When it comes to healthy eating habits, it seems the two most often talked about subjects are portion control and snacking. Portion control is a simple matter of quantity. Easy to understand, harder to practice, but still simple in reality. The other subject of snacking is another matter altogether.

So many snacks are packaged, processed, and unhealthy that more natural alternatives have made their way into our lives. That’s a good thing. What is bad is that too often an otherwise healthy snack gets paired up with other ingredients which now makes them unhealthy. A good example is the baked potato. Great source of nutrition–until you cover it in bacon, cheese, fat-laden sauces and so on.

There’s another great source of nutrition that has been tinkered with: Popcorn! In the old days, popcorn was always cooked over heat, usually in a standard covered pot. Now, Mom may have had it swimming in butter….so much that the saturated fat levels were startling!

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Movies or microwave

Fast forward to the movie theaters and their idea of popcorn: put it in a large trash can and sell it for more than the cost of the movie itself! Honestly….who can eat that-sized container of popcorn? Maybe that’s why the ENTIRE family shares the one “serving”, passing it down the seat row to everyone.

And have you ever had them add “butter”? I don’t know what that stuff is, but it’ll overtake the popcorn quickly. And we’re not even talking about the level of “salt” they dump on it!

Continue into the future and now we’re in the microwave world. Thousands of styles of popcorn there. Have you ever opened the “bag”, poured the popcorn into a serving bowl, then looked back at the bag? After it has cooled? You’re eating that disgusting sludge that left a smear of itself on the inside of that bag.

Are healthy popcorn toppings possible_2

How to make healthy popcorn toppings

Now, in reality, there have been some attempts at making “healthy” microwave popcorn but most of this type of snack is not as healthy as it could be. So here’s another alternative: Let’s go back to Mom’s kitchen and that standard covered pot on the stove.

Use good quality pure popcorn. But instead of drowning it in butter, simply grab your extra virgin olive oil and use it instead! Cover the bottom of the pot with a nice layer of oil, then add one layer of popcorn.

You won’t believe how smooth and nice this tastes. MUCH better than butter! Kind of “sweetens” the corn. The second topping is simply salt. Again, use good, natural sea salt, if available. I prefer to add the salt just after the olive oil….then add the corn.

Place on high heat until the popping starts, then reduce down to approximately 70% heat while shaking the pot back and forth to prevent scorching. After cooking, feel free to adjust salt and perhaps drizzle a bit more olive oil to taste. Serve immediately.

Now you have a really healthy snack. Enjoy!

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