You Won’t Miss the Butter With This Genius Trick for Irresistible Popcorn

Popcorn can be one of the healthiest snacks, ever. It’s surprisingly nutrient-rich for a snack food, and remarkably low in calories—before you douse it in butter, that is. Popcorn contains more polyphenols—a natural compound found in plants that helps to neutralize free radicals—than almost any other plant food! Dr. Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, says, “Popcorn has more antioxidants in total than other snack foods you can consume, and it also has quite a bit of fiber.”buttered popcorn with no butter

When you pour melted butter all over your bowl of popcorn, and finish it off with several hefty shakes of salt, however, you’ve officially transformed your snack into something that, if you’re trying to eat a healthy, plant-based diet, should only be eaten rarely if at all. If you’ve tried making healthy popcorn, you most likely opted to eat it plain or with a sprinkling of herbs, and you probably felt disappointed. You may even have doctored it up with butter and salt midway through–we’ve done that, too!

But this recipe uses a genius topping that makes the popcorn taste irresistibly good, and it actually makes it more nutritious!

Healthy, Homemade Popcorn: You Won’t Be Able to Get Enough 

Most movie theater, microwave popcorn, and popcorn that comes in prepacked snack bags are loaded with synthetic ingredients and processed salt. Yes, even the kinds labeled as low-fat…low-calorie…or otherwise healthy in some way. For truly healthy popcorn, your best bet is to use an air popper or make it on the stove top.

To make popcorn that’s as addictive the most hard-to-resist flavor-blasted chips and corn puffs without any dairy or artificial ingredients, you need the substance some call “Nature’s Cheeto Dust.” We’re talking about nutritional yeast.

This savory vegan seasoning can be used to mimic the taste of cheese in a number of dishes, like salads…roasted veggies…pasta…and more. The easiest way to get a taste of its goodness is to shake it onto your popcorn. It’s delightful all on its own, but we especially love this recipe which pairs it with a peppery element.

popcornTo make this popcorn, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Making the Popcorn 

  1. Begin by making the popcorn—with an air popper, the stove top method, or whichever way you prefer.
  2. Next, finely grind the nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, and salt.
  3. Place the popcorn in a large, lidded container and drizzle with olive oil. Seal the container and shake vigorously to coat.
  4. Open the container, sprinkle on about half the nutritional yeast seasoning mix, and (resealing the container) shake once more. Taste the popcorn and add more of the seasoning mix if desired.
  5. Enjoy!


bon appetit: 6 Ways to Cook with Nutritional Yeast—There’s More Than Just Popcorn

bon appetit: Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast and Aleppo Pepper

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