Broccoli-and-cheese poppers are finger-food appetizers you can bake in your oven or fry on a stove. Although baking is a healthier option, good ingredient and cooking-oil choices can make even frying a better choice than purchasing frozen, ready-to-heat poppers at a grocery store. Whichever cooking method you choose, think low sodium and low fat to make broccoli-and-cheese poppers you can enjoy as an occasional, guilt-free treat.
Add the broccoli florets and 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine the florets and cheese.
Stir to combine the baking mix and 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese in a mixing bowl. Push the dry ingredients to the sides of the bowl, creating space to add the milk in the center of the bowl.
Pour in the milk. Stir to combine the milk and dry ingredients until a smooth, soft dough forms.
Spread 2 tsp. of flour over a hard surface. Set the dough on the flour and -- with clean hands -- work the dough for one minute.
Separate the dough into 24 pieces.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable-oil spray.
Surround each broccoli floret with one piece of dough in a round ball shape. Brush each with a thin coating of melted butter or margarine and set them on the baking sheet.
Bake the broccoli-and-cheese poppers for seven to nine minutes, until the dough turns a medium golden-brown color.
An easy way to precook broccoli florets for making poppers is via your microwave. Slice florets from the woody stalk and chop them into pieces or leave them whole, according to your preference. Add the florets to a microwave-safe bowl and pour in 1/8 cup of water per cup of broccoli. Cover and cook the florets on high power for two to three minutes, until the they are just crisp and tender. Drain the cooking water, and then empty the florets onto paper towels. Pat the drained broccoli with a few paper towels to remove any remaining water.
Fry broccoli-and-cheese poppers in a deep skillet on your stove in about five minutes. Heat 1/2 cup of a heart-healthy oil, such as extra-virgin olive or canola oil, until the oil just starts to smoke. Add the poppers, fry them until the dough turns a crispy golden brown, remove the fried poppers with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.