Just like whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, and corn, popcorn is a whole grain, the lowest calorie whole grain. Per one cup serving:
- popcorn, air-popped – 30 cal
- popcorn, oil-popped – 55 cal
- corn – 130 calories
- oats – 160 calories
- brown rice – 216 calories
- quinoa – 222 calories
Due to the sheer volume you can consume, popcorn is terrific in filling up the belly. I love topping it with nutritional food yeast. What? If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, I know it might sound less than appealing, however if you’re familiar with it, you know what a great product it is. Takes like chicken. Just kidding. It actually has an appealing cheese flavor. Per 1/4 cup it has 45 calories, 6g protein and 3g fiber. Nice!
It’s an excellent vegetarian cheese-like product.
Watch and/or read the transcription on how to make paper bag popcorn. It’s simple, quick, and friendly on the budget!
What’s your favorite snack? One of my favorite’s is popcorn. It is a fabulous whole grain snack—can’t do any better than that. However, popcorn comes in lots of different ways. Of course you have movie theater popcorn, which I must admit I do indulge on occasion. We all have our treats and that’s one of mine—not very often though.
And then of course you have microwave popcorn. It comes in different flavors—light, extra butter and so forth. Then there is whole popping corn, plain whole corn. When I was growing up—I’m dating myself—we used to make popcorn on top of the stove. Put some oil in a pan and listen to it pop. Lots of fun.
Paper bag popcorn
But, I am going to show you a way to make it really simple and in the microwave.
All you need is:
- a brown paper bag
- 1/3 cup of whole corn and
- a microwave
Depending on the power of your microwave about roughly 3 minutes or so. You fold over the top just twice, put it in your microwave and what you are left with is a bag of popped corn that is sodium free, saturated fat free, preservative free, no coloring added, one ingredient versus over ten in the convenience package. Yes it’s convenient but what we get when we’re buying more convenient product is more preservatives, coloring, flavors and so forth.
I love whole grains. I love whole foods. I try to encourage them as much as possible. Really inexpensive too by the way—a great budget buy. Make your own popcorn.
So let’s get popping and we’ll see you at the movies!
Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
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