Cup of Popcorn
Credit: DebW07—IntrospectivePics All Rights Reserved

"Hello, my name is Deb and I'm a 'popcornholic.'" That's what I'd say if I could find a place (preferably on the beach) to rehabilitate me from overindulging in my favorite snack, popcorn. I eat a lot of popcorn, and I noticed that I was consuming too much movie theater, prepackaged, and microwave popcorn. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on how you look at things), there's no such place (on the beach or anywhere) as a popcorn rehab center. So I had to find another way to solve my problem.

Well, you know what they say, "When life gives you lemons . . .” buy a hot-air popper! Okay, not exactly, but that's what I did. I’d been consuming a lot of microwave-prepackaged popcorn, and I noticed that I began to gain weight. When I looked into what was going on, I discovered the microwave popcorn was packed full of calories from butter, cheese, and sugar (kettle corn). I also learned that too much buttery microwave popcorn could be bad for my health. I had to do something. I began to look for a healthier way to enjoy my favorite treat. That's when I discovered I could fill up on healthy hot air popcorn.

Full of Hot Air (Popcorn)

I’m an all or nothing type of gal, so when I made the connection that the prepackaged popcorn was doing more harm than good, I decided to quit eating the stuff cold turkey. After months of no popcorn, I was out shopping one day when I noticed a bright yellow air popper on sale. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I thought, “Why am I depriving myself? Why don’t I just have air-popped corn?”

I purchased the bright-yellow air popper. I also went to the market and purchased some kernels and flavor seasonings. When I got home, I made some popcorn and put my favorite movie on, "Marty." I sat, watched the movie, ate popcorn, and mellowed out. My newfound tasty treat was a big hit. Afterward I thought, “What in the world was I thinking eating the prepackaged popped stuff?”

Making air popped corn simple, it only takes 3 minutes and I can enjoy 3 cups at a time (so says my healthy friend who is my go to person for all things nutrition). Eating my popcorn makes me feel mellow, and so I’ve given my air popper a name: Mellow Yellow. I can enjoy my favorite treat without feeling guilty or worrying about what I’m putting into my body, and I can satisfy my hunger in-between meals with fewer calories, and still feel full.

Popping Corn

Popping Corn
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights Reserved

Making the corn is easy. Just plug-in the machine, pour a cup of kernels in, put a large bowl under the spout—and before you know it, you’ve got healthy, yummy popcorn. Do not put your hands or anything else in the direct path of the hot air. Also, the final product is hot and ready for seasoning but let it cool a few seconds before you eat.

Fifty Shades of Air Poppers

Seasoned Popcorn
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights Reserved

I'm not normally an impulse buyer but for some reason when I saw the yellow popcorn popper I bought it without a second thought. Although my air popper happens to be a beautiful bright yellow, there are plenty of other colors to catch and satisfy anyone's eyes. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," well, an air popper in any color will still do the job.

Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker, Red
Amazon Price: $60.76 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2015)
This sturdy popper from Cuisinart, a name you know and trust, is equipped with an on/off switch (not many poppers have one) and can make up to ten cups of popcorn in just 3 minutes. It also comes with a removable butter-warming tray and all removable parts are dishwasher safe.
Presto 04841 Orville Redenbacher's Hot Air Popcorn Popper, Blue
Amazon Price: $36.88 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2015)
This is another Orville Redenbacher air popper in blue. It pops popcorn in less than 3 minutes and you can melt butter while your popcorn is popping using the measuring cup/butter melting tray.

Air Popping Healthy Alternatives

 Air Popping Healthy Alternatives
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights Reserved

When popcorn is prepared with oil, then smothered in butter it creates an unhealthy high-calorie snack. Packaged popcorn can also be loaded with extra calories (that’s why it tastes so good). Also, if you think microwave popcorn is any better, think again. A flavored (butter, cheese, kettle corn, or other) pack contains numerous calories.

But, if you prepare your popcorn in an air popper, the calories decrease and the health benefits increase. A 3-cup serving of air popped popcorn is under 100 calories and less than 2 grams of fat. It is also a whole grain that is high in fiber.

However, as healthy as air popped popcorn is, it will do you no good if you’re not eating it. I’ll be honest, air popped popcorn will never taste like your favorite theater or packaged popcorn. However, there are plenty of seasonings and flavors you can add to your air popped popcorn to make it taste pretty good. So why not give it a try? Don’t wait until you gain weight or your doctor tells you to quit eating popcorn made the fattening way, do it now.

Toppings-Time to Get Creative

Popcorn Seasoning
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights Reserved

There's no doubt that air popped popcorn is better for you, but many people just won't eat it. It doesn't taste as good. But what many people forget is they can add lots of flavors and create air-popped popcorn that tastes good.

There are several flavor seasonings made specifically for air popped popcorn. Some of my favorite flavors include butter (of course), cheese (cheddar and nacho), chili lime, and kettle corn. You can also make homemade flavor toppings.

