We have a confession to make — we might be popcorn-aholics. It could be the nostalgic feeling eating it brings (throwback to movie nights on the couch when we were little) or the crunchy satisfaction and creative ways you can season it to transform it into whatever flavor you’re in the mood for. Or, the fact that popcorn is a healthy whole grain snack that is low in calories and high in volume. The truth is, it’s probably for all of those reasons that we find our kitchens running out of popcorn kernels more than we want to admit.
We’re not giving up this addiction any time soon, so we thought we’d share some of our favorite ways to enjoy popcorn in a healthy way — by adding flavorful toppings and using our easy microwave method to air pop popcorn.
For all of the recipes below, start with 3 tbsp. of unpopped kernels, then pop them using this brown paper bag microwave popcorn method. Add the following seasoning mixes and shake in the bag. It’s that simple!
Faux cheesy: Add 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast and 2 tsp. melted butter or olive oil. Note: if you’ve never tried nutritional yeast, the name alone might scare you away, but trust us, it’s delicious with a cheesy and nutty flavor. Plus, it’s loaded with B vitamins, fiber, and protein (a perfect addition if you’re a vegetarian!)
Parmesan, garlic and pepper: Combine 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper. Spray popped popcorn with canola or olive oil, then toss with the cheese mixture.
Cocoa-coconut: Combine 2 teaspoons cocoa powder with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Toss popcorn with 2 tsp. coconut oil immediately after cooking, then sprinkle with the cocoa topping and toss in the bag.
Garlic chili lime: Combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp. paprika. Spray popcorn with canola or olive oil while it’s hot and evenly coat. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime over popcorn and add seasoning mixture, tossing until combined.
Truffle: While popcorn is still warm, toss with 1 tbsp. truffle oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Pizza: Mix together 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 tsp paprika. Spray popcorn with olive oil while it’s hot and evenly coat, then toss with the seasoning mix.
Peanut butter and honey: Mix 1 tablespoon peanut butter with 2 teaspoons honey and 1 tsp vanilla. Melt in the microwave until warm, about 20 seconds, and toss over popcorn until coated. Spread popcorn out on a tray for a minute or so while the peanut butter dries.
We would love to hear your favorite popcorn toppings and favorite popcorn memories!