The explosive fashion of eating popcorn has to be understood if you plan to include it in your diet as a healthy snack. It is only as healthy as the way you cook it and serve it – so if you cook it in butter and cover in sugar, it should be considered a treat.
If you have a popcorn maker like ours that uses hot air to cook it and then eat it plain, it is very healthy as a full cup only has 30 calories. If you are looking for a good source of fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin B, manganese and magnesium, then popcorn is the snack for you.
Freshly popped popcorn can last days in an air tight container so you can be super organised, cook a big batch at the weekend ready for adding to the whole family’s lunch boxes throughout the week. Making popcorn is so much fun that this can easily be something you get the teenagers to do, make sure you show them a few times and then be nearby just in case.
If you don’t have a popcorn maker, you can simply pour kernels in a paper bag and fold top over a few times and microwave until popping stops. Saucepans also make great popcorn, but you will need oil or butter for this. Choose one with a glass lid so the children can see the explosions – this always gets some exciting screams and loads of laughing!
It’s a tradition that requires healthy ideals to be ignored just a little because everyone loves the classic buttered or sugar-covered warm popcorn in front of the TV. Or maybe you have a savoury tooth and use toppings like herbs, cheese, spices or garlic to flavour it. If you do love the sweet version here is a link to the most gourmet popcorn recipes we’ve found. Which flavour makes you want to head into the kitchen? Mint chocolate, marsh mellow peanut or gingerbread caramel crunch?
The last thing we need to share with you on the subject of popcorn is using it as an ingredient. A couple of interesting savoury ideas: adding to granola, whether for breakfast or in bars, or using as topping for soups as a healthier alternative to croutons! The sweet ideas are endless – rocky road, sprinkles on ice cream/doughnuts, a thick crunchy layer on top of a decadent chocolate brownie.
What is your preferred way to eat it? Popcorn is so versatile you won’t need much persuasion to cook up a batch.