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Happy National Popcorn Day! A classic movie snack favorite, popcorn is well worth celebrating. It’s my mom’s favorite food for all the right reasons- it’s light, easy to make, and can be prepared any way to please your taste buds. If prepared well, popcorn can make an awesome snack for anytime of the day, not just when you’re in front of a movie screen. Whole grain popcorn is naturally full of heart-healthy antioxidants, but most packaged varieties are typically loaded with salt and butter leaving your body unsatisfied and craving more.

In honor of National Popcorn Day, I’ve come up with some ideas to upgrade your average buttery snack. Kids will love these ideas, and some of them are mature enough for even the most sophisticated eater. Make sure to choose plain, unpopped kernels instead of the pre-packaged stuff as those bags can contain harmful ingredients. Plus, popping popcorn the old fashioned way on the stovetop or in a popper tastes fresher than using your microwave. It’s time to celebrate this glorious day! Here are some poppin’ tips on taking your popcorn to the next level.

Go Spicy


Feelin’ spicy? Make some popcorn! Adding spices to popcorn gives a savory kick to your snack. Try drizzling this Greatest Homemade Hot Sauce on air popped popcorn. If you’re feeling really adventurous sprinkle cayenne pepper flakes on as well. Cayenne pepper has incredible health benefits such as flu protection, it acts as a digestive aid, provides detox Support and acts as a natural pain reliever. Adding more spice will curb your desire to load on salt. To balance out spiciness, add something sweet such as maple syrup, or give curry powder a shot for unique flavor.

Go Sweet


Treat yourself to a sweet snack this holiday. There are so many options for sweet popcorn. For those looking for a decadent, after-dinner popcorn, make this Bourbon Caramel Popcorn. Healthier than most caramel popcorns, this recipe uses dark chocolate, vegan butter and significantly less sugar. Plus, who can pass up using bourbon in a snack? If you want more subtly sweet flavors, simply sprinkle on some cocoa powder and cinnamon. This will be less caloric and satisfy that sweet tooth the healthy way.

Get Cheesy

cheesy popcorn

Cheesy popcorn is a snacking favorite. Instead of going for store-bought brands that contain dairy and artificial additives, make your own cheesy snack! Skip the dairy and sprinkle on some nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor that everyone will love. The health benefits of nutritional yeast are tremendous and it’s so much easier to use than most people think! Containing excellent sources of protein, fiber and B vitamins, nutritional yeast upgrades plain popcorn to be more satisfying. Opt for adding hot sauce with cheesiness and your body will stay fulfilled and content. Or, try using nutritional yeast and Brazil nuts, to make a delicious Brazil Nut Parmesan for your popcorn.

Add to Snacks!


Already a snack worth having a holiday over, popcorn is awesome to add to other snacks! For a healthy kid snack, add plain popcorn to this Amazing Superfood Trail Mix, which is great for hikes, or in between meals and post-exercise. You can also mix popcorn with nuts, dark chocolate, seeds and oats, which will provide the body with nutrient-rich benefits and keep you full. Mix with pretzels and walnuts for an easy, healthy party snack, or even try adding popcorn to this Peanut Butter Popcorn Fudge for a family dessert.

Pass on the butter and salt and celebrate National Popcorn Day the healthful, tasteful and plant-based way. Use these tips to add flair to your popcorn, but feel free to use whatever you have in your kitchen. Adding unique spices and sauces seriously upgrades this typical movie snack to a fulfilling snack for anyone, anytime.

What’s your favorite way to dress up popcorn?

 Lead Image Source: Bourbon Caramel Popcorn