One RD’s POP Secret!

Believe me, I’m not one of those dietitians who makes sure she gets a fruit, veggie or whole grain serving at each snacking opportunity (hmm…. did I just admit that?)

Now, I’ve gone old school. I put a pot on burner, add a splash of oil and then the kernels. After the corn is popped, add a dash of salt and that’s it. Nothing fancy. But after this, you’ll never go back to the packaged, microwaveable stuff.

For variety, I’ll mix my popcorn with some really good grated cheese (like Asiago) or I’ll throw in a tablespoon of chocolate chips to satisfy a sweet and salty craving. My approach to popcorn is how I approach all food and diet:
1) It must taste good.
2) Try to make it yourself.
3) Don’t be afraid of a little fat, sugar or salt if you’re following rule #2.

Stove Top Popcorn
A naturally gluten-free whole grain snack! To prevent popcorn from burning, add the oil and just two kernels. Once they pop, add the remaining kernels.

Makes 2 servings

1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1/4 cup popcorn
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

In a large covered pot, heat oil and popcorn over medium-high heat. Remove from heat immediately after kernels are done popping. Add salt and serve. Each serving will be about 165 calories, 4 grams fiber and 8 grams fat, mostly unsaturated.

—Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, LDN, is a seasoned spokesperson, writer and presenter, specializing in culinary nutrition. She’s a partner/owner at Teaspoon Communications and lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Visit Deanna at


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