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Posted by Grant on May 27th, 2013
Story-At-A-Glance

* Popcorn is a snack that if you make it yourself with healthy good for you fats, it can be far better for you than theatre or microwave popcorn

* Popcorn has fiber which is a good thing. But only 2 grams per 3 cups, plus it is high in carbohydrates, mainly glucose so you will get a big insulin spike. 

* If you make your popcorn in coconut oil and add good for you butter, then you will slow the digestion of the glucose into your blood stream. This doesn't make it a great food, but it makes it acceptable as an occasional snack.

 

Conclusion: Popcorn is a fun tasty snack that can be made to be fairly healthy, at least as a snack to have every once in a while.

 

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Don’t you just hate when you read one day how good a particular food is for you for one reason, then you read the next day how that same food is bad for you for a different reason. Well, here is a way to take one of the most popular snack foods and make it acceptable for the bad reason so you can enjoy it for the good reason, and if that doesn’t make sense that’s ok because we are going to discuss popcorn.

While reading an article on fiber, it listed popcorn as a great source of fiber, this is the "good" reason to eat it. A 3 cup serving of popped popcorn has 2 grams of fiber, that is the same amount as an apple. Fiber slows down how quickly the carbohydrates turn to blood sugar.

 

non GMO USDA Organic logo

Now for the bad reasons. It’s hard to find corn seeds which are non-GMO (genetically modified organism), which if you are having popcorn occasionally, that may be ok, and almost all microwaveable popcorn, or popcorn from theaters are laden with trans fats and are best avoided. 

A better way is to make your own popcorn, or if you are going to a movie, then sneak in your own. We’ve done this on occasion. Not only is our home made popcorn free of trans fats, it tastes better and it digests a lot easier because we pop it in coconut oil and add good butter.  I guess this falls into the category of remembering to drink a beer or two along the way, which maybe I’ll rename as sneak a bag or two of popcorn into the theatre along the way.

ingredients

I do my best to eat very little trans fat, so I don’t remember feeling any guilt pangs when I succumbed and ordered some trans fat laden popcorn at the theatre, but I do remember how my stomach felt afterwards. My body sent me a message. When I make popcorn at home, as long as I eat a reasonable amount, I don’t get any stomach issues afterwards. This tells me there must be something right about how we make this popcorn, and something wrong about the other.

Making good popcorn at home seems to go in waves for us. We’ll make it a couple of times one month, then not have it for 3-4 months. How often you have it depends on a few things like; how’s your weight, how’s your digestion, how’s your intake of non vegetable carbohydrates been, what is your fasting insulin and glucose levels? If all of these are good or exceptional, then popcorn can be a great treat, especially if you make it as I’ve outline below.

Corn on the cob Real Salt

Even tho’ my Mom still calls it a vegetable, corn is actually classified by botanists as a fruit while it also serves as a grain. What it is tho', is a starchy carbohydrate. 3 cups of popped popcorn has 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar meaning it is all glucose. If you make the recipe as I’ve outlined, then along with the fiber you are getting some body friendly fats from the coconut oil and butter. These good fats slow down the digestive process so you won’t get as high of an insulin spike. If you don’t have coconut oil and a heavy pan, then using an air popper would be the next best option.

Dare I say popcorn made this way is good for you? As long as you make it without trans fats and are talking about a monthly or so treat and not a staple, I’d say yes. Now if I could just figure out how to make ice cream a little better for us...

 

Ingredients

Popcorn; preferably organic and non-GMO

Virgin coconut oil

Butter; preferably from cows whose milk is free of antibiotics and have been grass fed

Salt; use only Real Salt or Celtic sea salt

Put a generous amount (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil into a medium sized, heavy bottom sauce pan. Drop 3 kernels of the popcorn into the coconut oil and turn the burner on to medium-high. Once the 3 kernels pop, put in the rest of the popcorn. A rule of thumb here is to almost cover the bottom of the pot with kernels. Putting in too many will lead to kernels not fully popping. Not putting enough in is robbing you of potential popcorn for your treat.
Put on the lid and stay close while you wait for the popping to start. It’s a good idea especially if your pot does not have a heavy bottom to shake the pot back and forth a bit.
Coconut oil into pan 3 kernels into bottom of pan popcorn into [an

 

Soon the kernels will all start to pop. It’s a good idea to let some of the steam out a couple of times during the popping process by lifting the lid slightly, but be careful not to burn yourself. As soon about two thirds of the popcorn has popped, or the pot is two thirds full, turn off the burner. Now it is important to shake the pot so the kernels won’t stick to the bottom and burn. You can also remove the pot from the burner depending on the burner you have. Again slightly lift the lid allowing steam to escape and wait for all of the kernels to pop. Once popping has stopped, dump the popped popcorn into a bowl. Next is to melt some butter. Decide how much you want (I use lots!). Either melt it in a separate container, the microwave if you are comfortable with that, or if your pot is not too hot, you can put the butter into the pot you used to make the popcorn. Just be careful to not burn the butter. Your body doesn’t need all of the oxidized residue from burnt butter which results if the pot is too hot. This would make it similar to eating trans fats.
letting steam out dump popcorn into bowl melt butter


Spread the butter, salt to taste, and enjoy.

Bowl of healthy popcorn




 

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Comments

  • Posted by Grant on September 11th, 2013 at 8:34 p.m.
    Verna, you are very correct. A lot of controversy regarding the use of microwave ovens. Best to let the pot cool enough and melt the butter in your pot and not the microwave
  • Posted by Verna p on September 11th, 2013 at 7:53 p.m.
    Why do you mention using a microwave to melt butter? The microwave shouldn't even be in your home.

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