Friday, March 9, 2012

Seasoned Popcorn

Movies inside tonight? Make this popcorn. It's guilt-free with the benefits of whole grain, olive oil and sesame seeds. Surprisingly, popcorn is a whole grain rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and contains some protein. And, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans, half of the grains you consume daily, or at least 3 oz. should be whole grains for optimal health. So add popcorn to the list. Popcorn can also help in weight management because it provides you with plenty of volume, but with few calories. One cup air-popped popcorn provides only 31 calories!

The seasoning is essentially a dressing that you whisk up and pour over the hot popped corn. The lemon gives it a fresh punch and the olive oil is just enough so you don't crave any butter. With some herbs, spices, and sesame seeds, you think you are eating gourmet. Give it a try and experiment with other ingredients like grated pecorino cheese, balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of honey in the lemon vinegrette, or a variety of spices like cumin or cinnamon.

If you have a hot air popcorn appliance, this is a very simple no-clean up recipe. If not, I would suggest buying one so you don't have to deal with hot oil and capturing popped kernels.

Ingredients (Serves 4, yields 8 cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1. Whisk all the ingredients except the popcorn kernels and parsley in a small measuring cup. Set aside.

2. Air-pop the kernels and place in a large bowl. Whisk the seasoning and pour over hot popped corn. Toss to coat evenly. Top with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

For seasoned popcorn Nutrition Facts, please visit Shape Up America!

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