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A Healthy Snack: Popcorn

January 18th, 2010

Nutritionally, popcorn, is one of the best all-around snack foods. Mr Chiots and I love popcorn as a snack in the evenings. We grew some of our own this summer and we have a few local farms we buy delicious popcorn from. It tastes much better than the yellow popcorn you buy at the store and it comes in all different colors.

We make it on the stove the old-fashioned way (we don’t have a microwave). It’s so delicious when made fresh this way, you won’t ever be able to eat microwave popcorn again. Typically we use coconut oil or ghee as the oil when we make popcorn.

It does work best if you have a nice heavy pan to make it in. Kettle corn is also quite simple to make at home. All you do is sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar over the popcorn and oil in the pan once the first kernel pops.

We typically enjoy our popcorn drizzled with some homemade ghee, it has an intense buttery flavor that’s perfect on popcorn.

From what I read popcorn provides 67% as much protein, 110% as much iron and as much calcium as an equal amount of beef. An average 1.5-ounce serving of popcorn supplies the same energy as two eggs; and a cup of unbuttered popcorn contains fewer calories than half a medium grapefruit. In addition, hull is an excellent source of fiber. So, buy some popcorn and pop up a batch next time you rent a movie, you won’t be disappointed with the fresh flavor of popcorn made the old-fashioned way!

How do you like your popcorn, super buttery, salty, air-popped, kettle cooked, or coated in sweet caramel?

27 Comments to “A Healthy Snack: Popcorn”
  1. Christine on January 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I think it’s awesome that you don’t have a microwave. We currently live with my fiance’s godparents, but when we do move out, we plan to ditch the television. We’d never even thought about doing the same with the microwave.

    Reply to Christine's comment

  2. Allie on January 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I am such a popcorn nut! I use an air popper and then drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Or, I make Dianne’s kettle corn – SO good!
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..Did I forget to mention we live in the Arctic? =-.

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  3. Helen at Toronto Gardens on January 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I like popcorn any way it comes… though I find movie popcorn can be a little styrofoamy. We’ve used microwave popcorn for convenience, choosing the “light, unbuttered” kind. However, my 16-year-old daughter has discovered hot-air popcorn and now is an expert at making the world’s most delicious caramel corn. Truly addictive, unfortunately.

    Reply to Helen at Toronto Gardens's comment

    • Susy on January 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      I’ve never had popcorn at the theater, but I can imagine how it would taste. I do agree about the caramel corn, that’s why I don’t make it that often.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. The Mom on January 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

    We use our air popper for most of our popcorn. I have a few ears of popcorn that we got at the farmer’s market this fall. It should be about ready for popping now. I really need to make some kettle corn for my son, it’s his very favorite.
    .-= The Mom´s last blog ..The First Seeds Arrive =-.

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  5. Miranda on January 18, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I’ll be trying to grow corn this summer – NO idea how that will work out.
    We prefer air popped corn to keep the calories scant, season with seasoning salt, cayenne and maybe a tiny bit of olive oil.

    I think there is SOMEthing to be said for microwaves, though – great for thawing out a last minute dinner idea from my stored frozen goods and uses much less energy.

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  6. Teri on January 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    We make popcorn for Sunday supper all the time. Love it salted with slices of cheese on the side.
    .-= Teri´s last blog ..17/365 =-.

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  7. MAYBELLINE on January 18, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Lightly buttered with salt.
    On special occasions we add our homemade caramel sauce with some toasted pecans.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..I Did It! =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on January 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      MM, pecans. I do live caramel corn on occasion.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Morgan G on January 18, 2010 at 11:52 am

    My favorite popcorn “dressing” is fresh lime juice. Just take one or two fresh slices and squeeze over your bowl. It adds a little sweetness and tang. Sounds odd, but it really is delicious.
    .-= Morgan G´s last blog ..Love for Haiti =-.

