Why This Homemade Popcorn is a Healthy Salty Snack
Popcorn is my favorite salty snack. My weakness for it is stronger than any amount of knowledge: no matter the number of calories in a tub of theater popcorn or the weird-sounding chemicals in a bag from the microwave, like Veruca Salt, I want it now.
Luckily, popcorn kernels are a whole grain. In fact, according to one study, “One serving of popcorn provides more than 70% of your daily suggested intake of whole grains.” Researchers also discovered that popcorn contains extremely high levels of polyphenols – plant chemicals that are loaded with antioxidants that may protect your body from cell and tissue damage linked to heart disease and certain cancers.
Why You Should Pop Your Own
Unfortunately, even “healthy” versions of microwave popcorn break nearly every food rule I have (most microwave popcorn is technically vegan, if you are okay with the fake butter flavor being responsible for causing an untreatable–and fatal–lung illness in popcorn factory workers).
There are unpronounceable preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, microwaved plastic, trans fats, and crazy amounts of sodium, not to mention that corn is one of the most genetically modified crops on the planet. None of these things are good for any human, let alone a human who runs.
I want to not care how, but I do. So I found the most excellent way to make microwave popcorn. Three ingredients, no special equipment, and one button (assuming your microwave has a “POPCORN” setting). The results have movie theater taste and zero guilt–not to mention a good dose of fiber and healthy fat. Even my son, who hates all other popcorn, likes “my” popcorn.
- 1/4 cup organic popping corn
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- sea salt, to taste
- brown paper lunch bag
Healthy Popcorn Instructions
- Add popcorn to lunch bag.
- Fold top of lunch bag over about 1/2 inch. Fold over again.
- Staple bag shut at edges of fold–only one on each edge, for a total of two staples. (I know your mom told you to never put metal in the microwave. But the staples are far enough apart on the edges of the bag that the microwaves cannot arc between them.)
- Place the bag in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. (I use my microwave’s popcorn setting, and it is perfect). Whatever you do, stay by the microwave. I know three minutes seems like forever. It is not forever. Meditate. Stand in tree pose. Stretch your hamstrings. Just stay there. Burnt popcorn is bad popcorn. Listen for space between the pops. When there are about 5 seconds between pops, remove the bag from the microwave.
- Tear open the bag and dump contents into a big bowl. Add coconut oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss with your hands. Lick your fingers.
Make this the next time you’re craving something salty, but also want to eat healthy!