January 19, 2014

The Oscar nominees were announced this morning, which means it's about time I saddle up to my sofa and catch up on this year's best flicks. I see a lot of popcorn in my future. If you're a fan of microwave popcorn, buy your bags with these 5 tips for healthier popcorn in mind. If you like to DIY your pop sometimes, we've got two great ideas for you.

In a brown paper bag: 1 tablespoon of kernels yields 2 to 3 cups of popcorn, with just 31 calories each. Cook times vary for microwaves; start with 2 minutes or experiment til you find the right amount of time. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of salty Parmesan cheese for just 22 calories, 1 g fat, and 76 mg sodium.

In a Dutch oven: Heat kernels (1/4 cup of kernels makes about 8 cups) with a tablespoon or two of toasted sesame oil (a heart-healthy fat) in a Dutch oven over medium heat until they pop; sprinkle lightly with kosher salt for a savory treat. Or if you crave something sweet, pop the corn in peanut oil, and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar. Bonus: Popcorn is a whole grain!

Add some delicious lower-calorie flavor to your kernels with one of these popcorn toppings.

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