Healthy Peanut Butter Popcorn (gluten free w/ low-carb option)

Looking for kid-friendly, budget friendly, and healthy snack ideas? This Nut Butter Popcorn is going to knock your popcorn loving socks off.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know how much our family loves popcorn.

So you'll understand why, since seeing a recipe for "Peanut Butter Popcorn" on the now gone (so sad) Frugal Granola's site, I was determined to make it work for our family. 

Our oldest has a life threatening allergy to peanut butter so I made it with almond butter, but we've done it both ways.

Well, after one botched batch, we got a winner!  And we have made it a number of times since -- we even took it to a potluck and it was a big hit.

I have eagerly added it to our family's repertoire of "healthy fast food options" for our home.  You know...those times when your day has completely gotten away from you and/or a number of things have gone wrong and you would order out for a pizza but you can't (we have a son with life-threatening food allergies who is also gluten free)?

That kind of a day.

We had one of those yesterday.  I had had little sleep, my oldest son (the one with Asperger's) was having quite a bit of anxiety, and I had a guest post for another blog that I was working on when....that's was dinner time.  So to give Mom a break we heated up steamed carrots, pulled out some preservative-free hotdogs and heated up the popcorn popper.

(This popper is really great.  Your kids will have a great time helping in the kitchen and it's stainless steel, not aluminum, which is a sturdier and I think, better option for a healthy kitchen.)

stainless popcorn popper

Between the healthy coconut oil and the homemade nut or seed butter and the organic popcorn, it really is a nice option for a fast meal or snack - - and the kids love it too!


There are 2 ways to make this, as you can also use 16 cups of popcorn instead of eight (without doubling the other ingredients).  We've made it this way a number of times and the sweetness is still enough to make it a great treat.  You'll love it!

Recipe Notes

  • Peanut butter and almond butter are particularly scrumptious, but any nut or seed butter will work - see Homemade Nut or Seed Butter to make your own.
  • You can substitute any healthy sweetener for the xylitol, but omit the water if using a liquid sweetener (see this post for more tips on substituting sweeteners.) 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup are good options if you're not watching sugar intake.
  • Although nuts taste better with this popcorn, you can substitute seeds if necessary. Have your nuts be soaked and dried if possible.


Healthy Peanut Butter Popcorn

 This Healthy Peanut Butter Popcorn is the perfect blend of sweet and salty for a great easy healthy snack that everyone will love!
Print Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: healthy peanut butter popcorn
Servings: 16
Calories: 348kcal



  • Heat sweetener and water (if using) in a small pan over medium heat just until it begins to boil. 
  • Quickly add nut or seed butter (you will want to have this pre-measured), vanilla and salt.  Stir continuously over heat until well blended. 
  • Remove from heat, add nuts and stir.  (Hint:  You want this mixture to be pourable.  Too thick and you will have a hard time coating the popcorn.)
  • Immediately pour over popcorn and stir to coat.  The topping will be hot at first, so be careful with your hands!


Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 3mg | Net Carbs: 51g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

For more tips on making popcorn that tastes great from a family that makes a lot of it, visit my post on Healthy Stovetop Popcorn. You also may want to check out my post on why popcorn can help any family's budget.

And if you want to add to your popcorn repertoire, check out some of my other homemade popcorn seasonings.

Like this one, which is a great popcorn topping that arose out of a kitchen mistake!

And this wonderful popcorn topping, made of Herbes de Provence with other seasonings.  Every time we make these we are asked for the recipes!

I hope you like them as much as we do!

Do you have a favorite popcorn topping to share?

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  1. Hi, I never leave comments on blogs but I ran across your blog and saw you had Candida but ate popcorn??? That is a huge NO for anyone really following a Candida diet, I miss popcorn, it was my favorite snack but it's on the top of the list of foods to avoid for Candida, right up there with peanuts! Full of mold. Pam

    1. Hi Pam. Thanks for reading and for writing.

      Yes, we have candida and yes we eat popcorn sometimes.

      This is a direct quote from a physician who wrote this post for my blog:

      Popcorn is perfectly fine to eat on the Candida diet, and I’ll tell you why. Because it satisfies a desire. It’s very important to bear that in mind. I read so much crap on the internet about you can’t eat this and you can’t eat that. These are the diet police out there saying, “Don’t eat this. Don’t eat that. You can eat that. This will cause Candida to grow.” There’s so much garbage on the internet. All this stupid advice by people who’ve never seen patients with Candida. They might have had a bad experience themselves eating rancid popcorn from those stupid packages you put in the microwave, which is a dumb thing to do.

      Maybe you would like to contact him with your concern and then let me know if he has changed his mind since then.

      Maybe you can have some now :). I do watch portions closely and we are doing a new healing protocol that hopefully will help us have even more food freedom. I do avoid peanuts almost all the time, but occasionally I have a few. I ate some on a flight once because there were no other options and it was a 3 hour or more flight....

      I personally am of the mindset that avoiding foods can be a danger to people but will be looking into more things as our new healing protocol starts. From what I can tell the goal of the program isn't more restriction, but less, as long as one is following a whole food diet.

      Thanks and hope that clarifies things.