By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Let’s play the association game…Popcorn goes with cheddar; cheddar goes with apples; apples go with walnuts, and walnuts go with maple. Mix it all together and you’ve got a healthy “big game” party snack that is easy to assemble and even easier to munch!
Maple Cheddar Kettle Corn with Apples and Walnuts is a healthy riff on two popular flavors of popcorn: cheddar and caramel corn. In place of corn syrup, I used organic maple sugar to caramelize and coat the popped kernels. Rather than fake cheddar cheese powder, I kept it real by adding chunks of Cabot cheddar cheese. Any variety of Cabot cheddar would work splendidly, but I chose to use the Farmhouse Reserve premium white cheddar this time.
Most party snacks are far from healthy and it's often easy to overdo it. Not this Maple Cheddar Kettle Corn with Apples and Walnuts, nuh-uh. You can feel good eating handfuls of this popcorn, as each ingredient is nutritiously-notable. To pop the corn, organic coconut oil is used, rather than vegetable oil or butter. Popcorn is a whole grain, amped with dietary fiber. The apples and walnuts are of course nutritious add-ins. And the Cabot cheddar cheese is a superb protein and calcium source. Also, did you know that certain cheeses, including Cabot cheddar are good alternative dairy choices for those that suffer from lactose intolerance?
Regular readers of this blog know Eating Local in the Lou is a big supporter of local farms and companies that practice sustainable farming. It is good to know Cabot Creamery is a co-op of family farmers in the New England area, and that all of the profits go back to supporting these family farms.
Oh! And before you go…in my last post, I mentioned that exciting changes are coming soon. Over the past month, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, creating a new logo and designing a website that I cannot wait to show you! So, next time you hear from me, I’ll be “broadcasting” from a new site, with a new name. At that time, Eating Local in the Lou will be redirected to my new home. I hope you will join me on this nutritious and delicious journey to see what lies ahead!
Maple Cheddar Kettle Corn with Apples and Walnuts (makes about 3-4 servings)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup popcorn
- 1/4 cup maple sugar (we used Coombs Family Farms Organic Maple Sugar)
- 6 ounces Cabot Farmhouse Reserve premium white cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup (i.e., 1 package) freeze dried apples (like these)
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
- In a Dutch oven, heat coconut oil on medium heat.
- Add popcorn kernels to oil, then add maple sugar.
- Stir to assure all corn kernels are coated with melted oil and sugar.
- Place lid on pot and shake pot over heat. It will take a few minutes for the kernels to pop, but continue to shake the pot over the heat to prevent burning. (keep shakin', its a good workout!)
- Once the corn popping begins to slow, remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then add salt to taste.
- Add in cubed Cabot cheddar cheese, apples and walnuts. Then dig in!