With all the media attention on nutrition these days, it can sometimes be a challenge to weed out the good from the bad…..what may seem like a decent snack may actually be loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

In addition, many good foods get a bad rap when the reality is that the core food itself is fine however the “added” ingredients are what make it bad. A good example of this is the potato.

Many think baked potatoes are bad for you when actually it’s just the butter, cheese, bacon bits, etc. that turn this otherwise good food into something to avoid!

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One other popular snack is treated much the same…POPCORN!

Now, this is one of the most basic foods. There is some discussion regarding whether or not “corn” is good for you. Well, corn itself is a very good source of nutrition.

The main problems here would be serving quantity and method of cooking.

Eating a small bowl of popcorn is a marvelous snack.

Eating a giant garbage can bowl is a bit too much obviously so pay attention to what we call “Portion Control”!

Regarding the method of cooking…here is where mistakes are really made. Slathering on a load of butter is probably not a good idea. Margarines are worse!

Still worse are those microwave packs that are loaded with chemicals. Some prefer air popcorn and that is fine, although may taste a bit bland.

Here’s a great idea that, believe it or not, most people haven’t thought of: Try cooking popcorn in olive oil.

is popcorn a healthy snack2

Here’s how to do it:

Using a large covered saucepan on a stovetop, dribble extra virgin olive oil until the bottom of the pan is fully covered. Sprinkle a bit of salt in as well. Next, add popcorn kernels until the oiled bottom is fully covered. Do not pile more than one layer.

Heat on High until it starts to pop, then reduce heat slightly. Shake pan while cooking. Popping should only take about a minute or so, perhaps less.

Once finished, remove from heat, open lid slightly to allow steam to escape, then empty into a bowl. You can dribble a bit more olive oil and even a small sprinkling of salt (not too much salt!) You will find that the olive oil actually sweetens the corn a bit…very subtly.

This is a delightful, tasty way to prepare popcorn. Once you’ve tried this, you may never go back to the old microwave bag! Enjoy!

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