16 Healthy Popcorn Toppings to Shake up Your Popcorn

Tina Ruggiero

Popcorn is a pretty healthy snack. It is also packed with antioxidants and whole grains.Popcorn is a low calorie snack and very satisfying. You can feel good when you eat a big bowl of popcorn at your next movie night.

One fun way to make your popcorn even tastier is to add a healthy popcorn topping. There are so many different types of popcorn toppings that you can try, too. We are going to tell you all about our favorite healthy popcorn toppings so you can give each one a try. You are guaranteed to find a few that you love!

Why Avoid Pre-Seasoned Popcorn?

When you go to the movie theater, the popcorn you are served may not have the same health benefits as the popcorn you can make at home. Homemade popcorn made on the stove top or air popper is much healthier. 

Hot air popped popcorn is only about 100 calories for a huge 3 cup serving. Movie theater popcorn has about 400 calories for the same quantity. All that butter and oil they use is not healthy. And, when eating pre seasoned popcorn, you have no control over what ingredients are on the popcorn. 

When you make your own popcorn, you can use whole grain popcorn, choose all natural ingredients and even make sure your popcorn fits into your diet. You can easily make gluten free, allergy friendly seasoned popcorn that everyone in your family can enjoy. Plus, homemade popcorn tastes fresh and more delicious than any pre-popped, pre-seasoned popcorn ever could. 

How to Get Homemade Seasoning to Stick

It can be hard to get dry seasonings to stick to popcorn. You want your homemade seasonings to coat each and every popped popcorn kernel so you get flavor in every bite. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can try. 

Olive oil and coconut oil are great for making popcorn seasoning stick to popped popcorn. Try spraying a light coat of olive oil or coconut oil over the popcorn then sprinkling the popcorn seasoning over the snack. The oil will help the popcorn have a nice, even coat of seasoning on each kernel. 

If you are making sweet popcorn, try using powdered sugar to make the seasoning rather than granulated sugar. Granulated sugar tends to fall to the bottom of the bowl while powdered sugar will stick to the kernels well.

Healthy Seasonings You Need to Try

There are an endless number of seasonings that you can add to your popcorn. Here are a few of our favorite healthy popcorn seasonings to give you a little inspiration for your next bowl of popcorn. 

Savory Popcorn Seasonings

Chili Lime

Chili lime popcorn is a spicy snack that you will adore. Chili powder is a strong spice that will add a lot of heat to your salty snack. Chili powder is also pretty healthy. It has been proven to help clear sinuses and also reduce blood pressure. A little bit of fresh lime juice squeezed over the popcorn will cool down the heat and make your popcorn tangy, spicy and irresistible. 

Curry Powder Popcorn Seasoning

There are a lot of different types of curry powder on the market that you can sprinkle on top of your popcorn. Try Jamaican, Thai or Indian curry seasoning and see which you like best. Each one is so different! But no matter which type of curry you choose, it will really make your snack time more exciting. You can even drizzle a little sugar syrup over the popcorn to make it a sweet and savory snack. 

Parmesan Cheese Pizza Seasoning

Parmesan cheese and popcorn are a match made in heaven. Powdered parmesan sticks to popcorn well and makes and easy snack that is high in calcium and also rich in protein. Add a little dried oregano and onion powder to your popcorn to make a pizza inspired snack. 

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a great dairy free alternative for cheese. If you want popcorn with a cheesy flavor but without the actual cheesy, nutritional yeast can help. It is a simple powder that has a big, nutty, cheesy flavor. You can sprinkle it right over your popped popcorn, maybe add some garlic powder, cumin or chili powder for a nacho flavor, and then enjoy. Oh, and nutritional yeast is very high in potassium so you will be getting essential nutrients with this tasty popcorn seasoning. 

