Kale Chip Popcorn

If you’re like me, watching the Academy Awards is a wonderful time to reflect on all the movies you meant to see to help you hold your own in conversation at dinner with your more culturally with-it friends. In honor of the catching up I will try and fail to do in the next few weeks, I’m sharing my new favorite movie snack–kale chip popcorn. I love popcorn, and it’s very simple to cook on a stove top. Here the addition of homemade kale chips boosts the flavor (plus who doesn’t need more greens in their life?). Grab a bag of locally grown kernels and a bunch of kale at the market to make this much yummier alternative to the chemically microwave kind. 

kale chip popcorn.jpg

A note about cooking fat: For popping the corn, you want to choose a cooking fat that can withstand higher temperatures. In other words, don’t use olive oil. I’ve actually used lard that I purchased at Main Street Meats here. It adds a layer of flavor depth that is really awesome with the kale. If you’re not of the Weston A. Price Foundation persuasion and/or you prefer to keep this vegan, just use coconut oil. The taste will be different but still delicious.

Kale Chip Popcorn

  • Half a bunch (4 oz.) kale, stemmed and roughly torn into pieces

  • .25 c. popcorn kernels

  • 2 T. of lard or coconut oil for popping the corn

  • 1 T. neutral oil for roasting the kale (I’ve used avocado)

  • 1 T. nutritional yeast (optional; this gives a “cheesy” flavor)

  •  salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly toss the kale with the oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two, if necessary). Roast for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until the kale is crisp, but still dark green. The kale will shrink a lot so don’t worry about this. 

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat your lard or coconut oil over medium heat. To test the pan to see if it is hot enough, place one kernel of corn in the pot and wait for it to pop. Remove the kernel and add the rest of the popcorn and cover with the lid. Shake the pot occasionally to be sure that no kernels stick to the bottom. When the popcorn has finished popping, sprinkle with salt, cover and shake well. 

When the kale is done roasting, lightly crush the chips and toss with the popped corn. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, if desired and enjoy!

Serves 4.