Popcorn is my secret weapon!

Yum! Makes me hungry just looking at it!

Yum! Makes me hungry just looking at it!

I have always been a popcorn fanatic. Since I was a young girl I can remember my dad popping a big pan of popcorn on the stove and pouring melted butter over the top. We would watch movies and eat handfuls of that crackly, salty, delicious popcorn. He would also pop pans and pans of popcorn, pour butter on it, and we would take it in big paper bags to the drive-in. Sitting in the back seat in the dark, watching a movie with my family, and eating that wonderful popcorn out of a paper bag greasy with butter is one of my favorite childhood memories.

Me and my Whirly Pop! A match made in heaven!

Me and my Whirly Pop! A match made in heaven!

It is no surprise that I am still a big fan of popcorn. My step-mom bought me a popcorn popper called a whirly pop (I love that name), which is a big metal pot with a handle on the outside to turn the popcorn inside. I just add canola oil to the pot; put it on the stove, turn the handle and in a few minutes the most amazing popcorn is produced. Believe me, microwave popcorn tastes NOTHING like this, and microwave popcorn is full of chemicals that are REALLY bad for you so I don’t eat it. Anyway, real popcorn cooked on the stove doesn’t even need butter, just add a little popcorn salt (it’s a finer salt that really imparts flavor to the popcorn, which is essentially flavorless), and it’s good to go.  I know people out there talk about air popped popcorn but I have tried it a few times and I think it’s like eating little pieces of cardboard, just no flavor whatsoever. I think that adding a little heart healthy canola oil really brings flavor to the popcorn and with the oil added the salt sticks better too.

My significant other LOVES popcorn, in fact he said that my popcorn and a glass of red wine would be his last meal on earth. I always change my opinion on what my last meal would be (my mom’s pancakes and BACON, my step mom’s turkey, stuffing, and gravy, my significant other’s filet mignon and pasta etc, etc, etc…) but his last meal never changes. So, we eat popcorn two or three times a week while curled up on the couch with a glass of wine watching TV.

Organic, non gmo popping corn is the best choice!

Organic, non gmo popping corn is the best choice!

And what do you know?  It turns out that popcorn is healthy too. I purchase organic popping corn in bulk at my health food grocery store to ensure the safest corn goes into my whirly pop. Popping corn contains antioxidants, is full of fiber (nature’s colon broom!) and is a whole grain so we feel full and satisfied when we eat it. I never add fake flavoring to my popcorn, just a little salt and sometimes organic butter- yummmm! I’ve heard about different things people add to their popcorn, parmesan cheese, chili powder, cheddar cheese, but I’m a popcorn purist and don’t like anything else in my popcorn. And remember, if you eat carmel corn you are eating sugar and lots of added calories so eat that in moderation.

How’s this for a caloric advantage? Three cups of popcorn in oil with butter and salt is only 105 calories so it makes for a low calorie snack that fills you up. Three cups is a good sized snack too so I feel satisfied when I’m done eating it.

All this talk about popcorn is making me hungry so I think I’ll be making popcorn tonight for our snack. I know I’ll be making an enjoyable and healthy snack for my family. Let me know how you like to eat and serve popcorn in your home. I’m sure anyway you make it, it will be delicious and help you to live a life of vitality- like Valerie!

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