5 Simple Seasoning Blends To Make Homemade Popcorn Tastier (And Healthier!)

Punch up your popcorn with these nutrient-packed toppers; no butter needed.

August 24, 2017
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four types of popcorn
Allison Young

Props to popcorn: Not only are those yellow kernels legit whole grains, they deliver a super dose of antioxidants—more than certain fruits and vegetables, according to one study—plus they’re naturally low in fat and calories. In fact, the air-popped stuff weighs in at only 31 calories per cup.

So what’s the hitch? Well, popcorn straight out of the popper can taste a little blah. Sure, you can drench it in salt and homemade butter, but that kinda defeats the purpose. So we came up with 5 DIY seasoning blends, nutrient-packed toppers that elevate popcorn’s taste and health perks, so you can dig in without any downsides. Smartfood, for real!

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power popcorn
Allison Young
Power Popcorn

You don’t need cheese to make cheesy popcorn. This super savory blend combines three superfoods—anti-inflammatory turmeric, protein-packed nutritional yeast, and immune-boosting garlic—for a cheesy vegan popcorn with plenty of umami punch. 

Yield: About 4 cups (serves 2)

¼ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
Spray coconut oil 

Toppings: 
2 tsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt

1. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. 

2. Pop the popcorn kernels with an air popper into a large bowl. 

3. Once popped, coat popcorn in spray oil. Sprinkle with topping and toss to coat. 

No air popper? Nuke it the healthy way: Place ¼ cup popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag, fold over the top of the bag to make sure it’s closed, and microwave 2 minutes. Once popped, spray with oil, toss in the seasonings, and shake.

Related: 6 Best Healthy Cooking Oils Without The Nasty Additives

peanut butter popcorn
Allison Young
Peanut Butter Pop

Not only does powdered peanut butter have way less calories than the creamy stuff (we’re talking less than half), it’s the perfect popcorn topper. Pair it with blood sugar stabilizing cinnamon and you have a slightly sweet and salty snack that satiates.

Yield: About 4 cups (serves 2)

¼ cup unpopped popcorn
Spray coconut oil

Toppings: 
1 tsp powdered peanut butter 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp salt

1. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. 

2. Pop the popcorn kernels with an air popper into a large bowl. 

3. Once popped, coat popcorn in spray oil. Sprinkle with topping and toss to coat. 

(Obsessed with corn in all its forms? Check out the video below for 3 more ways to eat this in-season veggie.)

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We hope you enjoy the products we're recommending as much as we do! Just so you know, Organic Life may get a share of sales from the links on this page.
 
spirulina popcorn
Allison Young
Spicy Spirulina

There’s a reason nutritionists dub spirulina a superfood: the powdered blue green algae boasts through-the-roof levels of bone-building calcium, energy-boosting iron, and heart-healthy potassium. Yes, it comes with a slightly oceanic taste, but fiery cayenne cancels it out (and doubles as a de-bloater). 

Yield: About 4 cups (serves 2)

¼ cup unpopped popcorn
Spray coconut or olive oil

Toppings: 
½ tsp spirulina powder 
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
¼ tsp salt

1. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. 

2. Pop the popcorn kernels with an air popper into a large bowl. 

3. Once popped, coat popcorn in spray oil. Sprinkle with topping and toss to coat. 

Related: 10 Health Snacks Every Stress Eater Needs

smoked popcorn
Allison Young
Smoked Popcorn

This popcorn gets a double dose of smoke. Smoked paprika, a Spanish spice made from smoked pimiento peppers, teams up with smoked salt for a bold BBQ-like pairing that’s slightly sweet and of course super smoky.

Yield: About 4 cups (serves 2)

¼ cup unpopped popcorn
Spray coconut oil

Toppings: 
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp smoked salt

1. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. 

2. Pop the popcorn kernels with an air popper into a large bowl. 

3. Once popped, coat popcorn in spray oil. Sprinkle with topping and toss to coat. 

Related: 20 Tips For Healthy Green Grilling, Plus The Best Eco-Friendly Grills To Buy

wasabi popcorn
Allison Young
Wasabi Popcorn

Wasabi isn’t only a sushi side. Available in powdered form, the pungent spice adds zing and anti-inflammatory power to popcorn. What’s more, immune-boosting ginger can fend off colds while nutrient-packed kelp adds a salty kick without the extra sodium. 

Yield: About 4 cups (serves 2)

¼ cup unpopped popcorn
Spray coconut or olive oil

Toppings: 
1 tsp wasabi powder
¼ tsp ginger powder 
½ teaspoon kelp powder

1. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. 

2. Pop the popcorn kernels with an air popper into a large bowl. 

3. Once popped, coat popcorn in spray oil. Sprinkle with topping and toss to coat. 

Related: 1 Daily Teaspoon Of This Spice Could Help You Lose 3 Times As Much Body Fat