German).

        I'd reccommed always saving pickle juice! If you eat mayo, it's one of the best ingredients for fry sauce – ketchup, mayo, a dash of hot sauce if you like and pickle juice. It's the condiment of the gods.

        2 agree
  10. When I was a kid, I used to go to this art group and at the end of the night, they would would serve popcorn that had been sprinkled with a bit of icing sugar to make it sweet. I still love making it that way occasionally.

  11. Silly question maybe but what the heck is nutritional yeast? What does it do? Is it something you could skip in the recipe? I'm wondering if this is something common we have a different name for in Canada, but I'm currently stumped.

    • Nutritional Yeast is yellow with little flakes in it. (It's deactivated yeast so it won't make dough rise) One tablespoon only has 25 calories and is chock full of goodness:
      4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and only .5 grams of fat and 2mg of sodium.

      What's really impressive is the amount of B vitamins one teeny tablespoon provides. Here are the % of Daily Values (DV)
      Thiamin 320%, Riboflavin 285%, Niacin 140%, Vitamin B6 240%, Vitamin B 12 65%, Folate 30%

      Again this is for only one tablespoon! I love it so much, I usually have 2 tablespoons per day. The extra B Vitamins have been giving me more energy and I can see the difference in my workouts too. Don't be concerned about getting extra Bs. Whatever your body doesn't use, it will expel through your urine.

      Now most importantly, Nutritional Yeast tastes really good! It actually does taste like cheese. Think of it as yellow parmesan. I sprinkle it on salads, popcorn, toast, and eggs and mix it into greek yogurt, cottage cheese and soup. Go get some. Your tummy and body will be happy.

      1 agrees
    • Nutritional yeast definitely exists in Canada, and it's also called nutritional yeast! goes by the same name! Look for it where there are lots of hipsters and/or vegans… Whole foods probably has it, if you live close to one. Or one of those health food stores. I personally don't think it tastes anything like cheese, but then I am french and a bit of a cheese snob.

      If you want to replace it, you could use that cheesy popcorn flavouring (probably really unhealthy), or parmesan.

      1 agrees
    • I've been eating nutritional yeast my entire life, and I have to say that for most people, it's an acquired taste. When I met my husband, he wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Now he asks for it on toast and popcorn. So just be forewarned that it might take some getting used to! Go light, as it has a distinct flavor. As you adjust, add more for a stronger flavor.

      You can also blend a spoonful or a few sprinkles into a smoothie without it having a noticeable impact on the flavor.

      It wasn't until recently that I learned it had such great nutritional benefits!

      1 agrees
  12. All of these recipes sound delish! Will have to try them. Just an FYI to all dog owners though xylitol is highly toxic to dogs so don't share with your canine friend.

    1 agrees
  13. I must have skimmed this over not thinking much about it at the time. I should try these. I have an easy go to that I use. Furikake. You can find it at an Asian grocer, or maybe in the ethnic food isle. It is salt, sesame seeds, and little pieces of dried seaweed. There are lots of varieties.

    In Hawaii they make "hurricane popcorn" with popcorn, furikake, butter and arare (a rice cracker). Put it all in a bag and shake. I get some from my mom in care package, or get it at costco when I go home in instant boxes.

  14. Fat is not the enemy. I switched to a full fat a while ago and ZOMG I 1. maintained my weight with the same amount of activity and 2. feel more sated way more of the time and 3. feel better in general. It's sugar and other empty carbs that are best to avoid, in this new way. So eat ya dang popcorn, but by George, put a little fat on it.

    What is this….new way?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/28/295332576/why-we-got-fatter-during-the-fat-free-food-boom

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