Ayurveda traditionally recommends that people with kapha dosha don’t snack (such a bummer right!?). This recommendation comes from the fact that kapha digestion tends to be slower. Kaphas hold on to all of the food and calories they eat, so eating too frequently or between meals can cause blockages and slow down digestion even further, leading to constipation, excess weight, and low energy
Unfortunately, in this day and age of long days and hectic schedules, this isn’t always feasible. So if you’re going to snack as a kapha – what should you eat?
The best kapha snacks have bitter, pungent, or astringent tastes. Alternatively, you can look for food that is light, sharp, rough, or warm.
Unfortunately, most snacks on the market aren’t great for kaphas. Hummus is a little too cold and heavy, while energy bars or balls can be too sweet.
Enter popcorn: the perfect kapha treat. It’s light and sharp, and you can spice it up for warmth. In this variation, I add dark chocolate and dried cranberries so that you can still get your sweet fix without throwing your kapha off balance. Bonus: this recipe is gluten free, nut free and vegan, so you can snack without fear!
I’m also including some small tweaks you can make to make this more appropriate for vata and pitta, because this has been the first popcorn recipe that my vata digestive system can handle (albeit I need to watch my portions 😀 )
Try out my spiced dark chocolate popcorn, and get snacking without fear of throwing your body out of balance.
- ½ cup popcorn kernals
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 oz 100% dark chocolate (or as dark as you can get)
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Put the sesame oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan and place on the stove at medium heat.
- Add two popcorn kernels and wait for them to pop.
- When they pop, remove the pot from the heat and the kernels from the oil.
- Add the remaining popcorn kernels.
- Place the pan back on the heat, cover, shake the pot, and let sit on the stovetop until the kernels start to pop. I like to leave a little crack in the cover so some steam can escape (this gives you fluffy popcorn instead of soggy heavy popcorn.
- Get a large wooden spoon and start to stir up the popcorn as it pops (this keeps the kernels circulating and prevents burning). You can also do this by shaking the pan.
- When the majority of kernels have popped and the noise has slowed down, remove from heat.
- Make the chocolate: melt together coconut oil, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, maple syrup, spices, and salt. I use a microwave, stirring every 20 seconds or so.
- Pour the chocolate on top of the popcorn, stirring to cover the kernels.
- Add dried cranberries.
- Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
Storage: Something I learned recently that’s been a game changer: store your popcorn in the freezer in a ziploc bag! It stays good and fresh tasting for weeks – no stale popcorn here.
Adjustments for Vata: Options to use a higher amount of melted chocolate, mix in ~1/2 cup of roasted peanuts or almonds, and pour an extra 1-2 tsp of sesame oil over the popcorn when completed.
Adjustments for Pitta: Use coconut oil instead of sesame oil and reduce/remove the ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne from the melted chocolate.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.