The crunchy, delicious treat of a bowl of popcorn doesn’t have to be unhealthy when you find out how easy it is to add flavor to plain – no oil, air-popped popcorn. No butter, oil or salt needed.
Sharing more on what I eat while following a whole food plant based diet using no oil. WFPB
When trying to eat heathy, choosing what to snack on can become a challenge. Fruit and cut-up veggies may only hit the spot sometimes. On days when I need something more, I head to my microwave and make a batch of no-oil, no or low salt seasoned air-popped popcorn.
Popcorn is a whole-grain food that can be eaten as part of a WFPB healthy diet. Unsalted, fat-free, air-popped popcorn is a healthy snack that only becomes unhealthy when it is coated in oil, butter and salt. It’s higher in antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, it’s a good source of fiber and it’s a whole grain.
How to Make WFPB No-Oil Microwave Popcorn In Minutes
My go-to way of making a popcorn snack in the afternoon or for a Netflix binge is in a Presto PowerPop that goes in the microwave. Mine is an older model, now they are made clear with a black top.
Special paper discs called Concentrator Cups are sold separately(see end of post), but are needed to make the popcorn. One disc can be used over and over again. You will know when to change it when the popcorn placed in it no longer all gets popped.
I prefer white popcorn over yellow and look for organic on the label when I can find it at the supermarket or in bulk at my local health food store.
How Much Popcorn Do I Add to the Microwave Popper?
I add 3 level tablespoons of popcorn to the popper. In my microwave it takes a little less than 2 minutes to pop. I use the “Popcorn” option button on the microwave and it comes out perfect. If I don’t use this button and leave it in too long, it burns. So I have learned to listen and stop the microwave when the popping slows down to a few seconds between pops.
Brown Paper Lunch Bag Popcorn Popper
If you don’t have a microwave popper, you can also use a brown paper lunch bag to pop popcorn in the microwave. Here is how you do it:
- Place 3 tablespoons of popcorn in the bag and fold the top over a few times to make sure it will stay closed.
- Set in the microwave and hit the Popcorn setting button.
- Depending on the wattage of your microwave and how much popcorn was added to the bag will determine how long it takes. Usually only a minute or two, so stay with it and listen for when the popping slows to only a few seconds in-between pops. Remove it then so it does not burn and pour the popped corn into a bowl.
- If all the kernels were not popped, keep them in the bag and repeat the process.
No Salt Seasoning for Microwave Popcorn No Oil
These are my go to seasonings when I make a bowl of popcorn, which is a few times a week or more.
They are my favorites as you can use any dry seasoning, spice or herb to add flavor to plain air-popped no oil popcorn while keeping the snack healthy.
When adding any dry seasoning to air-popped popcorn, you first have to mist the popped popcorn very lightly with a liquid.
For No Salt Seasonings: I use lemon or lime juice, vinegars, or water.
For Salted Seasonings: I use diluted Bragg Liquid Aminos, pickle juice, soy sauce or Sriracha when I want a little salty taste for my popcorn.
I pour water or one of the liquid choices into a small spray bottle like the blue glass one in the above photo.
When spraying the popcorn with a liquid, one or two sprays is enough as you only want enough water or liquid to make the dry seasoning stick to the popcorn. If you add too much, the popcorn will lose its crunch.
No Salt Seasoning Options
First choose what liquid you are going to spritz lightly on your bowl of popcorn, then add one or more of the following and then toss to coat the popcorn.
If you have never used nutritional yeast, it has a nutty, cheesy flavor and adds vitamin B12, potassium, and protein to your popcorn. It is an inactivated form of yeast commonly used to leaven bread, nutritional yeast looks like red pepper flakes, only yellow, or powdered Parmesan cheese, with which it shares a similar flavor, despite being non-dairy.
Most supermarkets sell nutritional yeast. If you can’t find it, here is the kind I use: Nutritional Yeast
Dr. Gregers Spice Mix:
Dill Weed or Any Dried Herb: Mix the herbs with a sprinkle of onion and garlic powder. As you can see from the empty bottle, I like using dill the most and need to get more.
Chili-Lime Popcorn: Combine Sriracha, lime juice, and lime zest to add some spice to your popcorn.
Ciao Popcorn: Sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder and Italian seasoning over popcorn.
Nacho Popcorn: Mix nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder, cumin, paprika, and chili powder and then mix well and you may think it tastes almost like Doritos.
Low Salt Seasoning Options for Microwave No Oil Popcorn
When I want to add a salty flavor to my air-popped popcorn, I do so very sparingly and am amazed that using only a small bit of any of these seasonings ups the flavor.
Bragg Liquid Aminos comes in large bottles and also a small spray bottle size. I like the spray bottle that makes it easy to lightly mist the popcorn so the addition of a dry seasoning will stick to the popcorn.
- Liquid Aminos can be diluted with water to lessen the amount of sodium. I mix it in the spray bottle with water 50/50 mix.
Old Bay Popcorn: This is my favorite way to enjoy a bowl of slightly salty air-popped popcorn. I give the popcorn a very light spray of water and then sprinkle on about a 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning and mix well.
Cheesy Popcorn: Spray popped popcorn one or two times with diluted liquid aminos and then shake nutritional yeast over it. Mix with a large spoon so the nutritional yeast sticks to the popcorn.
Everything Popcorn: Lightly spritz popcorn with diluted Bragg Liquid Aminos and then shake on garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds to copy the flavor of an everything bagel. If using the actual Everything But the Bagel Seasoning that does have salt in it already, I spritz with water not the liquid aminos.
These are only a few seasonings that I have tried and liked, but the fun is in experimenting to come up with new mixes to enjoy your air-popped popcorn so you do not miss the unhealthy butter, oil and salt laden popcorn that you may have eaten in the past.
My WFPB – No Oil Popcorn Making Supplies
Next Friday for my WFBP, no oil post, I will be sharing what I have found makes it easy to enjoy and actually crave a plate or bowl full of vegetables.
Until then, if you want to find some new WFPB, no oil meal recipes to try, check out the recipes that this mother and daughter WFPB, no oil team post: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures