25 Easy, Delicious Ways to Flavor Popcorn Without Salt
Swap the chemical- and sodium-laden microwave bag for a sweet, savory, or spicy healthy homemade snack
The next time you pop in a movie, rethink your snack habit: Even if you split the bag of microwave popcorn, you’ll down 20 percent of your daily allotment of sodium—plus oftentimes trans fat and scary preservatives or colorings. And OD’ing on sodium has been linked to higher blood pressure, heart disease, stomach cancer, and weak bones, in addition to water retention and bloating.
That doesn’t mean you have to swap your treat for plain air-popped corn. Virtuous as it is—three cups provides as much fiber as a cup of cooked brown rice and more antioxidants than a serving of fruit or vegetables for less than 100 calories—it’s also pretty bland. Luckily that blank canvas means it’s perfect for crafting a snack to satisfy your craving, whether that’s savory, spicy, or sweet.
These mouthwatering ideas from top nutritionists, food bloggers, and healthy chefs are so good, you’ll start having movie night more often. Simply pour 3 cups freshly popped corn into a bowl, then slowly add the toppings while stirring continuously with a spatula so every piece is coated.
RELATED: Popcorn will fill you up without filling you out. Meet three other snacks that will help you lose weight.
Parmesan Parsley: Toss with 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh parsley. –Lara Englebardt Metz, R.D., of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life in New York City
Truffles: Drizzle with 1 teaspoon truffle oil and 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss. –Renée Loux, green expert, organic chef, culinary art teacher, and author of The Balanced Plate
Italian: Spray with olive-oil cooking spray and toss with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. –Carol Kicinski, Simply...Gluten Free food blogger and author of Simply...Gluten Free Quick Meals
Sesame: Drizzle with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and nori seaweed. Can’t find it in your grocery? Use 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds). –Loux
Orange Rosemary: Toss with 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon orange zest, and 1 dash garlic powder. –Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D., author of the New York Times best seller S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim
Vegan Cheese: Drizzle with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. –Kicinski
Lemon Pepper: Toss with 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorn and 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest. –Sass