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Pop up healthier snacks

Posted: August 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Cheesy Popcorn Cheesy Popcorn
Cheesy Popcorn

Family Features
Sweet, savory, crunchy or salty — whatever your snack cravings are, it’s possible to satisfy them with something that’s actually good for you. Popcorn is a versatile treat that you can feel good about eating. These recipes let you enjoy popcorn several tasty ways: stove-popped with a satisfying, cheesy flavor; air-popped with a sweet and sour lemon glaze; baked into a power-packed sweet cookie; and mixed into a cranberry-almond muffin. Four delicious ways to pop up a healthier snack.

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Cheesy Popcorn
Yield: 10 cups
    2     tablespoons garlic flavored oil or
            vegetable oil
    1/2     cup popcorn kernels
    1     tablespoon melted butter, optional
    2     tablespoons nutritional yeast (found at
            health food stores, it adds a cheese-like
            flavor without the calories or fat)
    1     teaspoon curry powder, optional
    In large, heavy-bottomed pot (with a lid), place oil
and about 3 popcorn kernels.
Heat over medium-high heat until a kernel pops. Add remaining popcorn; cover. Once corn begins to pop, shake pot constantly over heat. When popping slows, remove pot from heat and transfer popcorn to a serving bowl.
Pour butter over popcorn, if desired, and toss.
Sprinkle yeast and curry powder, if desired, over popcorn and toss to distribute evenly.
Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.

Power Packed Popcorn Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
    1/4     cup whole wheat or all-purpose         flour
    2     teaspoons baking powder
    1/2     teaspoon baking soda
    1/2     teaspoon salt
    1     stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
    1     cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    1     egg
    1     teaspoon vanilla extract
    1     cup toasted wheat germ
    1/2     cup oatmeal
    1/2     cup flaked coconut
    3     cups popped popcorn
    1     cup raisins, dried cranberries or                 other dried fruit, chopped
    1/2     cup sunflower seeds or chopped             nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
In small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together and add egg and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in flour mixture, wheat germ and oatmeal until well blended.
Add coconut, popcorn, raisins and sunflower seeds, if desired, and mix until well blended.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet, with 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Allow to cool on pan 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.
Glazed Lemon and
Poppy Seed Popcorn
Yield: 4 quarts
    4     quarts unbuttered and unsalted popcorn
    1     egg white
    1/4     cup sugar
    1/4     teaspoon salt
    1/4     teaspoon lemon extract
    2     teaspoons lemon zest
    1     teaspoon poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parch­ment paper (or foil sprayed with cooking spray). Spread popcorn onto prepared baking sheet.
In small bowl, whisk together egg white, sugar, salt and lemon extract until foamy. Pour over pop­corn and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with poppy seeds; mix.
Bake 20 minutes, stirring once midway through baking time. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Note: The use of egg white helps the flavors adhere to the popcorn, without adding fat through the more traditional use of oils.


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