Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

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I think 2014 is going to be the year for cauliflower — from cauliflower pizza crust to cauliflower fried rice and mashed cauliflower, it seems like this cruciferous vegetable is becoming a go-to for making healthy versions of comfort foods. Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of the cauliflower pizza crust. I’ve actually been working on a vegan version, which I hope to post soon. But in the meantime, I have another cauliflower delight to share. Thanks to Real Simple I recently found out that cauliflower popcorn is a thing. Yes, popcorn!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

Regular popcorn is actually pretty healthy on it’s own, especially if you air pop it and eat it plain. It’s a whole grain and low in calories, which is nice for volume eaters that like to snack (a.k.a. me). I actually keep kernels on hand and use the brown paper lunch bag trick to pop mine when I’m craving popcorn. Works like charm!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

Once I found out that cauliflower popcorn was a thing, I knew I needed to try it! I quickly decided I should probably make a kettle corn version since it’s my favorite type of regular popcorn. Sweet and salty combos are the simply the best!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

The trick to making cauliflower popcorn is roasting! Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables. And if you cook the veggies long enough, they also get a crispy texture. That’s exactly what happens with the cauliflower.

Yes, I could have simply called this recipe maple roasted cauliflower but kettle corn is infinitely more fun. Plus, you could totally whip up a batch of this cauliflower to snack on during a movie. It’s a great way to sneak in a serving (or two) of veggies and I’m sure kids would love it!

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

Plus it’s healthy, absolutely delicious and as it would turn out, just as addictive as regular kettle corn. 🙂

If you’re not into kettle corn — we can’t be friends — just kidding, simply omit the maple syrup and just use the coconut oil and salt.

Healthy Cauliflower Popcorn / Kettle Corn

5 from 3 votes
One warning — the cauliflower pieces shrink down quite a bit. If you’re serving more than one or two people, you’ll want to make a double batch and use two baking sheets.
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 small/medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 425° F.
  • In a large bowl, stir together cauliflower, oil, maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Make sure the cauliflower pieces aren’t too crowded on the baking sheet or they will steam instead of roasting.
  • Roast, stirring twice, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

Plus it’s healthy, absolutely delicious and as it would turn out, just as addictive as regular kettle corn. 🙂

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Recipe Rating




    20 comments
    1. ammolite1
      March 30, 2015 AT 8:03 pm

      Were they damp from washing beforehand? That may make the difference…

    2. halfpass44
      November 11, 2014 AT 9:55 pm

      I tried this but the cauliflower stayed rather soft and got brown but never reached a crispy stage. I had it in the oven at 450 for 45 minutes. What am I doing wrong?

    3. Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul
      January 18, 2014 AT 12:06 am

      5 stars
      I love roasted cauliflower AND cauliflower “popcorn”, but kettle corn? Girl, you just took it to the next level! I can’t wait to try this!

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 18, 2014 AT 5:18 pm

        You’re welcome. 😉

    4. Kira – The Healthable Old Soul
      January 16, 2014 AT 7:53 pm

      I love cauliflower and the way you make it popcorn is just a double bonus for cauliflower lovers!

    5. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!
      January 16, 2014 AT 7:47 pm

      This looks delicious! I need to try to incorporate more cauliflower into meals. It’s always so good when I do, I just kind of forget about it!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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