Who knew a kid and adult-pleasing snack could also be healthy? No, I'm not talking about movie theater popcorn or microwave popcorn.
Movie theater popcorn contains a ton of unhealthy fat because of the oil used for popping. And then, of course, the chemical-laden fake butter flavor poured on top (which, yes, I do eat on occasion).
Much of the microwave popcorn isn't any better with the pretend butter substance and questionable chemicals used to line the bag. There are some brands that do not contain these unhealthy and potentially harmful ingredients, however, you can easily make your own popcorn in a paper bag and probably save some money too!
When prepared in a healthy manner, popcorn is low in calories and a good source of fiber; three cups of popcorn has 93 calories and 3.6 grams of fiber.
The health factor of popcorn depends on two things:
- How it is popped
- What is on top
Here are some simple and fun popcorn recipes that I recommend and use quite often!
Using an air popper or popping in the microwave or on the stove with no oil are the best methods to pop the corn.
To pop in the microwave, simply add 1/4 cup kernels to a lunch-size brown paper bag, fold the end over, and microwave until the popping slows down to a few seconds between pops. The time required depends on your microwave, probably around two minutes.
The next step is to add some flavor. First, you need something to make the flavor stick. I usually do a light coat of canola oil using a sprayer. By spraying the oil, I use much less than if I were to drizzle it and I'm able to coat more of the popcorn.
Then, the world is your oyster as far as flavor goes! You can go traditional with just salt or go crazy with the spices in your cabinet! In the mood for a sweet treat, try cinnamon, cardamom, and a touch of sugar. Savory? Try grated Parmesan Cheese, parsley and garlic salt. Experiment to find your favorites! My mother-in-law introduced us to using a splash of soy sauce for an intense flavor!
So add some fun to your family movie night or afternoon family snack with some yummy and healthy popcorn!