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With less than 31 calories a cup, popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks available. Even popped in oil, one cup has a mere 55 calories. It is also high in fiber and naturally sodium- and sugar-free. All the more reason to grab the biggest bowl you own, pop in a good DVD and indulge!

If you’re craving more than just plain popcorn, there are countless ways to dress it up. A quick search on food.com for “€œpopcorn”€ will yield more than 800 mouthwatering results, from basic recipes to popcorn balls and fancy wreaths. Following are just a few of the top-rated recipes.

Peanut butter popcorn

1/2 cup light corn syrup (or golden syrup)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

6-8 cups popped popcorn

In a small saucepan, melt together the corn syrup and sugar. Add peanut butter and allow it to melt too. Be careful not to boil mixture too much or the peanut butter will scorch. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over popcorn.

Spicy cheese popcorn

1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch cumin (a little goes a long way)

1 pinch thyme

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup popcorn, un-popped

Combine parmesan, salt, cayenne, cumin and thyme. This is best done in a processor with a blade for 3 minutes or until very fine. Pop the corn and mix with the butter. Toss with the cheese mix. This is best served hot, but may be made up to 4 hours in advance.

Pizza popcorn

3 quarts freshly popped corn

1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

While popcorn is popping, melt butter and add next 5 ingredients. Toss well and top with Parmesan cheese.

Taco popcorn

1/2 cup popcorn

2 tablespoons oil

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon taco seasoning

Salt, if desired

Heat oil and popcorn kernels in covered pot over medium-high heat. After first kernel pops, shake pot gently until all popping stops. Melt butter and mix with taco seasoning. Toss butter mixture with popped popcorn in a large bowl.

Cinnamon bun popcorn

1 (85g) package of microwave popcorn

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar, mix well. Spoon over popped popcorn and sprinkle with cinnamon.

The creative possibilities in dressing up popcorn are endless. Whether it’s sweet or salt you’re craving, or a combination of both, take a look through your pantry and make your very own “gourmet”€ mix. Oh, and don’t forget the movie.

Reference:
1. 6 Creative Popcorn Recipes | Real Simple
2. Popcorn Recipes – Allrecipes.com

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