We Americans love popcorn. Plain, salty or sweet, we consume 13 billion quarts each year of this snack, according to The Popcorn Board. What’s not to love? It’s whole grain, gluten free, zero cholesterol and virtually fat-free (only 0.1 g per cup), and it’s low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup and oil-popped has only 35 calories per cup. Even when lightly buttered, popcorn has only about 80 calories per cup. Since October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, it seems the perfect time to once again pay homage to this popular snack.
This recipe, courtesy of The Popcorn Board, mixes in a taste of autumn with pumpkin pie spices and a bit of indulgence with white chocolate and toffee bits, but you’re still getting that whole-grain crunchy snack in the mix. It would be a welcome contribution to a get-together or just a fun weekend treat.
To figure the amount of popcorn needed, keep in mind that popcorn kernels expand up to 40 times their original size. So 1 ounce, which is 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons of un-popped kernels will make 4 cups of popped popcorn.
White Chocolate & Pumpkin Pie Spice Popcorn Bites
Makes 12 servings
12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
3 cups chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon light olive oil
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt, crushed
1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Place popcorn in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate, olive oil and pumpkin pie spice; microwave on medium for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring after each minute.
3. Pour melted chocolate mixture over popcorn; add toffee bits and toss to combine. Immediately transfer to prepared baking sheet, spreading to edges of pan. Sprinkle sea salt over top.
4. Let cool; refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or until set. Break into chunks for serving.
Tip: Homemade pumpkin pie spice can be made by combining 3 parts ground cinnamon with 1 part each ground nutmeg and ginger, and a dash of allspice and ground cloves.
Nutrition info (per 1-cup serving): Calories 330; Fat 18g (Saturated Fat 10g); Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 230mg; Carbohydrate 37g; Fiber 1g; Sugars 30g; Protein 4g