Weight management is one of the most pressing issues at the individual level. There is an increased attempt to make snacks healthy and nutritious. Healthy popcorn balls are one such variation of popular snacking items. We must agree that pop corns are a popular party appetizer, late night snack craving meal and above all the ultimate companion for all movie nights with friends or family. But if you are considerate about your health, you must know that the “normal” popcorns available are usually rich in starch, butter, and salt. But here we have come up with some possible alternatives to make popcorns taste much better and cure any snack attack.
1. Use Air-popped popcorn
This variant is low in oil and sugar. It thus contains lesser carbohydrates and the same flavor. This type of popcorn is perfect for snacking and is easy to store. So, if you are considerate of your calorie intake, we advise you to enjoy air-popped popcorn and say no to oil popped ones. Homemade oil popped popcorn offers some extra sodium and fat quantities, so consume smaller proportions of these to maintain your dietary resolutions.
2. Try Pumpkin Flavored Popcorn
Make use of two-three tablespoons of unrefined sweetener and a spoonful of real, canned pumpkin to make this delicious pumpkin spicy popcorn. If you want a change in the taste along with a healthy option, you must surely give pumpkin popcorns a try.
3. Add Honey and other binders
Honey can be used as the healthier binding agent while making popcorn. It is required in lesser amounts and helps in fat reduction. It also adds flavor to the popcorn.
Instead of using honey, it is also possible to use other binders. For examples, marshmallows can be melted in a pan, over a low flame, and used. This, however, would take up the calorie count. Chopped peanuts can be added, along with peanut butter mix, and pored over the popcorn. It should be kept in mind that the mixture should be spread evenly, and the popcorn should be touched, only after it has cooled down.
4. Add Flavor
It is possible to add extra flavor to healthy popcorn balls, post adding honey. The flavors can include anything from cinnamon to cocoa powder. The lesser amount will be required, and yet your popcorn can taste exactly how you want.
Once the honey has cooled down, the popcorn can be shaped. It is still delicate, so it is best to use hands. Gloves can be used to shield the hands.
6. Use healthy Popcorn toppings
Once your popcorns are prepared, you may add some topping to convert it into a wholesome meal. This variant of healthy popcorn balls can be a good breakfast option as well.
So here are some topping options that your family and friends would love and enjoy to eat:
a) Add half cup of dried cranberries and another half cup of roasted unsalted almonds to one large cup of popped popcorn balls. Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy the snack.
b) In a bowl of popped popcorns, add one tablespoon olive oil and one and a half cup of Italian herbs. Now blend the mixture with a half tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle some more herbs above it and toss it thoroughly.
c) Mix three tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the medium sized bowl of popped popcorn. Mix thoroughly to enjoy sweetened healthy popcorn snack.
d) You can enjoy a dried fruit popcorn recipe by mixing one cup dried chopped apricots with one cup dried apples and one cup sultana raisins with the popped popcorn.
Some of the few tips that you must keep in mind before trying these recipes are:
• Make sure to use raw coconut oil or olive oil as it is the healthiest option available in oil category.
• If you have a habit of using regular refined salt, consider switching to rock salt or sea salt.
• Lastly, instead of using sugar for sweetening purpose, try to use natural “sugars” like honey, maple syrup or dried fruit.
Why eat healthy popcorn balls?
Facts suggest that one bowl of popcorn contains more antioxidants than a similar amount of fruits and vegetables. They are enriched in folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins B, A, E, and K, as well as being a source of iron, potassium, zinc, and polyphenols. Therefore, popcorns can fight off cancer-causing bodies and promote cardiovascular health as well.
Herbs, dried apples, peanuts, coconut oil, chocolate, pumpkin seeds, cheese, cayenne, raisins, black pepper, garlic, cocoa, almonds, etc and a lot of variants and varieties of healthy popcorn balls can be tried. You can add whatever you want, and mix and match, as long as you like the flavor, and it is not very high in carbohydrates.