High-Protein Snacks: How to Make Protein Popcorn

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.

how to make protein popcorn chocolate drizzle

Today’s recipe solves that problem with flexible options to create a number of different flavored popcorns, all with great amounts of protein. You can find the ingredients, calorie and macronutrient breakdown, and a few different options below the video. Be sure to check out the updated third recipe.

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Ingredients for Vanilla Flavor

  • 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 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein (this is the whey protein I use in the video)

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt

  • 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 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 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 and Macronutrients in Protein Popcorn

Calories: 430

Protein: 30g

Carbohydrates: 28g

Fat: 24g

high protein snacks protein popcorn recipe

Update: I’ve found the best chocolate drizzle for this recipe.

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.

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!


If you’d like some help calculating your calorie needs or a starting point for determining how much to eat for maintenance, fat loss, or muscle gain you can download my free book, Nutrition Made Easy, on the topic here.

nutrition made easy 2.0 by mason woodruff, cscs

This has become one of my favorite snacks to satisfy the crunch and sweet tooth cravings simultaneously. Try it out!