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Popcorn Blends

Shopping for snack food on a plant-based diet is so much easier than it was in the old days of fiber chips and tamari everything. One thing I just can't get enough of (literally) is specialty popcorn. Dropping by your local Kernels, movie theatre or snack food aisle in search of flavoured plant-based popcorn is often disappointing - they seem to find a way to squeeze dairy derivatives into just about any recipe. Fear not. If you have a popcorn maker (or the willingness to make it on the stove top like our ancestors did before they settled in for a night of reading folios and completing needlepoint projects) then the world is your joy-ster. Try these recipes and then go crazy inventing a million flavours of your own.Merry poppings! - Harmony


Pop popcorn! in a pan or popper, the choice is yours. I like Whole Foods organic popcorn from their bulk section (Organic means GMO free!).

* While popcorn is popping, mix all remaining ingredients, except the oil, together in a small bowl
* Pour oil over popcorn immediately after it's popped - toss to coat
* Pour remaining ingredients over popcorn, toss lightly to distribute (remember that digging in to the popcorn will distribute the toppings further - no need to over mix and send everything to the bottom).
* Eat results and consider whether your dad would enjoy it.

All measurements are flexible, but make changes gradually and to taste.

Poppers Delight (savoury)

I grew up on cheap'n'cheesy bagged popcorn and get all sentimental inside when noshing on this dairy-free inspired-by.

* 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn

* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

* 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

* 1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) cajun spice

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice


Icicles and Spice (sweet)

This popcorn was named by Earthsave's own Carolyn Victoria Mill, who is a very satisfying person to make popcorn for morning, noon and night. Remember that all ingredients are to taste. Try as you go and make it yours - that's the Popcorn Credo.

* 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn

* 1/4 cup sunflower or canola oil (olive oil will compete too much with, and savory up, the sweet flavours)

* 2-4 Tablespoons (or to taste) powdered sugar (for health reasons I prefer whizzing coconut sugar in my coffee grinder over using trad icing sugar, but I leave this up to you)

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

* 2 Tablespoon of goji berries thrown on for colour

* Follow the same instructions as for Poppers Delight, but while humming highlights from CATS - The Musical. It just makes it taste better for some reason.


Citrus & Seeds (savoury)

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

2-3T fresh lemon juice (to taste)

2t poppy seeds

2t sesame seeds (any colour)

2t coriander seeds

2t hemp or chia seeds

1t mustard seeds

1t fennel seeds


* try lightly toasting seeds in a dry non-stick pan over medium heat until fragrant - make sure to supervise or they'll burn.


Smokie Smart Food (savoury)

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion salt

2 tsp smoked paprika

(of you only have regular paprika, just add a few drops of natural liquid smoke)




Movie Night!

Pair your popcorn with a movie - if you haven't seen Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, Fast Food Nation, or any of the other food flavoured flicks out there lately, this is an excellent incentive to hold a movie night. You can borrow one from our library by making an appointment to pick up a dvd.

Some popcorn blending tips:

* Don't be stingy with the oil - it helps items that you blend in to stick and provides a nice rich, umami flavour that allows you to use tangy or spicy ingredients while keeping things balanced. Don't worry - it's still better for you than chips!


*  Select ingredients to blend in that won't just drop right to the bottom of the bowl. Have fun experimenting with nuts, seeds, spices, candies and dried fruits, but if using something on the heavier side (ie. Goji berries) stir some in, but put the majority on top so they'll have to go farther to sink outta sight.


* Add salt and spices gradually, to taste, even if a recipe indicates a measurement. Oversalted otherwise good specialty popcorn is nobody's baby.


* Seek out non-veg popcorn recipes online and veg-ify them. There are simply more of these kinds of recipes on the web (written by Martha and Oprah, no less) but we know how to sub like the dickens, right? Power to the popcorn.


* Always add some salt to even sweet popcorn recipes. Saltless popcorn sets off disappointment receptors in the mouth.

Stop, Pop and Roll!

All of these recipes are gluten-free, high in fibre, and soy free - but don't have to be. If you have a killer popcorn recipe you'd love to share please send it in to

EARTHSAVE CANADA ~ Save the earth one bite at a time

Earthsave Canada is a Vancouver-based charity, helping people choose foods that benefit our health, the environment, and the lives of animals.

MAILING ADDRESS: Earthsave Canada PO Box 2213 STN Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 3W2 | | 604-731-5885 

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