(Family Features) The winter months provide many occasions to celebrate, and no celebration is complete without tasty treats. A perfect partner for a broad variety of flavors, popcorn is a versatile pantry staple that can be served plain or as a better-for-you addition to seasonal snacks.
With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to satisfy cravings for something savory, sweet and just about every flavor in-between. Plus, whole-grain popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer.
As a way to honor one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods, National Popcorn Day on Jan. 19 is a perfect opportunity to pop up a bowl to enjoy with loved ones or create whole-grain culinary masterpieces like fragrant and flavorful Jamaican Jerk Popcorn, which features hot pepper, spices and jerk butter to help you warm up from the inside out. Or consider another tasty snack option like Furikake Popcorn, a lighter recipe exploding with the flavors of sesame, nori and a Japanese spice blend.
You can combine favorite flavors for movie night with Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn, which is perfect for settling in on a snowy winter’s eve, and an option like Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters, featuring chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, are perfect for sharing with loved ones after an evening meal.
Find more fun, fluffy and flavorful recipes to celebrate everything winter has to offer at Popcorn.org.
Yield: 2-3 servings
- 1 nori sheet, broken into pieces
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- To make furikake seasoning: In spice grinder or using mortar and pestle, grind nori with 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl; stir in remaining sesame seeds, salt and sugar.
- In large bowl, toss popcorn with butter and furikake seasoning until evenly coated.
- Tips: Use store-bought furikake seasoning and season to taste.
- To toast sesame seeds: In small dry skillet over medium heat, cook sesame seeds 2-3 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool completely before using.
Jamaican Jerk Popcorn
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon minced, seeded scotch bonnet chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- In small saucepan, combine butter, chili pepper, lime zest, chili powder, thyme, allspice, pepper, ginger, garlic powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, onion powder and salt. Cook over low heat 3-5 minutes, or until butter melts and mixture is fragrant.
- In large bowl, toss popcorn with spice mixture until evenly coated.
Tip: Omit scotch bonnet pepper and substitute 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if preferred.
Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn
Yield: 6-8 servings (1 cup each)
- 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
- black pepper, to taste
- 12 cups air-popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
- olive oil cooking spray
- In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn and turkey pepperoni; spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
- Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture; toss to coat evenly.
Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters
Yield: 3 dozen
- 1 bag (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave on high 1 minute, until melted. Stir in vegetable oil.
- In large bowl, add popcorn, marshmallows and walnuts. Pour melted chocolate over mixture, tossing to coat.
- Drop mixture by tablespoonful onto wax paper-lined jellyroll pan.
- Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
Source: Popcorn Board