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6 Ways to Make Healthier Popcorn at Home

Popcorn is a healthy high-fiber, whole grain snack, but not all popcorn is the same. It depends on how it's prepared and and the ingredients you use. 

Here are 6 ways to make healthy popcorn at home & seasoning tips below:

1. Whirly-pop: Doing all this research, it was highly recommended by all the experts! I just ordered this one & plan to try it this weekend! The key is aluminum thin version for best heat conduction.   

2. Air-Fry: With NO oil, it's the most modern way top pop corn! Put ¼ cup popcorn kernels into the basket of your air fryer and cook at 400ºF for 5 minutes or until you no longer hear the kernels popping.

3. Microwave-Safe Popping Bowl: These bowls are made specifically for the job! I like products like this bowl because they are highly durable, heat resistant, BPA free and PVC free silicone so you can use little or no oil.

4. Air-popping: Requires an appliance called an air popper, which utilizes hot air rather than oil to pop the kernels. The hot air method results in less saturated fat than other methods. 

5. Microwave with paper bag: No oil to pop! In a brown-paper lunch bag, add 1/4c. to 1/3 c. corn kernels. Microwave on high 2-3 min micro on high. When you hear a 2-3 sec. gap in-between pops, pull it

6. Stovetop with oil: Is the most old-fashioned way, to pop corn without a specific popper. Use an 8-quart pot with matching lid and long handle. Place it on high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot, up to 3 tbs. I use coconut oil because it is healthy and gives the popcorn a buttery taste without actually using butter. Butter will burn, so you’ll want to use either avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil. 

Once the oil starts rippling but before it starts smoking, add the popcorn kernels, 3/4 cup. Shake the pot so that they form a single layer on the bottom of the pan.

Next, put a lid on your pan and immediately lower to med. heat. Once things get popping, shake the pan every so often as you listen to the pace of the popping: The kernels should pop rapid-fire and should continue as one long continuous burst. When there are only a few kernels popping at a time—remove from heat. 

Tips & Seasoning

Fresh Kernels taste best. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 6-12 months. Do not refrigerate. If you can find "heirloom" kernels, give them a try, the taste & experience is something you may find to be  uniquely & a little different!

Butter flavor use the real thing! Melt 1/4 c. clarified butter or ghee instead of regular butter. Both are simply normal butter with the water and milk solids removed, leaving behind pure butter fat. Pure butter fat has a more intense butter flavor. Pour melted ghee on top of popped corn and toss! 

Salt: GO SLOW! Add a little bit at a time! It's easy to over-salt. So add a bit and taste. You can always add more!

Variety: Try different types of salt and try flavored salts for variety, like garlic or onion salt. Or other powdered season mixes you enjoy!  Or try these creative flavor recipes from my favorite cooking site! 

Fresh herbs: Add to butter as it melts for flavor like thyme and oregano.  

Cheese: fresh is best! Parmesan cheese shredded over the popcorn! Avoid nutritional yeast for cheese flavor substitute if possible. Yeast can activate fat storage in the metabolism. 

Avoid: store bought pop-corn specific seasoning. There you will find sugar smuggles, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and yeast of any kind. 

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