My family loves eating popcorn! It's a wonderful addition to our family movie nights on Friday nights. It has become a tradition, and the boys ask for it when we get ready to watch a movie together.
I grew up on microwave bags of popcorn – they are so easy to make. However, they have always grossed me out. And I can never time it just right, so they burn in the microwave and smell horrible.
And cost-wise…you definitely pay more for the convenience of microwave popcorn.
Dangers of Microwave Popcorn
But to me what's worse than paying more is the chemicals you are ingesting (both inhaling and eating). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are nearly 4 dozen chemicals in the steam of that piping hot popcorn. Sources for these chemicals include the buttery flavoring, the ink and the glue on the microwave bags, and the lining of the bags.
Diacetyl is the chemical in the buttery flavoring, and it's the most concerning. Due to public oncern over the safety of this chemical, many major microwave popcorn companies have discontinued using it. However, there are many other unnecessary chemicals still in there.
Another issue for me, as we are making changes in our diet to be healthier, is the lack of organic options. I am selective of what I buy organic (to watch the budget), but I try to buy corn and wheat products organic to limit our pesticide exposure.
Several years ago I tried popping my own popcorn on the stove in oil. I wanted to get us away from the microwave bags, It wasn't hard to pop it that way; however, it was usually a messy undertaking. But even then I significantly preferred that over using the microwave bags.
As time went on and life got busy, I tried buying the lightly salted popcorn at Costco. I definitely like that option better than microwaving popcorn or popping your own in oil on the stove. However, the downsides are that it's not organic, and it's a huge bag which takes up way too much kitchen space.
Air Popped Popcorn – the difference and benefits:
I kept thinking that there had to be a better way! On its own, popcorn is a great healthy snack, as it's full of fiber and low in calories. So when prepared the right way, it's an amazing (and delicious) food!
Then, about a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to air poppers. I had heard of them before but never tried them and was skeptical of them. While I was at her house one day, she made some for me. It popped quickly, was super easy to make, easy to clean up, and tasted amazing when drizzled with a bit of avocado oil and salt!
I was in love! Finally…a way to make a healthy snack for my family in a super easy (and fast) way! Pair this amazing machine with your favorite reusable popcorn bags (I like these wider ones because I think they are easier with kids) for a classic family tradition. 🙂
Here's what I love about air popping my own popcorn:
- reduces the number of chemicals you and your family consume
- ability to choose either standard or organic popcorn
- versatile – you can flavor it any way that you prefer, and it will still be more healthy than microwave popcorn (even if you drench it in melted butter)
- fast – it takes less than 5 minutes
We have been experimenting with air-popped popcorn for a while and have begun playing around with adding flavors. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Air Pop 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Add 1-2 Tbsp cheese powder (available from Amazon or a local spice shop). Shake to mix.
Air pop 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Add 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix. Shake to mix.
Air pop 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Drizzle with approximately 1-2 tsp of your favorite Olive Oil or Avocado Oil. Sprinkle 1/2-1 tsp sea salt over popcorn. Shake to mix.
Try making your own popcorn today and take advantage of the health benefits of ditching processed and chemical-filled microwave bags! To help you out, check out our Popcorn Package giveaway below.
Tell us in the comments: what is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
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