3 Ways to Keep Popcorn Healthy

April 10, 2015 Updated: April 18, 2015

Movie and microwave popcorn can be loaded with dreaded trans fats. In fact, that flavored concoction that blankets your kernels isn’t really butter at all. It’s partially hydrogenated oil, a buzzword for trans fats, making conventional popcorn far from a healthy snack.

Not to mention another chemical often found in microwave popcorn that’s been tied to Alzheimer’s disease. A study at the University of Minnesota found that diacetyl (DA) used to produce artificial buttery flavor leads to an increase in levels of beta-amyloid, which clumps together and has a toxic impact on nerve cells. Bottom line – popcorn can be a mess of chemicals if you don’t make it yourself. 

Here’s My Guide to Making Homemade Movie Popcorn:

1. Start off with organic popcorn kernels. 

Arrowhead Mills, Eden Foods, and Great Northern all make organic popcorn kernels. I also find them in the bulk bins at my local health foods store. Choosing organic kernels means they’re not GMO.

2. Cook your popcorn so that it stays fresh and crispy.

I use organic safflower oil rather than olive oil for popcorn because it allows for high heat. You can also use coconut oil, which gives the popcorn a slightly coconut flavor.  Add a tablespoon of oil to a medium-sized pot. Add in a few kernels and put the top back on.

Wait until the kernels pop before adding in the rest of the popcorn. If you put the kernels in as the popcorn is heating you get soggy popcorn that’s stale before you take your first bite. Coat the bottom of the pan with kernels. Shake the pot and listen for popping. Once the popping stops, remove from the heat immediately.

I love to add spirulina to popcorn. It looks like the green monster but my kids love the bright color. (Shutterstock)

3. Choose healthy movie popcorn toppings. 

I love to add spirulina to popcorn. It looks like the green monster but my kids love the bright color. Spirulina is a great source of protein, beta carotene, and iron. I also love to add nutritional yeast because it has a rich, buttery flavor. Nutritional yeast is also a source of protein and B12. 

I’ve also used organic beet sugar – it’s a less processed substitute for refined white sugar. Himalayan pink salt is a more natural way to salt your popcorn; it contains tons of minerals and trace minerals, including iodine, which is SO important for thyroid health. You can also melt any of Melt Organic‘s buttery spreads (original, honey or chocolate) to top your popcorn for an indulgent and delicious treat.

So yes, your homemade movie popcorn can really be a healthy snack!

This article was originally published on www.NaturallySavvy.com