It's one of the lightest snacks you can possibly eat -- if, of course, you're eating it at home and not in a theater! Popcorn makes a great after-school snack for your kids, an excellent movie-viewing concession at home, and a good low-calorie munchies-satisfier. This snack really lends itself to a wide variety of toppings, and if you're concerned about cost and good health, here are some you can toss onto your popcorn to make it delicious, keep it nutritious, and spend a minimum amount of money.
If you can't live without your grease and salt, you can at least use healthy alternatives to fatty butter and table salt. Try olive oil and sea salt for a much healthier version of the classic popcorn flavoring. Olive oil is the healthiest oil you can consume, and while it does have a subtle flavor that butter doesn't share, it will still make your popcorn sticky enough to hang on to the seasoning. And if you must add salt to dishes -- in this case, popcorn -- sea salt is the best you can choose.
If you make stovetop popcorn, you'll need to use canola or vegetable oil to make sure the popcorn doesn't burn. Once you've pulled it off the stove, sprinkle some taco seasoning over it for a delicious Southwest popcorn treat. If you really want to turn your popcorn into a chips-and-dip affair, take some taco sauce and thin it way down with water, then drizzle it very lightly across your popcorn before you put on the taco seasoning.
Garlic salt is a delicious flavoring that serves as both salt and seasoning. You'll have to be careful, since it'll give you garlic breath (and also sodium overload, if you pack it on); the best thing to do with garlic salt is to mix it with another type of seasoning, such as an Italian herb mix, and then sprinkle it on in moderation.
For a sweet popcorn treat, make a mix of chocolate, powdered sugar, and cinnamon and sprinkle it on with a bit of melted margarine. If you're ready to just throw health out the window entirely, you can heat up some corn syrup and make chocolatey, powdery balls of sticky goodness. These make excellent holiday gifts for your children to make and give (yes, we know, you're just adding to the hip-building of the holiday season).
Perhaps you're a peanut butter nut (ha, ha) and need a vehicle to satisfy your crunchy or creamy craving. Popcorn goes very well with peanut butter, either as a tiny scoop (think of the popcorn as a miniature chip for dipping) or in bars, thoroughly mixed with the peanut butter.
How do you like your popcorn? Share your favorite recipe with us here in the comments!