Updated: Jan 16
Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks! Great anytime, it fills you up, soothes the crunch craving and most importantly it won't sabotage your healthy lifestyle goals. And from sweet to salty and savory to spicy, popcorn really satisfies, even the hard to please snack lover.
Did you know...1 C of air popped popcorn has just 31 calories? Yep and it boasts 1 gram of protein, 6 grams of complex carbs, and 1 gram of fiber! That means you can enjoy 3 to 4 cups of its crunchy goodness and still munch on a healthy snack under 150 calories.
Spices are an easy, affordable, and low calorie way to enhance popcorn flavor!
How you prepare your popcorn can result in a healthy living friend or foe. When considering pre-packaged store bought options be mindful to read nutrition labels carefully as many pre-made varieties are high in salt, sugar and other additives in an effort to boost flavor and extend shelf life. And just because it says "low-fat" or "low-calorie" doesn't mean it's healthy!
I recommend popping your own for fresh and full flavor. An air popper works great (and you can usually pick one up for around $20) or you pop a batch right on your stove in a medium sized non-stick pot with a touch of your favorite cooking oil to lightly coat the bottom (so kernels won't stick and burn).
Once your corn is popped the real fun begins - time to add fun flavor! This is also a great activity to involve any kiddos in your household. They will love picking their own fun toppings to create their very own tasty popcorn snack.
Here are a few fun and tasty 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 teaspoon of this stuff goes a long way!)
Truffle oil (use sparingly)
Cheesy & Salty
1 Tbsp. 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 1 tsp. melted unsalted butter or coconut oil and toss to coat.
Maple drizzle: mix together 1 tsp. melted butter with 1tsp syrup and toss to coat.
Chocolate lovers: sprinkle 1 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips when popcorn is hot and toss to coat.
Healthy tip: throw some fresh popcorn in a paper bag and sprinkle in seasonings, close the bag and shake well to coat. Add a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil as needed to help spices stick.
Are you are a woman who is ready to live healthier and happier, ditch the diet, and discover small steps that make a big impact so you can live a life you love in a body you are proud of? Come join me inside my women’s-only Facebook Group - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy women go for tips, tools and support so they can stress less, eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!