Once you pop…

No, this isn’t a post about Pringles.  Sorry!  But it is about popcorn, which happens to be one of my favorite snack foods.  I’m not a huge snacker anymore, but Friday and Saturday nights beg to have a big bowl of popcorn in your lap while you watch a movie.  I don’t have a recipe for you this Friday per say, but I do have a few ways that you can enjoy popcorn as a healthy (yes, healthy) and delicious snack.

First, let me be clear and say when I talk about popcorn I am NOT talking about movie theater popcorn covered in “butter” and salt nor am I talking about microwave popcorn that is also covered in “butter”.  I am talking about buying the actual kernels of corn and popping them yourself.  Before you stop reading and move on to other things because making popcorn yourself takes way too much time and energy, let me assure you it really doesn’t.  Making your own popcorn is a fairly simple and easy process.  The easiest way to make healthy and totally customizable popcorn is to pop it using an air popper and then add your own toppings.  This is how I make my popcorn and it is as easy as measuring out your popcorn, pouring it into the machine, and turning it on.  That’s it.  No extra oils or additives just delicious popcorn.  Most air poppers are fairly inexpensive and will last you a long time too.

Popcorn made in my air popper. Yum!

Popcorn made in my air popper. Yum!

Another way to make popcorn is on the stovetop.  In a large pot, heat a little oil (coconut oil is really good for this) and add in your kernels.  Shake the kernels occasionally and as the oil heats up your kernels will start to pop.  I’ve done this a few times and I recommend you make sure you keep an eye on the popcorn because once the kernels start to pop, it can get a little crazy.  If you’re not watching you might have a kitchen full of popcorn, which might not be a bad thing…..

For those of you who like to just put a bag of popcorn in the microwave and hit go, you can still do that too.  Place your popcorn into a paper bag and roll it closed.  Use the popcorn setting on your microwave and you’re good to go.  No added chemicals or preservatives, just popcorn!

Now that you know how easy it is to make popcorn on your own, how about some topping ideas? You can add pretty much anything your little heart desires and that is what makes popcorn such a great snack.  You can customize it to whatever craving you have at that time! For toppings try:

  • Salt and pepper. A classic flavor and really yummy
  • Garlic powder and Italian seasonings. A very savory treat
  • Nutritional yeast.  A healthy way to add a cheesy flavor and one of my favorite toppings
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg.  A nice and light sweet flavor
  • Pumpkin Pie spice.  Who doesn’t like all things pumpkin?
  • Dark chocolate or cocoa nibs.  Chocolate is a great popcorn topping.  Melt it first and drizzle it or add chips while your popcorn is hot and make melty clusters.
  • Cajun seasoning.  Like spicy? Then try some cajun or creole seasonings
  • Honey and peanuts. Ok, this might sound weird but this combo tastes an awful lot like cracker jacks.  Add in some warm honey and peanuts to your popcorn and stir to combine everything

There are seriously endless ideas when it comes to popcorn toppings.  Popcorn is a great snack that is light, fills you up, and satisfies the need to munch on something while relaxing at home.  So give homemade popcorn a try and see why I absolutely LOVE a nice big bowl of popcorn on the weekends!