Is Popcorn A Healthy Snack?

I think popcorn is one of those few perfect snacks.  It is high in fiber and protein, it counts as a whole grain serving.  It is easy to make, kids love it, and you can eat a lot of it without blowing too many calories. Unfortunately microwave popcorn is not the healthy snack that it should be!

You may have heard about the controversial use of diacetyl, a chemical ingredient used for the artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn.  Diacetyl has been connected to a rare lung disease found in popcorn factory workers.  Many of the popcorn manufacturers removed the diacetyl from their microwave popcorn about 2 years ago, but there is still concern about the safety of the new butter flavors used in these products.

Recently there has been even more concern raised about the chemicals used to line the bag, specifically a substance called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA builds up in the body over time, and has been linked to infertility, birth defects, and increased liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Manufacturer's have agreed to phase out the use of PFOA, but not until 2015.  Thanks.

Personally, I have fond memories of my mother making  popcorn on the stove top when I was growing up!

Check out this website for tips on making this delicious treat on the stove!

Of course if you are like me and have burned a few pans making stove top popcorn you can try this recipe that I love for Homemade Microwave Popcorn from Chaos In The Kitchen.

Air-Popped Popcorn in the Microwave (makes about 5 cups for bag)

3 Tbsp popcorn kernels 1 paper bag stapler or scotch tape, or just fold it over

1- add popcorn kernels to paper bag or glass bowl 2-fold, staple or tape bag closed; or cover glass bowl 3 - microwave the popcorn for up to 2 minutes (test this, microwaves vary) 4 - open bag, season popcorn and eat!