3 ways to make healthy, low-cal popcorn

I love popcorn! I think it is truly one of my favorite foods. It can be a fattening, high calorie food. Or it can be a very good source of fiber and very low in calories -- if made the right way.

The healthiest way to save calories when eating popcorn is to avoid cooking it in oil and topping it with tons of melted butter.

Microwave popcorn is better, but it is still not ideal and not cheap to buy. The easiest and healthiest way to cook popcorn is to use nothing to cook the kernels, air poppers are great.

You just pour the kernels into the air popper and let it pop with heat. If you want some flavoring, you can spray on some olive oil that is dispensed in a spray can. Then grab some sea salt and lightly sprinkle it on.

Or better yet, get some of the flavored popcorn toppings like Kernel Season's. The seasonings are made with all natural ingredients and come in several different flavors like nacho cheese, white cheddar, butter flavor and many others. Now you have a yummy, healthy, good source of fiber, and a low calorie snack that is inexpensive.

What if you don't have an air popper? Well I have a simple solution for that.

Grab a medium sized paper bag and pour a 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels into the bag. Then fold the top of the bag shut with just a tiny 1/2 inch fold. You need to leave room for the kernels to pop so you don't want to fold it too much. Then stick the bag in your microwave for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Of course pop times will vary, so be careful, you don't want to burn your popcorn. The popcorn will be done once you hear about 2 to 3 seconds between pops that means it's done, so stop the microwave. Let the bag sit in the microwave for a few minutes to cool off, so you don't burn yourself. Then open up the bag and pour the popcorn in a serving bowl. You are all done with your air popped corn without an air popper.

Another simple little gadget I found that makes good fluffy air popped corn is the Nordicware popcorn popper . I think I am falling in love with their different cooking gadgets. It is a bowl that you pour your kernels into, cover with the lid and then put in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. It will pop those kernels into popcorn. Plus, you can use the bowl to serve the popcorn. It costs $8.99 at Target stores and Amazon.com.

All three of these ways will get you some yummy, healthy, low calorie, guiltless popcorn, and it was cheap to make too!



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