Whether you’re jonesing for sweet or savory, you can turn homemade popcorn into a superstar snack.
When it’s not drenched in butter and salt, popcorn is surprisingly good for you. A generous three-cup serving has less than 100 calories, as much fiber as a cup of cooked brown rice, and more antioxidants than a day’s worth of fruits or vegetables, according to recent research
from the University of Scranton.
But it can get even better: Sprinkle on these health boosting toppings and you’ll have the perfect munchie treat.
In a small bowl, drizzle 3 cups popped popcorn with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle with
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese,
then toss well to coat evenly. Top with black pepper.
PER SERVING: 160 cal, 7 g fat (1.5 g sat), 19 g carbs, 80 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein
Melt 1 teaspoon extravirgin coconut oil over low heat in a small sauté pan for about 15 seconds, or microwave on High in a small glass dish for 30 seconds. Place 3 cups
popped popcorn in a small bowl and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with
1 finely chopped ring of dried pineapple,
2 teaspoons sweetened coconut flakes, and ⅛ teaspoon salt, then toss well to coat evenly.
PER SERVING: 220 cal, 7 g fat (5 g sat), 42 g carbs, 310 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein
In a small sauté pan, heat 1½ teaspoons canola oil, ½ teaspoon curry powder, ¼ teaspoon
ground chipotle or chili powder, and ⅛ teaspoon salt over a low flame and whisk gently for 1 to 2 minutes, until oil begins to bubble. Drizzle onto 3 cups popped popcorn in a small bowl, then toss well to coat evenly.
PER SERVING: 160 cal, 8 g fat (0.5 g sat), 20 g carbs, 290 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein
Place 3 cups popped popcorn in a small bowl and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon each dill and lemon zest, and ⅛ teaspoon salt, then toss well to coat.
PER SERVING: 140 cal, 6 g fat (1 g sat), 20 g carbs, 290 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein
Sugar ’n’ Spice
In a small bowl, drizzle 3 cups popped popcorn with 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil. Sprinkle with
1 teaspoon powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ⅛ teaspoon salt, then toss well to coat evenly.
PER SERVING: 150 cal, 6 g fat (0.5 g sat), 23 g carbs, 290 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein
In a small glass bowl, microwave 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips until just beginning to
melt (about 45 seconds). Mix well with a rubber spatula until chocolate is about three-quarters, of the way melted; some lumps should remain. Put 3 cups popped popcorn in a medium bowl and top with melted chocolate. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons dried cranberries and ⅛ teaspoon salt, then mix thoroughly. Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 minutes to harden chocolate.
PER SERVING: 210 cal, 6 g fat (3 g sat), 38 g carbs, 290 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
Each recipe serves one. Nutritional information based on air-popped popcorn.
How three cooking methods compare AIRPOPPER
HOW: Follow the machine’s instructions.
PRO: No oil—and no added calories.
CON: A popper costs at least $15 and takes up cabinet space.
HOW: Add 1½ heaping tablespoons of kernels to a tempered-glass microwave-safe bowl with a vented lid. Cook on High for 2 to 3 minutes. The bowl will be hot, so use oven mitts. Makes about 3 cups popped popcorn.
PRO: Cleanup is minimal; you can cook, top, and serve your snack in the same bowl.
CON: Fluffiness of pieces depends on wattage.
HOW: Add a scant 2 teaspoons of peanut or canola oil to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add 1½ heaping tablespoons of kernels. Replace lid and gently shake pot to heat evenly. When popping slows after 2 to 3 minutes, turn off heat. Wait 30 seconds before removing lid to allow kernels to finish popping. Makes about 3 cups.
PRO: Popcorn is very crisp and has rich flavor.
CON: The oil adds about 70 calories.
All Fitness ____By Rachel Meltzer Warren,