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Food & Recipes

5 Healthy Popcorn Hacks Every Snacker Needs

So I’m hopelessly obsessed with popcorn.

Popcorn literally flows through my veins. I have a parrot who repeats the word “popcorn” incessantly. My Floridian grandmother worked as a popcorn girl at the movie theaters in 1960s, and I followed in her footsteps: My first job was also serving popcorn to moviegoers. And now here I am, in my apartment (which smells like a fine mix of cinnamon and popcorn), eating this glorious snack daily.

Popcorn is comfort food at its finest, but beware: we must be creative to achieve healthy popcorn recipes. Microwave popcorn is loaded with horrid preservatives and mountains of sodium, while homemade buttery popcorn may cause some extra pounds. So, what are popcorn enthusiasts to do? Get inventive. Here are five must-have popcorn hacks for nutritious popcorn. This snack has major potential to become your new superfood.

*Invest in an Air-Popper *

The healthiest way to eat popcorn is undoubtedly when it is air-popped. Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest start for special popcorn recipes — you can get incredibly creative with toppings and sauces. Invest in an air-popper and your popcorn addiction will thank you.

Flavored Salts are the New Butter

Flavored salts are one of the hottest culinary trends, so the options today are endless. Don’t waste your daily sodium allowance on table salt. From Peruvian Chili Salt to Savory Cinnamon, there are exotic salts that will make your popcorn experience thrilling.

Experiment with Nutritious Oils

Many of us foodies make the mistake of using butter or vegetable oil as our base for popcorn toppings. Besides Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I’m Italian, so I’m obliged to eat this daily), try experimenting with coconut, pumpkin, walnut, and avocado oils. You’ll find that certain oils work best with certain toppings, so remember to take note.

Store your Favorite Popcorn Toppings in Containers

You’re more likely to choose healthy toppings when they are ready at hand. I have four go-to spice containers filled with my favorite toppings. I usually take a 1-2 tablespoons of each and heat it up in the oil of my choosing, drizzle it on the popcorn and mix it all up. Here are my beloved combinations:

Cinnamon / Sugar / Nutmeg + Walnut Oil

Paprika / Lime Salt + Coconut Oil

Parmesan Cheese / Oregano / Garlic Salt + Olive Oil

Paprika / Oregano + Hot Sauce + Olive Oil

Stock up on Nutritional Yeast

I always add few dashes of nutritional yeast to my popcorn. The taste is lovely and the extra nutrition is an added bonus. This is just one more amazing way to make your popcorn habit a healthy one.

–by Kortney Gruenwald

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