Celebrate the End of a Long Week with Popcorn

chicago popcorn day
Whether you like it salty, sweet, or loaded with melted butter, few snacks are as diverse and health as popcorn.  While it seems like every snack that tastes good is bad for a person, this versatile treat is the true exception, as it's loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and is safe for those who may have minor digestive issues.

In honor of Popcorn Day (yep, it's really a holiday), we'd like to explore the do's and don'ts of how this snack can be a regular part of any diet.  But let's get past some misconceptions, as these things can happen to the best of us.  Okay, let's go!

You're in the mall and after a long day of looking for that special something and finding it for less than expected (winning)...you decide that a post-lunch snack wouldn't be such a bad thing.  I mean, it's better than having that extra fancy coffee drink or cinnamon rolls drenched in butter and cream cheese icing, right?

Well, if the popcorn is covered with caramel, fudge, or copious amounts of powdered cheese, chances are strong that a bag that stands more than a foot tall will help with your mall workout.  In fact, making homemade ice cream may be a better bet.  Additionally, like most mall food, not everything is fresh.

Let's just say that you can learn things when talking that early morning stroll inside the mall before it officially opens.

Making healthy popcorn at home does not mean eating corn-flavored styrofoam.  There are some ways anyone can be creative without breaking the calorie count by too much.  You can try -

  1.  Cooking in flavored oil, like garlic, hot pepper, or rosemary.  Or use olive or sesame oil as a butter substitute.
  2.  Use raw honey as a substitute for caramel or chocolate.  These days, hot honey is the latest foodie rage but you can learn to make your own here.
  3.  Mix in a few roasted nuts like cashews, pecans, or walnut halves.  These can up the fiber ante and with your favorite water, can make you feel fuller after a couple of bites.
Lastly, popcorn is pretty economical.  Buy it in bulk and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Also, it's healthier than the those little bags that have been sitting in oil for months.