Healthy Eating with Casey

April 5, 2012

With a master's degree in Nutrition and a passion for plant-based eating, WFM North Raleigh's healthy eating specialist, Casey Lynch, is here to help you find your path to healthy living.

This week: Casey shares flavorful ways to enjoy popcorn, and restores its status as a wholesome snack.

party popcorn
Photo by Sarah Shatz

- Casey

Who doesn’t love popcorn? Most individuals, both young and old, love buttery, salty, movie theatre popcorn. Unfortunately, all that butter and salt added to "traditional" popcorn increases the amount of calories and grams of fat in this popular snack. But what if I told you there are numerous ways to enjoy popcorn without feeling guilty?

Just this week, I tried a new recipe that is fun for the whole family: taco popcorn. I wanted something different; something that was delicious and full of flavor, yet low in fat. After some quick brainstorming, I popped a bag of no-salt, no-oil microwavable popcorn. While the popcorn was popping, I mixed some of my favorite taco spices in a small bowl: ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if you are short on time, you can always use a taco seasoning packet). Once the popcorn was done popping, I poured it into a large bowl and then lightly sprayed the popcorn with Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Then I sprinkled my homemade taco seasoning on top and tossed the popcorn until each little piece was evenly coated. In just five minutes, I had a flavor packed, guilt-free snack for my husband and me to enjoy!

If taco-flavored popcorn is not what your taste buds are craving, you can always sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of the popcorn for a cheesy, nutty flavor. Plus, nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12, which plays an important role in the functions of the brain and nervous system. Or you can mix your popcorn with walnuts, almonds, and raisins for a delicious popcorn trail mix. That is what’s so great about the oil-free, salt-free popcorn -- you can be as creative as you wish and come up with your own unique way to enjoy popcorn!

What's your favorite healthy seasoning for popcorn? Share your ideas and tips in the comments section below!

Like this post? See Casey's previous post: A Fruit-Filled Spring Salad.

Casey received her master's degree in Nutrition from North Carolina State University and is the healthy eating specialist at WFM North Raleigh.

casey lynch

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