Making Popcorn A Healthy Snack

Popcorn: don’t we love it?

I hope your popcorn passion isn’t inspired by its rep as a good “diet” food, because – sorry – it really isn’t.  Corn is not a vegetable, but a high glycemic grain.  Essentially, most popcorn is a lot of starchy carbs and unhealthy fat. And if it’s from a microwave bag or a movie theatre concession, it’s definitely not healthy.
But we luurrvve!  popcorn.  So how can we make it a healthy, balanced treat?
Why, just follow one of my two recipes, of course!  I’m all about modifying what we enjoy to make it work as part of a healthy diet. The secret with popcorn is to make it yourself, either in healthy oil, or with an air popper, using beneficial adn nourishing fats and some protein to keep it more balanced nutritionally.  And of course I recommend using organic non-GMO popcorn.
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds mix well with popcorn, and add the protein you need to make it more balanced. Do it this way, and you’ve got a snack that meets my “virtuous indulgence” criteria.

1. Use raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, about a half cup, and heat them in a small dry saute pan on low for a few minutes.
Add spices.  My favorite combination is cumin seeds, curry powder, red pepper, and Himalyan salt, but there are many mixes that work: Italian seasonings like oregano, thyme and basil; cinnamon or fennel if you like a slightly sweeter flavor; or use packaged dry herb mixes like Mexican, Indian or Thai. When the mix is aromatic, and the seeds are slightly crunchy, add some healthy oil: coconut, walnut, grapeseed, or olive are great.  You can also add in a little ghee, or butter from pasture fed cows.  Just let everything melt and mix together, then remove from heat.
Air poppers are easy, simple, and cheap. I’ve had mine for at least 15 years and it’s still going strong.  Mine is a lot like this one.

Let it run for a minute to heat up, then add your popcorn and a big bowl under the chute.  Spoon in the seed and oil mix as the bowl fills up. Stir.  Enjoy!

2. Roast your seeds, as above, but in a heavy pot. Then add enough organic coconut oil to cover the bottom. Use medium low heat. Remember that virgin coconut oil will have a strong coconut flavor, so if you don’t want that, use regular organic, not virgin. Once the oil is melted, add enough kernels to just cover the bottom, and cover tightly. Shake the pot a few times as the kernels start to pop. Once they slow down significantly, remove from heat and enjoy thoroughly!

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