Popcorn as a Healthy Snack

Popcorn as a healthy snack, instead of a decadent, guilty pleasure, may sound like a great idea in theory, but you may worry that some deliciousness might get lost in the “healthy” process. Not to worry! The method you use to pop your popcorn has the greatest effect on whether or not your popcorn is a healthy snack. By using the best popping methods and adding some nutritious ingredients to your popcorn, you’ll have a healthy and delicious snack in your hands in no time.

To make popcorn a healthy snack, the most important thing to remember is to avoid refined seeds oils or trans-fats for popping your popcorn. Instead of using canola, corn, or vegetable oil (which can lead to inflammation and atherosclerosis), use an air popper or pop your popcorn in whole, healthy fats like ghee, coconut oil, olive oil or butter. These types of fats are less prone to oxidation and they don’t throw off the important essential fatty acid balance in your body.  

Once you’ve improved your popping method, use the ideas below to make you popcorn a sweet or  savory snack, naturally loaded with antioxidants and other important nutrients:

Popcorn with a dash of dark chocolate. Think popcorn is as “guilty” as it gets? Add on some dark decadence by tossing a few ounces of dark chocolate in a pot and heating it. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate over your air-popped popcorn for a burst of antioxidants and sticky-sweet deliciousness, sans the fat and carbs of heavy oils or margarine.

Healthy popcorn with a little sass. Add a dash of lemon juice and ¼ peppercorn to 3-4 cups of popcorn and toss for a little extra zing to your bowl without adding on guilt. 

Popcorn as a healthy snack and a party mix. Mix up a little fun by filling a bowl half-full of air-popped popcorn, then add ¼ cup of almond slivers, ¼ cup of banana chips, and ¼ cup of dried cranberries or raisins for a healthy snack medley that’s big on health and flavor. The perfect snack idea for you next get together.

Popcorn with cheese. What snack is just as beloved as popcorn? Cheese! Now you can pair these two snack favorites by shredding some white cheddar (made with milk from grass-fed cows) over your freshly popped popcorn. The heat from the newly popped kernels will help melt the cheese into the corn for a protein, vitamin and mineral infused snack blend that’s sure to please your taste buds.

A healthy popcorn snack with a spicy kick. If you like your snacks low-calorie and with a lot of heat, air-pop a serving of popcorn, then sprinkle on hot sauce sauce, shake and serve. This recipe is sure to please anyone who likes their popcorn with a side of nearly calorie-free fire.

Extra sweet and extra healthy popcorn. Drizzle honey over 3 cups of popcorn, then add ¼ tsp cinnamon and toss for added antioxidants and minerals — guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Popcorn with extra savory goodness. Add ¼ tsp of garlic powder and ½ tsp of rosemary to 3 cups of popcorn and toss for a pop of hearty flavor without added fat or calories.

Popcorn as a healthy snack is a great idea for anyone who wants to lose the unhealthy fats and high-sodium that usually comes standard with a bowl of this savory popped treat. Try any of these simple recipes to knock out the health-sabotaging, fattening toppings and enjoy popcorn as a snack that’s packed with health and more flavor than ever.

Sources for “Popcorn As a Healthy Snack:” 

Originally posted 2013-12-11 14:25:47.

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