Healthy Indulgence: The Pleasures of Popcorn

Is there such a thing as healthy indulgence? I think there absolutely is, and it is absolutely part of a radiantly healthy kickass woman’s lifestyle. Check out this recipe for healthy popcorn.

I am often shocked, yes shocked, by the feelings of guilt many women have over eating popcorn! 

A big bowl of healthy popcorn looks like this – organic popcorn, popped in coconut oil, sprinkled with sea salt or sprayed with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tossed with nutritional yeast and freeze-dried dill…  This version has to be one of the most pleasurable indulgences I can think of!

The most important aspect of healthy indulgence is PLEASURE. (A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.) Have you noticed that life can become dull and mechanistic when you don’t have daily experiences of pleasure and fulfillment?

When I don’t create opportunities to enjoy music, nature, food, people, sleep… I get irritable and sad, and then stuck. in. a. rut. …of inertia…and poor self esteem…

It’s a lack of pleasure that drives us to indulge in unhealthy ways that we sometimes mistake for pleasure – overeating, sugar and junk food, drinking too much, binge watching TV.

A lack of real pleasure in our lives makes the hard or challenging things in life harder to do, like exercising, socializing, learning new things, taking positive risks and stretching our capacities.

My philosophy is that human beings need daily experiences of deep pleasure in order to thrive. And eating is one of the most accessible and primal pleasures we can enjoy.

So my strategy is to indulge in the foods that give me pleasure while eating them, and give me the pleasure of feeling good in my body and mind.

Does that limit my options? Well sure, but by limiting my options I increase the pleasure exponentially.

And I wake up the next day with energy, light in my brain and my body, ready to go! (in other words, not bloated, foggy, tired, and bitchy)

That brings me to the subject of this blog, popcorn 

For me it’s the perfect combination of crunchy, salty, fatty and tasty. And, the way I make it, it’s healthy! (Unless you have an allergy to corn of course!)

This recipe follows my rules for meals and snacks which is this – they have to include quality sources of PFF – protein, fat, and fiber – so that my blood sugar stays stable and hormones are happy. 

So here’s the recipe:

Healthy Popcorn with PFF

Organic Popcorn 3/4 cup

Coconut or Avocado Oil – 1/4 cup

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (in spray bottle) or Herbamare – to taste

Nutritional Yeast 2-4 T 

Optional: Freeze Dried Dill

  • Heat up a heavy bottomed pan add the oil and a couple of kernels of corn, when they pop, quickly add the rest and cover tightly. Keep the pan shaking and moving until there is no more popping.
  • Dump into a big bowl, spray with Braggs, then sprinkle with nutritional yeast, dill. (If Bragg’s is not your thing, sprinkle with herb or sea salt)
  • At this point I like to take another big bowl and place it upside down on top of the first one and then give it a really good shake. Taste, adjust seasonings and shake again until it tastes exactly how you like it.

Why do I consider this healthy?

-> Popcorn is naturally wholegrain and loaded with nutrients and fiber. When you use organic (non GMO) corn you avoid exposure to chemicals used to grow conventional corn. Also, a few complex carbs an hour or so before bed can help you to sleep more deeply. 

-> Coconut oil has a high concentration of MCT’s which can boost metabolism, reduce unhealthy triglyceride levels, and support your brain, gut and heart health. Plus, it’s delicious! If coconut oil is not to your taste, try avocado oil. 

-> Nutritional yeast is a nutrient powerhouse that contains 2-4 grams of complete protein in just 1T! As well as trace minerals, B vitamins and many other wonderful nutrients, it also contains beta glucans, which help to bolster immunity. Just a teaspoon can help ward off a cold. Most people use nutritional yeast to add a rich “cheesy” flavor to vegan foods. I can attest to the richness, but it doesn’t strike me as cheesy…

-> Bragg’s Liquid Aminos – I get the spray bottle to make distribution more even and to keep the popcorn from getting wet! It provides a savory note that is hard to beat and helps the nutritional yeast stick to the popcorn better. (If soy is not on the menu, use a nice herb salt.)

-> Dill is a wonderful fresh herb that usually tastes like… nothing…once it has been dried….until I discovered freeze dried dill! The dill flavor blasts through in a surprisingly appropriate way and it adds a bit of green stuff to my snack – always a plus 

Guilt is not part of the recipe.

See? Yummy and Healthy. 

Besides, when it comes to eating, guilt is a waste of time and energy – it sucks the all the joy out of pleasure. 

Guilt produces things like baked tortilla chips – they exist to convince you that you can have the pleasure of eating a tortilla chip without the guilt.

But hey, would you say the experience of eating a baked tortilla is pleasurable?

Can you imagine yourself moaning with delight while munching on something that has the appearance of delicious food… but tastes nothing like it? 

Well, only if there is a big hunk of fatty cheese on top, right? But then you would have to feel guilty…

I make sure that none of my recipes call for guilt, because you need to be fully present for the experience of pleasure.

So promise me you will leave guilt out of it, OK?! Thanks