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High-Protein Snacks: How to Make Protein Popcorn

One of the most common obstacles my clients have to overcome is snacking and sweet tooth struggles. Since very few can go cold turkey with their snacking, I’m always looking for healthier, high-protein (another common obstacle) alternatives. One thing I’ve always recommended is low-fat popcorn for its crunch factor and higher volume for satiety. But you can only eat so much plain popcorn. Alas, here we are – how to make great tasting protein popcorn.

Today’s post solves that problem with four flexible options to create a number of different flavored protein popcorn. You can find the ingredients, calorie and macronutrient breakdown, and a few different options below the video. Be sure to check out the updated fourth recipe for a lower fat protein drizzle.

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Ingredients for White Chocolate Protein Popcorn

I’ve included a bulleted list of ingredients and a more instructive infographic below. If you like the style of the infographic, go check out my Ultimate Guide to Healthy Snacking, where you’ll find 30+ graphics like it and over 60 high protein, low calorie snack ideas.

Protein Popcorn and Chocolate Drizzle (2)

Dark Chocolate Protein Popcorn

This version gets away from peanut butter as a fat source in case you’re allergic or need slightly less fat. You can try to reduce the amount of butter used to lower fat even further, but it’s difficult to get the protein to stick without it.

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Protein Popcorn

  • 1 Bag 100-Calorie Popcorn or Homemade Popcorn (1/2 tsp coconut oil and 2 Tbsp popping corn should net around 100-120 calories)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Serving Dark Chocolate Chips (60-70% cacao)
  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Feel free to play around with different protein powder flavors and ingredients. I mention it in the video, but it’s hard to get away from the peanut butter. I’ve tried several different variations with coconut oil only or coconut oil and dark chocolate only, and it turns out a bit too powdery. You could also try cutting back on the protein to 1/2 scoop or even scaling back on the entire recipe if you’d like a semi-sweet treat without as many calories. Speaking of calories, here’s the final breakdown.

  • Calories: 430
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Fat: 24g

Updated Chocolate Protein Popcorn Drizzle Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter & Co.
  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder (I used vanilla to balance the chocolate flavor.) mixed with 1-2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Servings Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup

Heat the coconut oil and peanut butter in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, stir. Mix 1 scoop of protein with a few Tbsp of water to turn it into a sludge-y paste. Mix chocolate syrup with protein sludge and oil/peanut butter mixture. Instead of placing your popcorn in a bag and shaking like we did in the first two recipes, lay it out flat or in a bowl. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, drizzle your chocolate sauce over the popcorn. It should harden quickly. Enjoy!

As long as you use sugar-free syrup (see the huge difference below), your final calories/macros are:

  • Calories: 400
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fat: 16g

why you should buy sugar-free chocolate syrup over regular

When it’s all said and done, this snack is quite dense and filling. The coconut oil and peanut butter add quite a bit of fat and calories so it’s probably best to split into two servings. That way you can reduce your calorie intake to a more snack-appropriate level.

Choosing the Best Protein Powder

You should also be mindful of the protein powder you go with. Some proteins have carbs and fat added for flavor or filler purposes and could increase the overall calorie load. The protein I use above, for example, has 24g of protein in 120 calories (80% of calories from protein). A protein that has 20g of protein and 150 calories would only have 53% of calories from protein. It’s worth paying attention to for this recipe and in general. Don’t overpay for carbs and fat – those things are dirt cheap and easy to come by!

things to know about buying protein powder

You can learn more about finding the best protein powder for your goals in this article.

If you’re looking for more snack ideas, I think you’ll enjoy my high protein puppy chow.

How to make dark chocolate and sea salt, vanilla, and other flavored protein popcorn and put a stop to your snacking and sweets obstacles.