Updated: Sep 29
Popcorn is truly one of my favorite things! A great anytime snack that won't sabotage those healthy lifestyle goals. You can whip it up in a variety of fun ways, sure to please even that toughest snacker's craving - from sweet to salty, savory and spicy and everything in between!
Spices are an easy, affordable, and low calorie way to enhance popcorn flavor!
Did you know...1C of air popped popcorn has just 31 calories?! It also boasts 1gram of protein, 6grams of carbohydrates, and 1gram of fiber! That means you can enjoy 3 or 4 cups of popcorn and still be munching on a healthy snack under 150 calories!
It is not the popcorn that creates a calorie conundrum, it's how we prepare it that can make it so unhealthy! When considering store bought popcorn options be sure to read nutrition labels carefully as many pre-packaged varieties are quite high in salt, sugar and other additives in an effort to boost flavor. Remember just because it says "low-fat" or "low-calorie" doesn't mean it's healthy! I recommend popping your own - an air popper works great (and you can usually pick one up for arond $20) or you can pop up a batch right on your stove in a medium sized non-stick covered pot with just a touch of olive or coconut oil to lightly coat the bottom (so kernels won't stick/burn). Once your kernels are popped into fluffy goodness, the real fun begins - time to flavor! This is also a super fun activity to involve the kiddos in! They will love picking their own toppings to create their very own popcorn snack. Healthy and Fun for Everyone!
Here are a few fun recipe ideas to get you started:
The "Italians": oregano, fennel, red pepper flakes, marjoram, and basil tossed with olive oil
The "Simon & Garfunkel": parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme tossed with olive oil
Garlic powder tossed with melted butter or olive oil
Curry powder tossed with coconut oil
Smoked paprika tossed with olive oil
A packet of ranch dressing tossed with melted butter or olive oil (and you don't need much, just a tsp of this stuff goes a long way!)
Truffle oils (use sparingly)
Cheesy & Salty Seasonings
1Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (it's only about 23 calories!) tossed with butter or olive oil
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pesto tossed with olive oil
Japanese furikake seasonings tossed with olive oil
Flavored sea salts tossed with olive oil
Cinnamon & sugar: mix with 1tsp. melted unsalted butter or coconut oil and toss to coat.
Maple drizzle: mix together 1tsp. melted butter with 1tsp syrup and toss to coat.
Chocolate lovers: sprinkle 1Tbsp. mini chocolate chips when popcorn is hot and toss to coat.
Healthy tip - throw some popped kernels with spices and seasonings in a paper bag and shake it up to coat well. You can also add a teaspoon or so of olive or coconut oil (and yes even a smidge of melted unsalted butter) to help the spices stick.