Try the following or create your own flavorful concoction and kick up the flavor of your air popped popcorn:

  • Mix finely grated parmesan cheese with some garlic powder and sprinkle over your popcorn
  • For more flavor add some Italian seasoning to the mix
  • For a spicy cheese flavor, mix parmesan cheese with cayenne pepper or try Tabasco sauce alone or mixed with the cheese
  • If you want a salty taste to your popcorn, shake a little soy sauce on it and mix
  • Try Lawry's Seasoned Salt for added flavor or a combination of Lawry's and a little bit of pepper or lemon pepper
  • If you enjoy garlic, add garlic salt to your popcorn 

For those times when you're craving something sweet, mix some cinnamon with sugar or just buy cinnamon sugar and sprinkle on your popcorn. Add some salt for a sweet and salty flavor.

Popcorn Seasonings and Toppings

Popcorn Snack
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights Reserved

Eating healthy is important but if your food doesn't taste good, you won't eat it. Air popped popcorn is a healthier alternative to the movie theater, store bought, or microwave but it can taste bland. So what can you do? Easy, just add your favorite seasoning. Not only will you kick up the flavor but your enjoyment level will increase too.

You can make homemade seasoning as outlined above or for convenience, try one of the many ready-made seasonings made specifically for popcorn. They are all flavorful and depending on your mood, you can have sweet, salty, or a combination of both. Experiment and find the combinations you enjoy best.

Here's some tips; prior to sprinkling your topping(s) on your popcorn, spray some butter flavor or, for a healthier option, add a few drops of water to your popcorn and mix. The moisture will make the toppings stick to the popcorn.

**Also, for a better pop with less un-popped kernels, try adding a few drops of water to corn kernels and distribute evenly immediately prior to popping. Moist kernels pop better in hot air.

Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasoning Variety Pack of 3 Ranch Parmesan & Garlic and White Cheddar
Amazon Price: $15.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2015)
Sprinkle on some flavor to your hot air popcorn and enjoy a healthy and tasty treat. This variety pack includes flavors such as white cheddar, ranch, and parmesan garlic. You can also use these flavorings on veggies, pasta, rice, and on anything.
Amish Country Popcorn Kernels Set of 3 One Pound Bags Gift Set, Different, Delicious Varieties! (Ladyfinger-Midnight blue- Medium White)
Amazon Price: $18.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2015)
You've got to try Amish Country Popcorn; it's delicious. This set includes 3 varieties for a unique popping experience. Taste the difference of Amish Country Popcorn.

Novelty Air Poppers-Hot Air Fun

Air Popper
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights ReservedAir

Unusual hot-air poppers bring out the kid in all of us. After all, just imagine how much fun you can have with a pink Hello Kitty popper or a cute little Tasmanian character. There are also sports theme poppers such as baseball or football. These are sure to be a hit at any Super Bowl Sunday or World Series parties. Another unusual popper that is sure to make people look twice is the Coca-Cola Series featuring the Coca-Cola design and logo.

All of these are perfect for parties, casual get-togethers, or as gifts. They also make great conversation starters, not to mention healthy popcorn. You can't have any more fun with hot air than with these unconventional and adorable novelty hot air poppers.

Looney Tunes PC8LT Taz Popcorn Popper
Amazon Price: $40.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2015)
Call him Taz for short this cartoon character will warm his way into your heart with delicious and healthy popcorn. This hot air popper comes with a recipe booklet with lots of interesting ideas. Kids will enjoy watching popped corn shoot out of Taz's mouth but be careful not to stand in the way or Taz might hit you with a hot kernel or a popped corn.
Hello Kitty Hot Air Popcorn Maker
Amazon Price: $34.95 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2015)
Enjoy your favorite snack with your favorite cat-make delicious popcorn in this pink Hello Kitty popper. Great for parties or any occasion.

Three Minutes to a Healthy Snack

My Favorite Snack
Credit: DebW07—Introspective Pics All Rights Reserved

The day I purchased my yellow air popper was the day that I got my popcorn back. I no longer buy pre-made or microwave popcorn, why should I? I can make air popped in only three minutes, and I can enjoy it salty, spicy, or sweet. Air popped popcorn makes a great healthy snack or dessert, and the recommended 3 cups per serving are more than enough for me. Air-popped corn is one treat I can enjoy without guilt.

Go ahead, call me a popcornholic, no wait, call me an “air-popped popcornholic” because that is my new favorite healthy treat, and I don’t need popcorn rehab. What are you waiting for? Make healthier popcorn today with a hot air popper just like my Mellow Yellow popper. But you can have any color you want. Happy popping!

Find More Stuff Here

Fun Cakes You Can Make

5 Flavorful Desserts Using JELL-O

Hershey's Kisses: How to Say "I Love You" with Candy