I love popcorn.

Mostly because I’m a hopeless snacker and it’s so much fun to eat, but also because it’s delicious and – if prepared properly and not eaten in massive quantities – very healthy! As a naturally high fiber, low fat and low calorie food, popcorn fits nicely into my meal plan this week, given that I’m trying to be slightly more mindful about my diet after my Moroccan (and before my Vietnamese) indulgences.

My flatmate was the one who really got me into making popcorn – or as she calls it, “corn salad.” Soon after she moved in last May, we were hanging out watching a movie and she suggested we make some. I looked at her curiously as she grabbed a pot, heated a small amount of olive oil on the stove (the trick is to get it REALLY hot), poured in some popping corn and put the lid on, moving the pot around once the popping began to prevent the kernels from burning.

Perhaps you’ve been doing this for years like my flatmate, but for me, popcorn had always conjured up images of unhealthy movie theater and microwave bag versions, and if I thought waaaaay back, of those Jiffy pop foil contraptions.

Remember?!

If so, forget about it.

My flatmate, by contrast, was using plain popping corn, kind of like these lovely kernels drying in sun, which I discovered this past weekend in a tiny village while trekking in the High Atlas Mountains.

Okay, so maybe the Moroccan woman who owned this corn wasn’t planning on making popcorn, but that’s all I could think about as I walked by and checked out that sea of golden yellow! But I digress…

Within several minutes, the kitchen smelled amazing and my flatmate produced a massive bowl of freshly popped popcorn! She sprinkled some salt on the kernels and voilà – a satisfying and healthy snack. No artificial butter, chemicals, or any of the other junk you often find in commercially made popcorn.

Personally, I like to keep things simple, but you can also try using a variety of spices and/or flavored oils (walnut oil, for example, is quite tasty) if you want something a bit different. And if by some miracle you have any popcorn left over (admittedly, this rarely happens in my case), just put it into a ziplock bag or other container for a nice little snack the following day.

We now make popcorn so frequently that when I saw this bowl a few weeks ago, I had to buy it.

Now tell me eating popcorn out of that isn’t fun!

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