Spicy Maple Popcorn

Get a small bowl and mix some maple syrup with your favorite hot sauce. Pour this mix over a bowl of whole grain popcorn and you will have an incredible snack. The sweet, sticky popcorn is so easy to make and a true show stopper. Try adding a little extra cayenne pepper to turn up the heat even more. Spicy peppers have been shown to boost metabolism so you may want to have a second bowl of this tasty popcorn. 

Dorito Flavored Popcorn

Real Doritos may not be the healthiest snack on the market. All those artificial ingredients listed on the bag can’t all be good. But you can make your own Dorito inspired popcorn that is actually healthy. Just add nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and cumin to your popped popcorn and you instantly have created Dorito popcorn. It also takes less total time to make this Dorito popcorn that it would take to go to the grocery store for Doritos. 

Ranch Flavored Popcorn

Everyone loves ranch flavoring which is why ranch popcorn is pretty popular. It is also so easy to make. All you need is some powdered ranch seasoning mix and you are ready to create a delicious snack. Sprinkle as much or as little ranch seasoning you want over your cup of popcorn and then enjoy. 

Sweet Popcorn Seasonings

Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to ignore your sweet tooth. There are lots of sweet popcorns you can enjoy while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few of our favorite sweet popcorns that you will love, too.

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn Seasoning

Apple cinnamon popcorn will satisfy all of your fall cravings. All you need to do is crush some dried apple sliced into a fine powder, mix it with a little cinnamon and sprinkle it over your popcorn. This is a fun and tasty way to add a fruit to your popcorn bowl. Pair your apple cinnamon popcorn with some apple cider and you have a perfect fall snack. 

Banana Bread Popcorn

You can make your healthy popcorn taste like banana bread just by adding a few simple seasonings. Sprinkle some allspice, brown sugar, chopped banana chips and heart healthy walnuts over you popcorn and your dream snack will be complete. You can even make your own dehydrated banana chips to avoid any added sugars and oils. Sounds pretty amazing to us.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a sticky, sweet topping to add to your popcorn. Use a little coconut oil to thin out your peanut butter and make it easy to pour over your favorite salty snack. Try making peanut butter popcorn balls for meal planning and enjoying all week long.

Balsamic Vinegar

A little bit of balsamic vinegar on your popcorn will make a huge, flavorful difference in your snack. We like to cook the balsamic vinegar for a few minutes to reduce it into a thick, sweet syrup. The sweet and tangy taste will satisfy any craving. It will add a complex flavor that is worthy of a 5 star restaurant. Balsamic vinegar is also a heart healthy ingredient that is tasty and good for you. 

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt

Dark chocolate and sea salt popcorn is going to become one of your all time favorite snacks. Melted dark chocolate is heart healthy and will add so much amazing flavor to your popcorn. You can even add some chopped pumpkin seeds or almonds to the bowl which will stick to the chocolate, making your popcorn even crunchier. You may want to divide your chocolate popcorn into individual serving sizes so you don’t eat the whole decadent batch. 

Gingerbread

Gingerbread popcorn is perfect for the winter holiday season. You can easily make it by sprinkling a little ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon over your popcorn. All of these spices have anti inflammatory properties that will help keep you healthy while you enjoy an incredible snack. You are going to want a big bowl of gingerbread popcorn for your next winter movie night. 

Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn

You can make your popcorn taste like your favorite ice cream flavor when you make this healthy snack. All you need is a tiny bit of mint extract and a few melted chocolate chips. Mix the extract into the chocolate and drizzle it over your popcorn. Now, you can enjoy the taste of mint chocolate chip without the calories and fats in the ice cream. 

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate popcorn sounds like something from a dream. Luckily, you can make it a reality just by dusting your popcorn with a little cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Try adding a little bit of cayenne pepper to make it a sweet and spicy snack. 

Get Even More Creative with Your Popcorn 

There are a lot of fantastic, healthy seasonings you can add to your popcorn to help make your favorite snack even better. We are always thinking of new ways to make popcorn even more exciting and flavorful. Be sure to check back soon to get more snack inspiration and learn more about popcorn as a whole. Happy snacking. 

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