Popcorn can be a healthy snack choice when trying to keep with a healthy (lifelong) diet, especially if you are tempted to go for a bag of chips chock full of oil, salts and preservatives. Choosing how to season and flavour your popcorn is even more exciting and helps turn a relatively bland snack into a sweet, savoury or spicy snack. Keep in mind that most corn and popcorn on the market is GMO, so you’ll want to find brands that provide all Natural and GMO-free popcorn.
There are a lot of Popcorn seasonings on the market, but I find that most of the ones I’ve seen are not so great, and many aren’t vegan, if that’s what you’re looking for. I feel that 9 times out of 10, you’d be doing yourself a flavour to add your own toppings, and it will probably take no more than 30 seconds.
Some of the not so great ingredients found in commercial popcorn seasonings are: Modified Food Starch, Modified Milk Ingredient, Modified Palm & High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Modified Palm and Coconut Oil + a bunch of preservatives to prevent “clumping” and to keep the ingredients from going bad.
How to Avoid GMO popcorn and other products
- Look for “Non-GMO” on the label, as well as, “Certified Organic”, since Certified Organic products are not allowed to use GMO ingredients. Be aware that some products have some organic ingredients, but that does not mean that they all are, so watch out for things that say “made with organic ingredients”. – Source
- Shopping Guide for GMO & Non-GMO products
Approximately 90% of corn is GMO. Luckily, there are a number of brands which use Non-GMO popcorn. Here are just a few of them for you to look into:
I looked up some brands which do appear to have GMO popcorn. It’s good to do your own research, but if you are out and looking at popcorn, make sure to see if the labels say “Non-GMO, Certified-Organic, All Natural…etc”, but Non-GMO is definitely an important one to look out for.
- Act II Microwave Popcorn
- Cracker Jack Popcorn
- Healthy Choice Microwave Popcorn
- Orville Redenbacher Microwave Popcorn
- Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn
Healthy Popcorn Topping Ideas
- Nutmeg / Cinnamon
- Red Hot Pepper Flakes
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Nutritional Yeast - Gives a nutty/cheesy flavour
- Mrs. Dash Lime Fiesta Seasoning / Squeeze of Fresh lime + chili powder (this is a premade seasoning, but these are the ingredients: sweet chili pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, oregano, basil, bay, marjoram, thyme, savory, coriander, mustard, rosemary, garlic, onion, lime juice solids, citric acid, lime peel, rice concentrate.)
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Kelp Seasoning - A naturally salty and seaweedy taste
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Cumin / Curry Powder
- Vegan “Parmesan” (which usually consists of Nutritional Yeast, Pinenuts/Walnuts, Spices…)
When I’ve been making popcorn, I’ve been choosing to use nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, Mrs. Dash Lime Fiesta and sometimes some worcestershire sauce. No need for any butter or oil! Of course it wouldn’t hurt if you added a small amount of vegan butter, but it is healthier to omit it.