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August 15, 2019

Recipe: Maple Pumpkin Popcorn

It’s hard to believe that pumpkin season is already upon us, isn’t it? But hey, I’m not complaining! I never used to be a pumpkin fan growing up, which makes sense given that Halloween is my least favorite ‘holiday’. BUT, after experimenting with pumpkin as I got into more cooking, I realized it is so versatile, and has a ton of nutritional benefit. Pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A, an important antioxidant that plays an important role in boosting the immune system. One serving of pumpkin (1 cup cooked) provides over 200% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A. Studies have shown that beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, two powerful antioxidants can protect against eye disease and cardiovascular diseases as well (however, more research is definitely needed in this area). If that’s not enough of a reason to incorporate this food in your diet, pumpkin is extremely nutrient dense (providing a wide range of vitamins and minerals including 3 grams of fiber per serving) but doesn’t put a major dent in your caloric intake. One cup of pumpkin comes in at less than 50 calories – talk about a bang for your buck!

This recipe is a great twist on your traditional snack – and provides more nutrition than your beloved pumpkin spice latte. Grab 2 cups of this delicious snack and you’re guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on your daily dose of sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Melt coconut oil or butter over medium/high heat in a large pot and add 1-2 kernels until they pop to ensure temperature is just right
  2. Add remaining kernels and cover the pot until kernels start to pop (about 2 minutes)
  3. After popping is 3-5 seconds apart, transfer popcorn to a bowl
  4. Turn off the stove, and mix maple syrup, pureed pumpkin and cinnamon in the same pot used to pop your kernels (it should still be hot!)
  5. Drizzle pumpkin puree syrup over popcorn
  6. Dig in!

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