I am a popcorn fanatic. It was my absolute favorite snack when I was growing up. I could put away a whole bag to myself, no problem.
It was not too long after I started learning more about nutrition that I put my microwave popcorn habit on a hiatus to avoid the extra calories from artifical butter and flavorings.
But I was missing that crunch so I started popping my own at home. Compared to the store-bought varieties, homemade popcorn from kernels has a much healthier profile: low calorie and no trans fat. Not to mention, it's also cheap and easy to make.
In just 5 minutes there's is enough popcorn to make 1- cup portions. If you have never made popcorn on the stove before, watch Alton Brown's video on how to make Perfect Popcorn. There are also microwave-safe products for sale that are tailored just for making popcorn.
Start with plain kernels and add your favorite seasonings. Here are 3 of my favorite falvor pairings:
For Something Sweet: Cinnamon and 100% Dark Baking Cocoa are my go to pantry items when I want a sweeter popcorn. Just 1 teaspoon of each to coat about 3-4 cups of popped popcorn (which is what you end up with from about 3 tbsp. of upopped kernels).
For a Traditional Taste: Just a little bit of salt goes a long way. Use olive oil instead of butter to add more monounsaturated fat into your diet and a touch of dried oregano or basil to give it some Mediterranean appeal.
Fireball: Sprinkle on equal parts cinnamon and cayanne (red) pepper for a spicy sweet popcorn flavor. (This is awesome on sweet potatoes too!).
Other Spice Combos: garlic/onion, cumin/chili/turmeric, and red pepper flakes/parmesan cheese.
So many flavors!