This past weekend, I led a fairly hands-on demo at the Easton Public Market called "5 Ways With Kale," and this recipe is one of the five that I talked about. This kale popcorn was inspired by something we used to be able to get at the Easton Farmers’ Market, from a vendor called 4th Street Foodworks. You may remember their super tasty kettle corn. They made a kale pop that was delicious, with kale powder. I thought, why not up the ante and make it with pulverized kale chips?
I like using lacinato kale for this because it is flatter than other kales, which makes it a bit easier to coat it with the coconut oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder, but you could certainly use any kale you have on hand. The popcorn I used is a local mix from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown, which partnered with the Delaware Valley University for this colonial red popping corn. This popcorn makes a delicious mess, especially when you are putting it together, and not the least of when you are actually eating it, but it couldn’t be simpler.
Serves 4, or 2 really hungry popcorn lovers
- ½ cup popping corn
- ½ pound chopped lacinato kale, ribs and stems removed
- 3-4 T. extra virgin coconut oil
- Garlic powder,
- Pink Himalayan sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wash the kale and remove the center ribs by cutting around it on either side. Cut off any stem bits and reserve for another use.
Chop the kale into 1-2 inch pieces and spread the kale pieces out on a couple of rimmed baking sheets. Melt about 1-2 T of coconut oil in a small bowl and add the salt, pepper and garlic powder right to the oil. Pour it over the kale, massaging gently to distribute the flavors. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. The kale should look crispy but not burned, and feel dry to the touch.
Pop the corn according to your preference—air popper, on the stovetop in a pot the old fashioned way, etc., and place the popcorn in a large, wide bowl. Add the cooled kale to the mix and break it up gently with your fingers. It doesn’t have to be perfect—rustic and irregular is the idea, but you don’t want huge pieces. If you encounter any ribs that you missed, remove those—they’ll feel like little sticks in your mouth. Taste the popcorn; if you think it needs more seasoning or coconut oil, melt a little bit more coconut oil and add the garlic powder, pink sea salt and pepper it again. Pour it all over the popcorn and mix it up using your hands.