Benign, binge-worthy popcorn recipes spice up snacks


Popcorn is the white, fluffy snack that has become synonymous with movies. Famous for its versatility and ease of preparation, popcorn is a great base for almost any flavor combination. With only 30 calories per cup, it is often marketed and sold as a low-calorie solution for snack cravings.

However, the most conscientious moviegoers can still munch on several low-sodium, clean options like Skinny Pop, Lesser Evil and Simply Nature at Aldi.

Movie theater popcorn is coated in a chemically modified fine salt called Flavacol to produce its classic yellow hue. The liquid “butter” squirted from the machines is partially hydrogenated soybean oil loaded with trans fat. It is also mixed with preservatives and chemicals that mimic the flavor of butter.

Bags of microwave popcorn aren’t much better for you, containing similar amounts of sodium and the same artificial butter. The neat bags that expand as the kernels pop were historically coated in toxic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) until 2011.

Wait. Everyone knows that calories don’t count when watching a good movie. But you should at least be able to pronounce the ingredients of your popcorn, and why not make your own when there are so many cheap and easy gourmet popcorn recipes. Here is a list of binge-worthy and benign popcorn recipes. So think twice the next time you go to the theater. Your snack game is about to get better.

frenzy : Cajun Spice Popcorn “Who said butter should be the only salty topping on popcorn?” If you like a little kick, the Cajun spice popcorn is worth a try. You might as well cook some shrimp and crawfish while you’re at it. Get the recipe from AllRecipes at

Benign: Lean Buttered Popcorn – This is a simple and more conscientious version of the popcorn cinema variety. With only three ingredients and minimal fat, your body and mind will thank you! Get this recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking at

frenzy : Caramel Corn Blondies — The popcorn and cookies are delicious; What more can be said? Gooey caramel cookies are enhanced with salt and popcorn crunch. You can’t eat handfuls of it, but trust us, you won’t need it. Get the recipe from Epicurious at

Benign: Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn — The combination of sour cream and onion is a classic in savory cooking. You don’t have to eat fried potato chips to enjoy this flavor combination. Most of the ingredients for this simple recipe are probably already hiding in your pantry. Get this recipe from Kitchen Concoctions at

frenzy : Buffalo Wing Popcorn “That’s another for our spice lovers who don’t count calories. You might just have found your new game day snack recipe. Pair them with wings or a ranch to boost your team spirit. Get this recipe from Epicurious at

Benign: Spicy Cilantro Lime Popcorn — If you’re a fan of fusion flavors, this Mexican-inspired recipe could be a great addition to family taco night or a healthier replacement for fries and salsa. Cilantro-lime popcorn is reminiscent of street tacos, but you don’t have to chase a food truck for this spice attack. Get this recipe from A Simple Pantry at

frenzy : Maple Pecan Popcorn — Mmm, sweet and salty is a combination that will never lead you astray. The maple pecan melts in your mouth and adds a nice crunch to old plain popcorn. Skip the syrupy pancakes; rather whip that! Get this recipe from Epicurious at

Benign: Chocolate Protein Popcorn — This is a great idea for any gym lover. Who said getting your daily protein intake couldn’t be enjoyable? Chocolate protein popcorn looks a lot more appetizing than a powdery shake. You can also replace the protein powder with cocoa and stevia. Get this recipe from Bites of Wellness at

frenzy : Bacon and Jalapeño Popcorn “You had me with bacon!” Nothing says lenient more than putting bacon on things he shouldn’t go on. This zesty shakeup is brought to you by Guy Fieri, the flavor master himself. Embark for the city of flavors! Get this recipe from Epicurious at

Benign: Vegan popcorn with maple and caramel — This Cookie and Katie recipe is all about going back to basics. This plant-based version of classic caramel corn is mouthwatering and won’t leave you feeling guilty. They recommend popping corn from scratch and using whatever nut butter you have on hand. Get this recipe from Cookie and Katie at

frenzy : Sriracha Honey Popcorn — This golden-red beauty will make perfect sense if you’ve ever tried hot honey on pizza. A little salty but a little sweet, what more could you ask for? Add a little extra sriracha if you can handle the heat, and the garlic flavor will really pop. Get this recipe from Epicurious at

Benign: Coconut Curry Popcorn — This is one of Honest to Goodness’ 12 popcorn recipes, and it’s my favorite! Coconut curry has a complex flavor profile, and it’s all the seasoning needed to liven up a batch of plain popcorn. Move over the movie theater popcorn, coconut curry popcorn has much more complex flavors to tickle your palette. Get this recipe from Honest to Goodness at (#9).

frenzy : Crunchy Salted Caramel Popcorn — Caramel popcorn is notoriously difficult to make properly. Caramel sauce often makes popcorn soggy and oversaturated, ruining the natural fluffy texture of beloved popcorn. This recipe from Recipe Winners guarantees a good crunch to the last bite. Their secret is to add baking soda to the caramel and then bake it. Get this recipe from the recipe winners at

Benign: Cinnamon Apple Popcorn “Have you ever wanted to bring a bowl of your favorite apple and cinnamon cereal to the theater?” This fall-inspired popcorn has you covered. Enjoy a horror movie on a cloudy fall day with this recipe, or wow your guests at Halloween parties. Get this recipe from Around My Family Table at

frenzy : Peanut Butter Popcorn – This simple recipe is another versatile peanut butter baking app. Honey is added to complement the salty taste of the popcorn, and this batch is crisp all the way through. You could probably make this one in a jiffy with just four ingredients! Get this recipe from Nerdy Mamma at


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