POPCORN IS LYFE. But fo reals. Popcorn is my everything. Dearest popcorn, can you please come into my life and be a constant presence with me always? For every second of every day with your crunchy, buttery goodness? Thank you. Sincerely, your truest admirer, Annie.
Now, hold on. I’m about to drop some knowledge on you: did you know that popcorn is actually a healthy snack?? I don’t mean it’s just neutral and won’t make you gain fifty pounds, I mean it’s actually healthy. It is loaded with antioxidants (more than some fruits and veggies!), and it’s high in fiber. Not to mention it is extremely low in calories; in one cup of air popped popcorn, there are only thirty calories. LITERALLY MY WORLD WAS TURNED AROUND WHEN I LEARNED ALL OF THIS.
Here’s the problem: most of the billions of Americans that consume popcorn on a daily basis fall into one of these few categories…
- Microwave popcorn eaters
- Movie theater popcorn eaters
- “Would you like a little popcorn with that butter?” eaters (um…hi 👋).
My usual popcorn style: Pop, pour over an unholy amount of butter, sprinkle
some a lot of salt, and throw a small spoonful of sugar over everything to top it all off.
If you are in one of those three categories like my old pre-reformed-by-this-new-popcorn self, you are basically taking the healthiness of popcorn in its original form and mutilating it to the point of Oreos and french fries. Sad day…sad, but delicious, nah mean? FEAR NOT! There is a compromise to be made.
Here’s the main thing you need when you’re eating popcorn: flavor. Popcorn totally plain and on its own isn’t gross or anything, but it’s pretty dang plain. Kind of like an unseasoned potato. Usually our flavor ends up coming from butter and salt by the end of our preparation process, BUT, there are way better and healthier ways to get us to that end result of flavor bomb popcorn.
With popcorn, you need to have some type of fat (oil or butter) to moisten the popcorn a bit so that your seasoning will stick. Most of the time, this is butter – and a lot of it. In this recipe, we use coconut oil – and not a lot of it. Just enough. Not only are we using coconut oil, but we are infusing it with a lot of delicious flavors, and that’s where the beauty of this popcorn really comes into bloom.
All we need for this two-serving recipe is two little teaspoons of coconut oil…that’s just one teaspoon of oil per serving! To this oil, we add minced garlic and rosemary, and we cook these fragrant ingredients in the oil for just a few minutes until the garlic juuuuust starts to turn golden.
Then we add our popcorn to a bowl, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over top, and drizzle this delicious infused coconut oil all over that popcorn. Toss with a pair of spoons or spatulas (it’s hot!), season with salt, and dig in, people.
Here’s what you’re probably thinking right now: Okay lady, you can tell me all you want about how delicious this popcorn is, but there is no possible way that it’s better than the unhealthy, butter-loaded varieties.
I went in with the exact same expectations. Popcorn needs that butter – it just needs it! But oh, I was proven so wrong. It does not need the butter one bit. This popcorn is:
- Absolutely LOADED with flavor (way more than when you just use butter and salt)
- Crispy and crunchy in the most delicious way
- Slightly cheesy
- The most addicting snack ever created on this planet
The infused coconut oil coats the popcorn just enough to moisten it so your salt sticks, and the garlic, rosemary, and parmesan cheese add so much deep flavor to the popcorn, you won’t miss that buttery taste for a second. And, bonus, when you’re done eating this popcorn, you don’t feel weighed down, gross, and greasy. You feel great!
AND – if you are 21 Day Fixer, guess how much popcorn you get for just 1 yellow container? 3 entire cups. That’s a very generous and substantial snack!
It’s such a win, and I’m so excited about this new healthy and just as delicious popcorn. Goodbye sticks of butter! Hello, healthy, nourishing coconut oil. Lets be best frands.
For my 21 Day Fix people, here are your container amounts (per serving!):
- 1 yellow (popcorn)
- 1/2 blue (parmesan)
- 1 teaspoon (coconut oil)
*The rosemary and garlic are “free”*
- 6 cups POPPED popcorn (about 5-6 tablespoons unpopped kernels, but that might push you a little past 6 cups - you can just save the rest for later!) The popcorn should be air popped or popped in a Whirley Pop using no oil
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
- ⅛ teaspoon rosemary, very finely minced
- ⅓ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- When your popcorn is done popping, place in a large bowl and set aside
- Make your infused coconut oil: add coconut oil, garlic, and rosemary to a small skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for a few minutes until it is fragrant and the garlic is just starting to turn golden
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over top of the popcorn and then drizzle the oil over top of that (this melts the cheese a bit, which helps it stick to the popcorn)
- Toss immediately with a pair of spoons or spatulas (too hot for bare hands!!) until the oil and cheese coat the popcorn evenly
- Season to taste with salt
- *Note: to cut down on fat even more, the cheese can be omitted. Most of the flavor comes from that yummy infused oil anyway!*
Nutrition info is for one serving, which is 3 cups of popcorn.
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more healthy snacks? Check these out: