MAKES 1 cup

Thursday nights in the Joulwan household, circa the 1980s, were “popcorn night.” In sixth grade, I wrote an ode to popcorn, Such was my devotion to the salty snack. Even though it’s not on the paleo-approved menu, I still think of popcorn as my favorite food. These cinnamon-caramelized coconut chips do not taste like popcorn, but they do approximate the experience: the saltiness and mild sweetness, the blend of white and brown bits, and that ever-so-satisfying crunch.


• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


1. Mix the salt and cinnamon with a fork in a small ramekin and save for later. (The fun part!)

2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the coconut flakes and distribute them evenly, so they form a single layer at the bottom of the pan. Stir frequently. They begin to crisp and turn brown pretty quickly. This step takes only about 3 minutes, so pay attention! When the flakes have reached an appealing level of toastiness, remove the pan from the heat.

3. Sprinkle the hot coconut flakes with the salty cinnamon and toss until evenly seasoned. Transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool in a single layer for maximum crunch. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container if they last that long.


Replace the cinnamon with one of these spices for international flair:

INDIAN! 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

MOROCCAN! 1/4 teaspoon Ras el Hanout

GARLICKY! 1/4 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder

SOUTHWEST! 1/4 teaspoon chili powder + 1/4 teaspoon paprika

ASIAN! 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder