There is no doubt that when you pop in a movie you automatically want to nosh on finger foods; specifically salty popcorn or sweet candy and soda. I am no different. I do “treat” myself to a little helping of my husbands popcorn, butter held, or my favorite candy when I go to the movie theater. However, I know this is not healthy and I end up wasting all that I bought.
I wanted to come up with some healthy and clean eating snacks the entire family can enjoy AND still be healthy.
Did you know the average movie popcorn and soda combo has over 1,600 calories and enough saturated fat to last 3 days – 60 grams! These stats have been compared to eating 3 McDonald’s Quarter Pounders WITH 12 pats of butter. Wow – I am literally shocked and speechless. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has done an entire article on this subject.
Ok, so you are staying in for the night and popping up your own bag of popcorn – great! Well…. not really. Here is a quote from an article stating the dangers of microwave popcorn:
A report from the FDA indicates that a chemical coating used in microwave popcorn bags breaks down when heated into a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen.” Another study has found an acid that can be extracted from the chemical causes cancer in animals and is “likely to cause cancer in humans.”
A second potential danger in microwave popcorn is diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical found in the fake butter flavoring. There’s even a debilitating respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung,” (the medical name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans) suffered by microwave popcorn factory workers caused by extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH) concluded that diacetyl needs further study so that workers in the flavorings and snack industry are no longer at risk.
No comment – I leave the decision up to you.
Now that I have you all worried that your favorite movie time snack is gone from your life forever and you will be snacking on the crumbs that are in your couch cushion, here are some healthy yet satisfying alternatives! I promise – popcorn is at the top of the list!
Making your own is simple, easy and my favorite way to eat it! Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil in a large pot, heat on medium. Immediately put 2 kernels into the pot. Once these kernels have popped scoop 1/3 of a cup of popcorn kernels and place in the pot. Cover and wait until the popcorn has started to pot. Now start shaking the pot back and forth, allowing some of the steam to escape. Once popping has slowed remove from heat, uncover and enjoy! Sprinkle some sea salt on it or nutritional yeast for a buttery alternative.
APPLE AND CARROT SLICES WITH ALMOND BUTTER
Apples and nut butter are my all time favorite snack, hands down. The apple and carrot, yes carrot, adds a sweet taste to the almond butter. I love almond butter because it is low in saturate fat and high in monosaturated fat. This is a snack everyone can enjoy!
PITA BREAD ANS HUMMUS
Hummus is wonderful when you are having a salty or savory craving. Chickpeas contain the necessary folate and magnesium to support a healthy heart. Plus they are high in fiber to support a healthy digestive system. Pair hummus with whole wheat pita bread or veggie sticks.
I am not talking about pre made bags of trail mix – these contain an unhealthy amount of sodium, sugar and oil. Making your own is fun, great tasting and healthy! I love going to the bulk bins and stocking up on raw, unsalted cashews, almonds, dried fruit and either dark chocolate chips or carob chips. Mix up your own batch for that crunchy, sweet and “salty” movie time or ANYTIME snack.
Mindless eating stops here. You can be happy about what you are popping into your mouth with frozen grapes. Crunchy and sweet just like candy!
I know that these alternatives will not work for when you go to the movie theater. AND I know how hard it really is to pass up the snack counter. My tip is to share. Get a small popcorn, hold the butter and a medium soda and share with the person(s) you are watching the movie with. While I DO NOT promote bring in outside food to the movie theater, I always seem to have some dark chocolate in my purse for that chocolate craving. But that’s between me and you!