Popcorn is the ideal healthy snack: tasty and loaded with whole grain and fiber. In fact, 1 cup of popcorn provides as much fiber as a large apple. Unfortunately, most of the convenient microwave popcorn is also loaded with artificial ingredients, sodium and calories. The good news? You can have the convenience of microwave popcorn without all the junk! Make your own to save both money and your health.
A registered dietitian who I work with showed me this fun trick to making your own. First, start with around 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels and place in the bottom of a brown lunch bag. Then add 1 tsp of olive or canola oil and any seasonings that you would like (Check out Erin’s The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook for great recipes such as Cajun & Pizza Popcorn). Shake the bag well. You can also skip the oil altogether to save on calories. If you choose to skip the oil, wait to add the seasonings until after the popcorn is popped.
Fold the brown paper bag over several times tightly. Microwave using your microwave’s popcorn setting. Stop cooking the popcorn once there are 1-2 seconds between pops. If you didn’t add oil, use a spray margarine (such as I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter) and then add your seasonings. This version will only contain 25 calories and 5 grams of fiber per cup! The cost? Only around 25 cents for 8 cups!
What is your favorite seasoning for popcorn?