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  9. tj on January 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    …I too love popcorn and almost any flavor or just natural is fine! Yum! :o)

    …I came across an article recently and thought of you. In it they mention a seed company from Italy, Franchi Sementi, they’ve been in the seed business since 1783 and are considered one of the world’s oldest seed companys. The website is if you wish to check it out… :o)

    …Have a great Monday and blessings too…

    Reply to tj's comment

    • Susy on January 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks, I’ll definitely check them out, might be a great place to get heirloom Italian tomatoes & onions.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. melissa on January 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve been doing Weight Watchers so I’ve started using an air popper. As a result there’s no oil on the corn to make anything stick, so I’ve been spraying a wee bit of olive oil (thinking about making some ghee for this) and then sprinkling a bit of salt. If I’m feeling fancy, truffle salt. :D

    But before WW I did it on the stove, with melted butter and salt. Yum.
    .-= melissa´s last blog ..I love it when a plan comes together. =-.

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  11. PrepperMom on January 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Did you know native americans sometimes popped corn , then ground up the POPPED corn to make a flour like substance that they then made bread from. Popped Corn Corn Bread.

    Reply to PrepperMom's comment

    • Susy on January 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      I didn’t know that, how interesting.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Tree Huggin Momma on January 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I grew up on air popped popcorn, and while I love stovetop popcorn, nothing beats the convenience of airpopped.
    My favorite always will be campfire popcorn (which can also be made in a fire place).
    This summer the girls and I are going to learn about and build a couple of different solar cookers and then we are going to try a couple of things in them, they particularly want to try popcorn.
    Kettle corn can also be made by disolving 1 tsp of sugar (or sucanant?) into hot butter before pouring over popped popcorn. I have never cared for microwave popcorn, to greasy.
    .-= Tree Huggin Momma´s last blog ..My Destination =-.

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    • Susy on January 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      I bet it would be good with sucanat.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Pampered Mom on January 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    No microwave here, either which confounds a great many people to no end. If I could just find a toaster oven without a non-stick coating (laced with PFOA) I think I’d be set.

    Acutally, the combination of the diacetyl and PFOA in commercially available microwave popcorn should be enough to dissuade anyone from using it. If one prefers to use the microwave for popcorn then a simple brown paper bag with your favorite kind of popcorn in it will work just as well. Apply the same rules you would for the cooking time of the commercial stuff.

    Here we just use a saucepan, some popcorn, some coconut oil to cook it in and some real salt sprinkled on top before eating. This plus smoothies is a weekly dinner here.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Making an Herb Press/Herbarium =-.

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  14. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on January 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    We have a Whirly Pop and let me tell you. That contraption works! Makes the best popcorn and the kids love to turn the handle. We like ours with a little salt and some butter.
    .-= Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary´s last blog ..Haunted =-.

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  15. Dan on January 18, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I had no idea popcorn was so good for you. I bet it would be wonderful with some honey drizzled over it.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Harvest Monday, Winter Version =-.

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  16. Maureen on January 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Ditto on Dan’s comment…I had no idea of the health benefits of popcorn. Of course that might be somewhat canceled out by the immense amount of butter we put on ours!
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Lesson for the Day =-.

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  17. stefaneener on January 19, 2010 at 12:24 am

    We’re also microwaveable-less, and you’d think I told people we slept standing up.

    All those nutrition facts about popcorn are great but who eats it without butter?
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..Harvest Monday Lunch Bowl =-.

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2010 at 12:33 am

      We certainly don’t, butter is good for you. We enjoy ours with butter most of the time.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Roblynn on January 20, 2010 at 12:59 am

    We have never had a microwave, and yes people ask when we are going to get with the times. Probably never. Anyway when we started making popcorn again we remembered how much we loved it. When we were first married 30 years ago we would have contests to see who could make it with the least kernels left. We usually use a little olive oil to cook it in and lots of butter and salt is the favorite topping.

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  19. Sarah Jane on January 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    We got an air popper for christmas. I was worried since I don’t like a whole machine devoted to only one food. But we use it constantly. On a slow week we use it at least once. Well worth it in my book.

    Reply to Sarah Jane's comment

  20. Mrs. Whimsy on January 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    We use an air popper, drizzle with butter and then sprinkle with Kernel Seasonings from

    I’ve also used honey, a dash of cinnamon, or garlic salt to season if you want to be more organic about it.

    Reply to Mrs. Whimsy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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