This article is shared with permission from our friends at Jesse Lane Wellness.
Cheesy Popcorn is a delicious vegan snack that is much healthier than movie theater popcorn. It gets its delicious ‘cheesy’ flavor from nutritional yeast and has a satisfying salty crunch. I am a big fan of popcorn and in my unhealthier university days I would eat an entire bag of microwave popcorn for dinner. I could also eat an entire bag of large popcorn at the movies, talk about sodium overload! Now I’m a little wiser and health savvy, I make half a batch of Cheesy Popcorn and sneak it into the movies with a water bottle full of soda water and peppermint chlorophyll.
Corn is particularly high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidant carotenoids that help neutralize cancer-causing free radicals. Corn is a great source of clean sweeping fiber and contains a good ratio of insoluble to soluble fiber. Research has shown that corn actually supports the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestines. Friendly bacteria facilitate good digestion and keep our immune system strong. Corn contains immune boosting vitamin C, blood sugar regulating manganese, energy-boosting B vitamins and protein.
Why Organic Corn?
In 1994 there were no genetically modified (GM) corn crops in the US, now more than 70% of the corn crops are genetically modified. Some crops are genetically modified to be herbicide tolerant so farmers can liberally spray pesticides without the risk of killing their crops. Other crops are designed to be insect resistant by genetically introducing a protein toxin that kills certain insects when they take a bite of the corn. The problem with GM corn is that it is relatively new and no large-scale studies have been performed to determine its impact on human health. When scientists created GM corn, they modified the proteins and created new proteins our bodies do not recognize. Protein is the basis for most food allergies, therefore, some scientists speculate that GM corn causes more allergic reactions than organic corn. They also believe that genetically modified protein could affect other processes in the body such as the immune and inflammatory system.
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I strongly recommend you stick to organic corn which can be found at farmer’s markets, health food stores and some larger grocery stores. For more information on genetically modified soy check out my Veggie Grain Goodness Bowl Recipe and for general information about genetically modified organisms check out GMO News.
I like to make popcorn in an air popper, alternatively, you can pop the corn on the stove. I would not recommend using plain organic microwave popcorn because it contains lots of chemicals and I do not advocate using microwaves to heat food (that is another post in its self!).
(vegan, gluten free)
Preparation time: 1 Minute
Cook time: 3 Minutes
Serving size: 1-2
- ¼ cup un-popped organic corn kernels
- 1.5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- Pop corn kernels in an air popper or on the stove
- Drizzle with grapeseed oil, sea salt, and nutritional yeast and toss until coated.
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