I hope you all had a spooky Halloween! Hopefully you are not in too much of a candy coma after all of yesterday’s festivities. I had a fun, low-key Halloween with my sister. We dressed up as spiders, went out to dinner, and watched movies. Sometimes it’s nice to have a night in. Plus, I love any excuse to lounge around in my PJs with some tea and a bowl of popcorn. But not just any popcorn…I like it gourmet! Today’s post is a yummy, healthy Fall (or all year, I don’t judge) treat. Pumpkin Spiced Party Popcorn is the perfect snack to whip up for parties, entertaining, movie nights, holiday gatherings, girl’s night in, or whenever the craving hits! It’s got all the flavors of pumpkin spice that you know and love, with a little sweetness from chocolate chips ( I used vegan ones sweetened with Stevia), and a hint of saltiness from a sprinkle of black sea salt. The salty/sweet combo is always a win in my book. I also love the crunch from the pumpkin seeds. Yep, this recipe uses pumpkin two ways- the seeds, and pumpkin puree as a base for the pumpkin seed “brittle”.
Popcorn is a great low-cal snack, and it is so versatile, too. I buy plain, unsalted popcorn and add my own mix ins, so I can really customize the popcorn to whatever I’m craving, and control the ingredients going into it. A lot of popcorn comes laden with butter, oil, salt, or worse- artificial butter flavor, so by flavoring it yourself, you can really keep the nutrition value of your popcorn in check. This was the first time I bought non-microwave popcorn, and I made it the old-fashion way on the stove top. It couldn’t be easier, and it makes you feel like a kitchen boss.
Time to add pumpkin seed’s nutrition profile to the list reasons we are all pumpkin obsessed!! Pumpkin seeds are a great source of iron, zinc, and protein, which are important nutrients to pay attention to, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan. Iron plays a major role in oxygen transport and DNA production. If you are always feeling tired, it could be a sign of iron deficiency, as iron carries oxygen to the mitochondria of the cells, which are responsible for energy production. Women especially need to make sure they get enough iron in their diet, since we lose some every month.
Zinc has tons of different functions, like playing a role in the breakdown and use of carbohydrates/fat/protein, the activation and use of insulin, optimizing immune function, hormone production, and in growth and repair of tissue. Show your body some love from the inside out, and add pumpkin seeds to your diet this season!
Pumpkin Spiced Party Popcorn
Makes 4 cups
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 dates, soaked
- 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS milk of choice
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
Ingredients for the Popcorn
- 4 cups popcorn: non- GMO, please! I use Bob’s Red Mill Kernels
- Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips ( I used vegan ones sweetened with Stevia)
- sprinkle of black sea salt
- dash of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
- drizzle of oil (I used coconut)
To make the Pumpkin Seed Brittle:
- Roast pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.
- While the seeds are roasting, place pumpkin puree, milk, and dates into a food processor and mix until smooth
- Drizzle the sauce over the pumpkin seeds, and place in a the oven at 250 for 2 hours to crisp up the seeds. Your house will smell really yummy!
To assemble the popcorn:
- To a large bowl, add popcorn, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, and a drizzle of oil. The oil will help the spices to adhere to the popcorn.
- Toss with a spoon to coat popcorn with the oil. Add sea salt and spices. Toss to combine.
- Add one more sprinkle of cinnamon as a garnish, and you are ready to snack away!
Let me know what you did for Halloween/what you dressed up as. And what are your favorite ways to dress up your popcorn? Have a fabulous week!