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Spice up your popcorn
When it comes to snacking, popcorn is our go-to choice for a fastand yummyfiber fix. Not only is this movie-time favorite low in calories, it's packed with a ton of antioxidants like polyphenols, which help neutralize the harmful health effects of free radicals. Another added bonus: popcorn is a whole grain, and whole grains have been linked to lower rates of diabetes and heart disease. To keep this snack from destroying your diet, skip the scoops of butter and salt and try these Health-approved flavored recipes instead. Fair warning: You may get hooked.
Photo: Kate Mathis
With a mix of hot paprika, Japanese rice crackers and furikake (a seasoning mix that includes seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and dried fish flakes), this crunchy popcorn recipe serves up some serious flavor that's perfect for on-the-go snacking.
Ingredients: vegetable oil, popcorn, smoked hot Spanish paprika, sugar, melted butter, Japanese furikake mix, Japanese mixed rice crackers, kosher salt
Try this recipe: Smoky Popcorn
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Spicy Maple-Cashew Popcorn
Combat mid-afternoon munchies with a crunchy, glazed popcorn mix. This kettle-corn-like recipe is salty sweet with a slight kick, and, thanks to the added cashews, it's a good source of folate and vitamin K.
Ingredients: Canola oil, popcorn, dry roasted cashews, sugar, maple syrup, butter, salt, ground red pepper
Try this recipe: Spicy Maple-Cashew Popcorn
Photo: Dasha Wright
Parmesan, Parsley and Maldon Salt Popcorn
With unique ingredients like truffle oil, chopped parsley, and Maldon salt (a natural sea salt known for its crunchy crystalized texture), this gourmet popcorn is sure to impress your friendsand your taste buds.
Ingredients: Popcorn, truffle oil, Parmesan, sea salt, chopped parsley
Try this recipe: Parmesan, Parsley, and Maldon Salt Popcorn
Photo: Dasha Wright
Vanilla and Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
Warm vanilla sugar melted over hot popcorn? What's not to love? Try making this treat as a low-fat, high-fiber alternative to your usual heavy dessert and reap the benefits of cinnamon, which has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar.
Ingredients: Unsalted butter, vanilla beans, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, popcorn, sea salt
Try this recipe: Vanilla and Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Styling: A.J. Battifarano
Take your healthy whole grains to the next level with a taste-bud-pleasing paprika and chili powder mixture. Spice-enthusiasts will love munching on this savory snackespecially when three cups of popcorn pack a whopping 3.5 grams of fiber.
Ingredients: Unsalted butter, vegetable oil, salt, paprika, chili powder
Try this recipe: Spicy Popcorn
Photo: Travis Rathbone
The sweet and spicy pairing in this fast, two-step recipe makes for the perfect snack to satisfy your chocolate cravings. Bonus: Studies show that cayenne pepper adds a kick to your libido, so whip up a batch before your next date-night movie.
Ingredients: Confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, allspice, popcorn, olive oil or cooking spray
Try this recipe: Cocoa-Cayenne Popcorn
Photo: Charles Schiller
Garlic-Parmesan Cayenne Popcorn
Garlic-lovers, be prepared to fall in love with this peppery, cheesy treat. Though your breath may not thank you, your scale will: Capsaicin, the main ingredient in cayenne pepper, is believed to help boost metabolism. Yes, you just found your new favorite snack.
Ingredients: Popcorn, unsalted butter, minced garlic, Parmesan, cayenne pepper, salt
Try this recipe: Garlic-Parmesan Cayenne Popcorn
Photo: Oxmoor House
If you're hungry for a sweet treat without the guilt, add a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar to some piping-hot popcorn. This salty-sweet combo is sure to satisfy even the biggest dessert fiend and take the edge off of those late-night cravings.
Ingredients: Popcorn, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, melted butter
Try this recipe: Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
Photo: Justin Walker; Styling: Cindy Barr
The zesty flavors in this cheesy concoction make for a savory snack that's waistline friendly. Make ahead as a pre-dinner nosh that won't completely ruin your appetite.
Ingredients: Popcorn, grated lemon rind, black pepper, kosher salt, Parmesan, olive oil
Try this recipe: Lemon-Parmesan Popcorn
Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Elizabeth Blake
Put a little fire in your air-popped corn with a few quick additions from your spice rack. Like it super hot? Double up on the chili powder, which has compounds that can ease digestion and rev your metabolism.
Ingredients: garlic salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, popcorn, olive oil
Try this recipe: Chili-Garlic Popcorn