Make a heart-healthy snack in a jiffy

shutterstock_123723322October 27 — Have a hankering for a salty treat? Forget the chips and pop up some popcorn — the old-fashioned way. Not only does plain popcorn provides whole grains, fiber and antioxidants — the germ contains healthy oils, vitamin E, protein, many B vitamins and minerals.

Here’s how: Add 3 Tablespoons of oil and 3 kernels of popcorn to a 3-quart covered saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until all 3 kernels pop. Carefully remove the kernels — and add in 1/3 cup more kernels. Cover and let pop! Remove the pot from heat and count for 30 seconds. Next, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a big bowl. (If you are under 12, be sure to have a grown-up help with the popping part.)

For more fun and flavor: While a sprinkle of sea salt is always delicious, experiment topping with your popcorn with different flavors — such as taco seasoning, Parmesan cheese, or Ann Butler’s favorite — drizzled honey with a dash of cinnamon and a handful of cranberries.

Did you know: Dietitians agree that while plain, natural popcorn is full of health benefits, microwave popcorn is usually packed with unhealthy oils, other additives and more calories. Kettle corn and caramel corn provide hefty doses of sugars. Source: healthyeating