Everyone loves popcorn. However, a bag of microwavable movie theater popcorn slathered in butter and salt isn’t the healthiest snack for you. Luckily, there are many different tricks to make popcorn healthier.
Here’s how to make healthy popcorn that tastes good:
- Avoid most microwave popcorn
- Make your popcorn on the stove
- Use healthy oils
- Measure portion sizes
- Use less butter
- Choose healthy seasonings and toppings
Plenty of the toppings that we add to popcorn are delicious, but not healthy. However, plain popcorn doesn’t taste that great. If you want to discover more ways to make healthy, delicious tasting popcorn, be sure to continue reading!
1. Why Microwave Popcorn May Not Be A Healthy Choice?
If you are looking for healthy popcorn most microwave popcorn is loaded with extra calories, additives and salt in the form of toppings and additives.
There are some microwave popcorn options that are healthy but the buttery taste is missing. If you pop the healthy microwave popcorn you can alter the taste by spraying melted butter to give you that taste you like and you control the calories. You can also add some healthy seasonings, like garlic and herb to give you some flavor.
Your best bet for yummy popcorn that you can control the calories is to pop it yourself on the stove. Air popcorn gives you the most flexibility for counting calories as it is not popped in oil or butter but it lacks that taste/texture that most people crave.
Tip: You can use a brown paper bag to make popcorn in the microwave. Mix 1 teaspoon oil with 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels in a bowl to coat the kernels. Place the popcorn in a brown paper lunch sack and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Fold the bag top over 2 times to secure the contents. Put in the microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Slowly open the bag to allow the steam to exit the bag and pour in a bowl and serve.
If you are curious if the Salbree Microwave Popcorn Popper is worth it read the article as it is another way to make healthy microwave popcorn.
Note: Never look into a bag of microwave popcorn after it has been cooked to avoid the steam and kernels still hot that could pop out
2. Why Popping Popcorn On The Stove Is Healthy?
When you make your popcorn on the stove, you can control the portions of oil or butter that go into the popcorn. Plus, you can add a single serving to the pot, making it easier not to over-snack.
Popping corn on the stove is also very quick, as it usually takes under 10 minutes at most. You already have the equipment you need at home since all you need is a pot with a lid and some healthy oils.
How To Pop Popcorn On the Stove
Making popcorn on the stove is easy. You can make your homemade popcorn in three easy steps:
- Add oil and a couple kernels and when they pop, add the remaining kernels and cover.
- Shake the pot on the stove every few seconds to avoid burning the popcorn. Remove your pot from the heat if the kernels begin to take longer than three seconds between pops.
- Pour the popcorn into a bowl of your choice and add healthy seasonings.
3. Why Use Healthy Oils When Popping Popcorn?
To make popcorn, you need to use some oils. Plenty of oils are available that use healthy fats, which help keep you full and satisfied after your snack.
You should use healthy oils for popping your kernels so that you don’t add unhealthy fats and more calories to your snack. Extra virgin olive oil or coconut are healthy, and you don’t need to use a lot of it to make your popcorn taste good.
Remember, if you use an oil that’s high in fat, you’re adding unhealthy ingredients back to your popcorn.
4. Why Is Portion Sizes of Popcorn Important?
You should measure portion sizes to avoid extra calories. You can also measure the popcorn once you’ve popped it and add it to your bowl. Measuring portion sizes ensures you’re taking a healthy serving.
If you make popcorn yourself, it’s a very low-calorie snack. Often, 1 cup (8 g) of popcorn has less than 50 calories (209.2 joules) in it. Measuring portions is essential since the calories can add up fast when you add your toppings.
If you are counting calories then make sure you look at your portion sizes. Eating less popcorn but adding toppings is a way to get the flavor you want without over indulgence and keeping calories at bay.
5. Should You Use Less Butter On Your Popcorn?
You should use less butter when adding your toppings because it can add more salt and calories. Best thing is to use a oil sprayer to spray melted butter on your popcorn for even distribution.
You can still add butter just make sure you measure it out so you know how many calories you are adding to your popcorn.
Overall, you don’t have to avoid butter completely to be healthy, but you want to use less of it. When you make your snacks at home, you can add a healthy amount of butter with ease.
6. What Is A Healthy Seasoning To Use With Popcorn?
You can choose healthier seasonings for toppings, Some toppings include spices, vinegar, dill, and even hot sauce.
Just because you’re eating healthy popcorn doesn’t mean that it can’t be flavorful. A small amount of cheese can even add protein to your snack.
Many people don’t like plain popcorn, and that’s okay. A tiny bit of seasoning, and a pinch of salt, can go a long way. It’s also fun to experiment with different popcorn flavors. I’m sure that you’ll find one you love using the seasonings you have in your kitchen right now.
You can add taco seasoning, vinegar, dill and even hot sauce for a kick of flavor. Open up a ranch dressing packet and sprinkle 2 tablespoons to your popcorn for a quick tasty win. Read the article, 11 Ways To Flavor Your Popcorn – just avoid the recipes with the sugar
Tip: When adding dry seasoning, it will adhere to the popcorn easier if you lightly spray butter or oil on your popcorn and then add the seasoning, tossing as you add. Do not spray a lot of butter or oil, only a light spray will do the trick and still keep from adding too many extra calories.
In short, there are so many different ways to make your popcorn healthy and delicious at home. You can use less butter and add healthy seasonings. Preparing your popcorn on the stove gives you that tasty and crunchy mouth watering feeling that air popcorn doesn’t quite match.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, you don’t need to give up popcorn. A few simple changes can turn this salty, buttery snack into a healthy treat. Just remember you can still eat salt and butter on your popcorn just use a lot less of both.
Overall, popcorn is a versatile snack! I’m sure you’ll find a recipe that you love for your next movie night at home.