Sweet, spicy, savory (and tart!) in perfect harmony... Sweet Tajín Popcorn with Spiced Candied Pepitas, Chocolate, and Dried Cranberries may just rock your world and just in time for National Popcorn Month!
It's National Popcorn Month! LOL. I do try to keep up with all the food-related days and months, but truthfully, I had never heard of this one until after I decided it was time for a new popcorn recipe.
Relatively speaking, popcorn is a healthy, high-fiber snack that is super-flexible, and a great vehicle for all kinds of flavors and add ins. When I started working on this recipe, I had so many ideas and directions I could take it.
Just a couple of days ago, I posted a recipe for Homemade Low Sodium Tajín, and it seemed a perfect place to start with my contribution to National Popcorn Month. I love the tangy heat of Tajín, but I really wanted to work on sweet, spicy, tart combination. So here goes:
About Sweet Tajín Popcorn
- Tajín or Homemade Low Sodium Tajín
- Spiced Candied Pepitas
- Dark or semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- Popcorn - I use this or this.
- Dried cranberries (or other dried fruit).
- Raw or brown sugar.
- Ground cinnamon.
- Coconut oil.
Steps for Making Sweet Tajín Popcorn
I'm hoping you've decided to make the Homemade Low Sodium Tajín! All components of this gourmet popcorn recipe should be prepped prior to popping the corn. Similarly, the Easy Spiced Candied Pepitas should be prepared in advance. Once those 2 components are ready, PROCEED!
- Mix Tajín with sugar and cinnamon.
- Measure out all ingredients.
- Add oil to a deep heavy saucepan (with a lid). Bring it to medium-high heat, then drop a few corn kernels. When those kernels pop, add the remaining corn kernels. Continue popping corn until popping slows and stops - shaking occasionally.
- Add popcorn to a large bowl, then toss with melted butter.
- Sprinkle the spice mix over the popcorn, then add the dried cranberries, Spiced Candied Pepitas, and mini chocolate chips.
- Toss well to combine.
Tips and Swaps
Since we're aiming for a "sweet, spicy, savory" popcorn, swaps (substitutions) are pretty straightforward. Try to keep the chile-lime component of the Tajín - that could be as simple as sea salt, red chile, and lime zest if you can't get Tajín. Adding the cinnamon and sugar to the mix is critical.
The sweetness comes from both the spice mix and the Spiced Candied Pepitas. Finding a swap for the pepitas is more difficult. Keep in mind they just require a few minutes. You can probably find a ready-made candied nut that will fill in quite nicely
As to the dried cranberries, you can swap them out for dried cherries, blueberries, or dates. The tartness of the cranberries works really well though.
The dark chocolate mini chips are the perfect size to get a bit of chocolate through the batch of popcorn. Choose milk or dark according to your preference.
Using good quality popcorn results in a higher popped ratio. I think it's worth a few cents extra. On photo day, I used a red heirloom variety, but any good quality popping corn is fine.
While my Sweet Tajín Popcorn has a few components, it really is quick and easy. When I make Spiced Candied Pepitas, I make them in a somewhat large batch. The Tajín is probably in a jar as well. That really means you can have this delicious, homemade gourmet popcorn ready in about 10 minutes! Happy snacking!
- 1 tablespoon Tajín (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon raw or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut or vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons good quality popcorn
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- 1/2 cup Spiced Candied Pepitas
- 1/4 cup mini dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Combine Tajín (see notes) with cinnamon and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Gather the dried cranberries, Spiced Candied Pepitas (or toasted pepitas), and mini chocolate chips.
- Heat oil and a few popcorn kernels in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high. When kernels pop, add the remaining popcorn, and cover. Cook until popping stops, about 2-3 minutes (shake occasionally).
- Transfer to a bowl. Toss with butter.
- Sprinkle liberally with spice mix, again, toss to combine.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228