What would a family movie night be without popcorn? This all-time snack classic can’t be separated from the pleasure of watching a movie – be it at the cinema or at home. Today we have an exciting healthy popcorn recipe for you (well, as exciting as a healthy popcorn recipe could be, but it is delicious) Make this rosemary popcorn for your family to enjoy the next time you sit down together and want to serve them a fun snack you can feel good about.
Delicious Rosemary Healthy Popcorn Recipe for Movie Nights
Is Popcorn Healthy?
Before we get to the herb garlic parmesan popcorn recipe let’s talk a little bit about popcorn and if it really is a good and healthy snack option.
Popcorn is actually a whole grain food low in calories and high in fiber. One cup of plain popcorn has about 30 calories and 1.2 grams of fiber. (Though with 6 grams of carbs per cup it may not be a diabetic friendly snack).
But what it actually comes down to is how the popcorn is prepared and dressed. I don’t consider any form of prepackaged microwavable popcorn as healthy.
First of all the saturated fats and artificial flavors in the contents are a big no-no, and secondly microwavable popcorn bags are lined with a film that is supposed to be resistant to oil and moisture. These linings contain PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals) that have been found to be harmful.
Their toxic effects can induce tumors and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, they are non-biodegradable and therefore stay in the environment persistently.
Can we all just agree that microwavable popcorn bags are definitely not the way to go about having a healthy popcorn snack? So let’s then look at other, better options to pop popcorn.
How To Prepare Healthy Popcorn
First, you want to start with good kernels. Non-GMO, organic kernels are my top choice.
One way that everyone can make healthy popcorn at home is on the stovetop with just a large heavy-bottomed pot with a fitting lid. Start by heating a high-smoke-point oil (I recommend coconut oil).
Use 1 tablespoon of oil per 1/4 cup of kernels. Place 3 kernels of popcorn in the center and close the lid.
Once these first kernels start popping the oil is hot enough. Add the remaining kernels, close the lid and shake the pot to coat all the kernels with oil.
Tilt the lid just a little to let any steam escape so it won’t make the popcorn soggy. Keep shaking the pot occasionally and every 20 seconds once the kernels start popping.
When the popping slows down, turn off the heat. Keep the lid on for a moment longer until the popping stops, then remove the lid and continue to dress and season the popcorn to your liking.
If this whole stovetop popcorn action is a little too involved for you, you can still make hands-off microwave popcorn in a healthier way with a brown paper bag.
Add about 1/3 cup of kernels to a medium-sized paper bag. Fold the top over 2-3 times to keep all kernels and popped corn inside.
Lay the bag sideways into your microwave and set it for 5 minutes on high. It won’t take as long though, so don’t walk away.
Listen carefully to the popping. Once it slows down to less than one pop per the second turn off the microwave immediately to avoid burning the popcorn.
And if your family loves popcorn as much as mine and eats some at least on a weekly basis, it’s worth looking into investing into a popcorn making small appliance.
There are different options from stovetop pots with hand crank (so you don’t have to do the shaking mentioned above), to air poppers that don’t require any oil or outside heat source to make popcorn, and even microwave poppers that take over the function of a paper bag and can be used over and over again.
How to Make Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn
To make this healthy savory cheesy popcorn start by popping a half cup of popcorn kernels any of the above-mentioned ways. Depending on the brand and type of kernels that should yield about 10-14 cups of popped popcorn.
Add the popcorn to a very large bowl together with finely grated parmesan cheese. Next, make the herb infusion.
To get a really uniform rosemary flavor onto the popcorn we are infusing the butter (or olive oil) that goes on top of the popped kernels. Cold infusions take a long time, so we are making a hot infusion instead by heating the butter and rosemary together with garlic for just a short while.
Using heat quickly extracts the essential oils from the rosemary and infuses it into the butter. I also like to add the salt at this point already to dissolve it and distribute it more evenly over the popcorn.
Drizzle the herb-infused butter over the popcorn parmesan mix and toss to coat everything. Add some black pepper and more sea salt to taste.
Herb Popcorn Variations
Rosemary of course isn’t the only herb you can use to make a popcorn herb infusion. Get inspired by the kitchen herbs in your garden, or be creative with any dry herbs you have in your spice cabinet.
Here are some herbs that I believe would make wonderful popcorn seasoning:
And if sweet popcorn is more your things, check out this healthy homemade caramel popcorn recipe.
Rosemary Healthy Popcorn Recipe
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- popped corn from 1/2 cup of kernels (about 10-12 cups)
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- black pepper
- To make the herb infusion, add the butter (or olive oil) to a small saucepan together with the minced rosemary, garlic, and sea salt.
- Once the butter is melted let the mixture simmer for another 2 minutes, then take the saucepan off the heat.
- Into a very large bowl add the popped corn and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the rosemary infused butter on top of the popcorn and toss everything well to combine.
- Season with black pepper and more salt, if desired.
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