It’s officially fall, and that means a few things: crisp air, crunchy leaves. Hmm, that reminds me of one of my favorite snacks... popcorn - and wouldn’t you know it, that’s just what we have in this week’s Dylan’s Lunchbox!
Whether you are watching a movie at home or going to a movie theater, popcorn always seems to be that go-to snack to accompany your movie. It’s no surprise that it is! Popcorn tastes delicious and is easy to snack on while you watch your film. Even though popcorn can be a delicious snack, sometimes it is loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Popcorn itself is a healthy snack because it is minimally processed, 100% whole grain, and has healthy antioxidant called ferulic acid. And, 3 to 4 cups of air-popped popcorn can equal one serving of the daily-required grains for a healthy diet.
However, popcorn can be unhealthy when we add too much of certain toppings. Movie theaters tend to load their popcorn with tons of butter and salt, that may taste delicious, but is not necessarily good for our bodies. But not to worry, there are several other ways to create a tasty popcorn snack.
A better option than movie theater popcorn is microwavable popcorn. Certain brands of microwavable popcorn are healthier than others, so it is important to look for brands that have organic options. “Newman’s Own” brand has three different organic options that include: butter, light butter, and unsalted. It is also a good idea to avoid popcorn brands that use food additives because they are less healthy than brands that do not have them.
An even healthier option is to make air-popped popcorn. Some people think that air-popped popcorn tastes bland. In order to spice up your air-popped popcorn try adding a little bit of melted butter or margarine over the top. Another good option is sprinkling a handful of cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese. By doing this, you are not only making a tasty treat, but also giving you a source of dairy.
When making popcorn, try cooking the kernels over the stove with canola oil. You should try to use 1 tablespoon of canola oil for each ½ cup of kernels cooked. If you cook your popcorn in this way you have created a snack that is both healthy and delicious.
Make sure to try each of these options to have a healthy snack to munch on! You can eat it while watching a movie or simply as an after school snack! Just remember, choose organic microwavable popcorn brands, or pop your popcorn yourself over the stove or in an air-popcorn maker to create a delicious, healthy popcorn snack.
It may sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but your favorite movie snack doesn’t have to be loaded with unhealthy ingredients to taste amazing! Looking for more fall flavors? Don’t miss out on last week’s treats for some fantastic harvest veggies! And until next time, stay healthy!