Dining Delights

Healthy Snacks to Help You Keep Your Resolutions

The beginning of a new year marks the annual pledge many of us make for healthier eating habits after the long gluttonous run from Halloween thru New Year’s Day. With the heft of the holidays weighing in both body and mind comes the desire for clean, simple, lighter eating.

Cue popcorn. Popcorn is a simple yet satisfying whole grain. Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, which makes it a great choice when trying to lose holiday weight. The fiber in popcorn makes you feel fuller longer, which helps curb hunger. Eating a little more here means you’ll eat a little less there.

Yet health and wellness-minded consumers today look for added nutrients to boost the system. Why eat only whole grains when you can sprinkle on protein and antioxidants? Powders, herbs, ground roots, seeds, and spices like turmeric, matcha, maca, and chia can make your snacks more nutrient rich. And while there’s no substitute for a balanced diet, pairing these on-trend ingredients with whole grain popcorn is a natural.

Love almonds? Then you’ll love the taste of these chewy popcorn bars that boast whole grain, fiber, protein, and an extra nutrient kick from Maca root. – Courtesy photo / Popcorn Board

MACA ALMOND POPCORN BARS

Servings: 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup flaked oats
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon maca root powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. Spread almonds and oats on baking sheet; bake for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Let cool completely; add to bowl with popcorn.
  3. In a saucepan set over medium heat, combine almond butter, brown rice syrup, honey and salt. Stir in maca root powder until smooth and dissolved.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, pour almond butter mixture over popcorn mixture; toss gently to coat evenly. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan, patting down and spreading to edges. Let cool until firm.
  5. Cut into bars.

Enjoy the simplicity of whole grain popcorn with a sprinkling of antioxidant-rich matcha (green tea) and just a touch of honey. – Courtesy photo / Popcorn Board

HONEY MATCHA POPCORN

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt together butter, honey, matcha and salt, stirring until dissolved. Pour over popcorn; toss to combine. Spread onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  3. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until popcorn is dry. Let cool completely before serving.

This slightly sweet but savory popcorn snack will tickle your taste buds with subtly exotic flavors – perfect for sharing and delighting friends. – Courtesy photo / Popcorn Board

GINGER TURMERIC POPCORN

Servings: 12 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray. Spread popcorn onto prepared baking sheet.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat olive oil, honey and salt; stir in lemon zest, ginger and turmeric. Pour over popcorn and toss gently to coat evenly.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until popcorn is dry and crisp. Let cool completely before serving.

If you’re a coconut lover, this recipe will deliver the goods, along with the crunch and nutrient punch from omega-3 filled chia seeds. – Courtesy photo / Popcorn Board

COCONUT CRUNCH CHIA CLUSTERS

Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 3 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, honey and salt; bring to light boil, stirring often, until melted.
  3. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn. Add coconut flakes and chia seeds; toss gently to combine.
  4. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until popcorn is lightly toasted. Let cool completely; break into clusters for serving.

(Recipes from the Popcorn Board)

January 11, 2019

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Sierra Madre Weekly


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