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How to cook healthy and tasty popcorn

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Did you know that you can make healthy and tasty popcorn at home in a simple, quick, and cheap way? However, you should do it the right way to avoid ingesting large amounts of salt, fat, and sugar.

Do you only eat popcorn when you go to the movies? Do you buy this snack pre-popped, or are you one of those people who uses the microwave to pop a bag yourself? Did you know that you can also prepare healthy and tasty popcorn at home in a simple, quick, and cheap way? The best thing about this is that you can control your portions and the amount of salt and fat in your popcorn.

In this article, we are going to share some tips on how to make this tasty snack at home. In the sections below, you’ll find ideas for how you can give your popcorn a new twist, and we’ll also take a closer look at its nutritional value.

The nutrients and benefits of popcorn

This tasty snack, which is so famous and popular all over the world, consists of corn. There is a special type of corn that “pops” when exposed to heat. In other words, it is a healthy food that has a high nutritional value and also certain health benefits :

  • Popcorn mainly consists of carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) per 100 grams.
  • It also provides B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.
  • In addition, popcorn contains polyphenols with antioxidant effects, which protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Popcorn contains a considerable amount of fiber. Studies have shown that eating popcorn regularly reduces the risk of certain health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary heart disease, jaundice, diabetes, and obesity.
  • This snack can help reduce your body weight when you let it replace other snacks with more calories. Also, popcorn is more filling than french fries.

All these properties depend on the nutrients that the corn kernels contain. Therefore, it is good as a snack, if you eat it in moderation and in its natural form.

It is best to hold back on additives such as chocolate, honey, or cheese, and only add these on special occasions. When you eat popcorn as an everyday snack, you can give it a tasty touch with the help of oregano, spices, or a little cocoa powder.

How do you prepare healthy and tasty popcorn at home?

Three basic ingredients and three steps are all it takes to pop popcorn. They are not hard to come by and they have a long shelf life. That way, they are always available if you suddenly feel the urge to eat something salty.

Necessary ingredients

The first step is to get hold of corn kernels that are suitable for popcorn popping. This aspect is important because not all corn can “pop”.

You can find the right type in most grocery stores and sometimes in stores where you can buy dry goods in bulk.

The other two ingredients you need are salt and a little extra virgin olive oil. This is the most recommended type of oil, as it can withstand high temperatures and is a healthy option you can find in most stores.

Kitchen utensils

Here again, the list is short and simple. To make popcorn at home, all you need is a large saucepan or pot with a lid. The corn must have enough space to grow because the volume multiplies when the popcorn pops. To serve the final product, you need a large or several small bowls.

The three steps to making healthy and tasty popcorn

This is the basic way to make popcorn. Once you’ve popped them, you can customize the recipe in many ways and create endless variations. The recipe below will give you a large bowl of popcorn that will make about four servings. If you really love popcorn, you may want to increase the amounts slightly:

  1. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil into your pot. This amount is needed to create enough steam. Place the plate on medium heat.
  2. Add 1 deciliter of popcorn. Mix with the oil and shake occasionally until it starts to color a little. Cover it with a lid and let it start to pop.
  3. You will hear the characteristic popcorn sound after about two minutes. At this point, you should shake the pan a bit to shake the unpopped corn down against the heat. Let the pan stand for a while. But if smoke comes out from under the lid, lower the heat.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat when the popping sound becomes less frequent. Then remove the lid so that the popcorn does not become soft.
  5. Pour immediately into a bowl or serving dish.

Give your popcorn a personal touch

Plain popcorn with a little salt is in itself a tasty and aromatic snack that is hard to resist. But many enjoy exploring new combinations and flavors. Meanwhile, others eat it so often that they want more variety. Regardless of what suits you, it’s easy to add flavor to popcorn with different seasonings.

Everyone has their favorite combinations, of course, but here are some ideas that add a special touch:

  • Cheese flavor: Just spray with a little oil (preferably with a spray bottle) and grate parmesan cheese on top. Nutritional yeast is a similar vegan option.
  • Chilli powder or chili flakes for those who love snacks that have a bit of heat.
  • Mixed spices: Here, only your imagination and your personal taste set the limits. You can choose pepper, turmeric, curry, masala, etc.
  • Vinaigrette: Just prepare a simple vinaigrette, or add any ingredient to the vinaigrette that you like, such as mustard or honey. Pour into a spray bottle and spray over your popcorn.
  • For those who love sweets: Just melt some of your favorite chocolate and mix it with pre-popped popcorn. You can also try sprinkling some cocoa powder on your popcorn.

Popping healthy and tasty popcorn at home is easy

To make homemade popcorn, you just need the right kind of dried corn, as well as salt and oil. You can pop them in any pot with a lid. Just make sure it’s big enough, as the corn kernels need room to grow. In just a few minutes you have tasty snacks to enjoy!

Popcorn is also very popular when popped at home, as it can be a healthy option to eat between meals. Even if you follow a diet to lose weight, it is possible to include some popcorn at some point. With the right ingredients and without overdoing the salt and oil, you can enjoy popcorn guilt-free!

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