green zombie popcorn + why I created #healthoween

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And it’s Monday again. As it turns out, this weekend is Halloween weekend! I am super duper excited. See, I didn’t end up doing much last year, because I wasn’t ‘in the know’. I don’t know how it happened, but I felt very uninformed about what was going on!

Anyways – that was last year. This year, I am doing things very differently. I think I have overplanned, but I definitely feel like more possibilities lead to more fun 😀 Not only do I have tons of parties to look forward to, I am also getting in the spirit through this #healthoween series. I wanted to talk about the series in a little more detail, because I feel that I didn’t in my intro post.

#healthoween is really quite a straight-forward concept for a recipe series; healthy Halloween recipes, with a catchy instagram name and a great reason to get creative in the kitchen.

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But why? Why now?

Halloween is most definitely my favourite time of the year. Dressing up, horror films, the American Horror Story premiere (can we just take a second to appreciate the awesomness of the show?). And for most people, it also (primarily) rhymes with candy/sweets/trick-or-treating. But it doesn’t for me. As a kid, I spent many of my Halloweens watching other kids collect and eat sweets, much to the distress of their parents! Meanwhile, I enjoyed walking around in my costume (apart from that time my mum made me a costume out of a bin liner. Not cool.), carrying a lantern and listening to ghost stories.  I never felt like I was missing out, and looking back now, I am so glad I couldn’t indulge in all those painfully sweet wrapped treats. The other kids were so concerned about filling their treat bags that most of the time, they didn’t appreciate all the other fun + spooky stuff.

But I do feel that it is a shame no one every had any savoury options. Think about it; there are so many savoury Halloween recipes on Pinterest, where have they been for all this time! I was amazed the first time I saw a photo of a hot-dog that looked like a finger. I would have been perfectly happy collecting a hot-dog from someone’s front door. Or a deviled egg looking like an eye.

So that’s my why. That’s what inspired me to create #healthoween. Halloween treats don’t have to be sweet to make you feel spooky and get you in the spirit. A dietary restriction should not shape the way you interact with others or your enjoyment of a celebration.

This green popcorn is a double whammy because:

  1. It is not sweet. All you refined-sugar-free-junkies/mums concerned about sugar intake/health nuts/fructose intolerants/diabetics will love this twist on popcorn.
  2. It is actually healthy. Food comes in either of two categories; it either makes you more healthy, or less healthy. I’ve always believed that filling your meals with all the things that make you healthier leave very little space to the things that won’t. Eat this popcorn, and you will not have space for the caramel one (maybe. Ha.). And you will be healthier. Boom.

This popcorn is so cheesy and delicious and savoury and nomnomnom. It’s vegan, too!

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Recipe for green zombie popcorn

Adapted from Clean Food Direty City’s Spirulina Popcorn

ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp green, commercial pesto
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flaked
  • Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup organic corn kernels

method:

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, pesto, nutritional yeast, spirulina, turmeric, garam masala, basil, chilli flakes, and some salt. Mix well and set aside.

Pour olive oil into deep pot. The oil should cover the bottom of the pot. Drop 3 kernels into the pot, cover, and turn the heat to high.

Once the kernels have popped, add the rest of the kernels. Once the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot vigorously until the pops start to slow (a couple of minutes).

Turn off the heat and pour the spirulina mixture over the popcorn. Mix well until the popcorn is evenly coated. Taste and add more salt as needed. 

I ended up adding a little more oil and pesto to make it melt-in-your-mouth when it was warm, but the popcorn will go stale quicker and risks getting a little soggy.

You can store the popcorn in a jar or plastic container for several days – I would suggest throwing it out when it isn’t crunchy anymore!

What are your favourite tips for surviving Halloween on a dietary restriction? Let me know!

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