Popcorn- the ultimate snack food…my personal favorite too. Salty, crunchy goodness, and it comes in yummy flavors to fit whatever mood you’re in. BUT , because it is such a popular snack food, it’s mass production has turned from natural to…less than natural. Many microwave versions are filled with “butter” that isn’t butter at all- its hydrogenated oil and chemicals to add flavor and color….not so yummy. And on top of the artificial ingredients, the calorie counts can get pretty ridiculous with all of the oils and “butters” drowning the kernels.
Oh and don’t even get me started on movie theater popcorn! Even though many big name theaters are now using coconut oil to pop the snack, they load it up with that fake butter stuff, and enough salt to dry out anyone, which results in super high calorie and fat contents. The average small, unbuttered popcorn at the theater will cost you 250-350 calories and 10-22 grams of fat. A medium, cranks you up to 420 calories and 27 grams of fat….and a large…OVER 1,000 calories and 41 grams of fat!! And these are without that extra “butter” stuff. Not very light. That being said, these popcorn varieties taste great- they are meant to- but there are ways to make popcorn at home and eliminate all the bad stuff, while keeping that perfect popcorn flavor!
Because I love popcorn so much, I wanted an alternative to the microwave and theater versions. I tried popping it in a heavy pot on the stove, which works, but sometimes it would burn. Enter: the air popper. When I discovered it, I was shocked I didn’t know about it sooner!! And surprised that everyone wasn’t already using them!!
Air popped popcorn has only 25 calories per cup and is filled with fiber- making it a good snack choice
It’s the simplest, healthiest way to make popcorn because it doesn’t use any oil to pop the kernels, just air! And you can season it however you want- you can get pretty creative. Oh, and its super cheap- the one I have cost me less than $20! It comes with its own little measuring cup, so its easy to know exactly how much to put into the machine.
I make popcorn at home all the time now- when we have guests over, I’ll make a seasoned popcorn and set it out for people to snack on and it’s always a huge hit. Sometimes I will toss in some dried cranberries or nuts to jazz it up a bit.
My go to seasoning is coconut oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Here’s how I make it:
Sea Salt Cracked Pepper Popcorn
1 scoop of popcorn kernels for the air popper
Pepper grinder with fresh peppercorns
Coconut oil spray- I use Pam or Trader Joes versions
Place kernels in the air popper, place a large bowl under the popcorn flow area and turn on the popper. Now wait…Once the kernels start turning into popcorn, be ready with your coconut oil spray. As the popcorn flows out, I hit it with the coconut oil spray, so its evenly sprayed by the time the popper is finished doing its job. Turn off the popper and then spray a little more coconut oil on top. I use the coconut oil spray because if you melt coconut oil and pour it on, it tends to make the popcorn soggy. Next, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper while turning the bowl and lightly shaking to coat all of it as evenly as possible. Serve! Super simple, but super yummy. Something about the coconut oil and the pepper really makes it..pop!