Elyse Kopecky’s Spiced Popcorn “Granola”

If you crave salty and sweet snacks, this recipe’s got your back.

Read the Full Story

Unlock articles, specialized content and more with Active Pass


Already have an account?

Sign In

Subbing popcorn for oats makes this a gluten-free snack mix that’s a cross between trail mix and granola. If you crave salty and sweet snacks, this recipe’s got your back. It’s loaded with healthy fats and nuts and seeds to keep you full longer.

Popping your own kernels is easy—follow the simple directions below. And, bonus: You’ll have enough popcorn for this recipe and movie night. For more snack ideas (gluten-free and otherwise), check out these healthy combos.

Pop Your Own Kernels

This will make 10 to 14 cups of popcorn (depending on size of kernel and your popping skills). You’ll have little extra popcorn for immediate snacking, or save the extra popcorn for movie night.


3 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
½ cup popcorn kernels


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan with a lid over high heat. Add the kernels, cover tightly with the lid, and give the pan a little shake to spread out the kernels. When the popping really gets going turn the heat down to medium low and give the pan another shake.
  2. When the popping slows to just one kernel at a time, remove the pan from heat but keep covered for another minute until the popping stops. Carefully remove lid. Prevent the moisture on the lid from dripping back onto the popcorn. Transfer popcorn to a large bowl to cool.

Elyse's Gluten-Free Popcorn Snack Mix



  • ½ cup whole raw almonds
  • ½ cup whole raw cashews
  • ½ cup raw sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, divded
  • 7 cups plain unsalted popcorn (popped from ½ cup kernels, see below)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Step 2

    In a large mixing bowl, toss the nuts and seeds with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon syrup. Add the popcorn and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of syrup over top. Use your hands to toss well.

  3. Step 3

    In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and cayenne (if using). Sprinkle the seasoning over the popcorn mixture and toss well to evenly combine. Be sure that some of the seasoning coats the nuts.

  4. Step 4

    Spread out on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the nuts are golden. While still warm (but not too hot) taste the popcorn and add another sprinkle of salt if needed.

  5. Step 5

    Cool completely before serving or storing.

  6. Step 6

    Store in a glass jar or canister with a lid at room temperature. Popcorn Granola will stay fresh in the pantry for up to 2 weeks (but it will be devoured long before!).