Make Snack Time Pop with Herb-Spiced Popcorn

By: Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

There’s nothing better than a freshly popped bowl of popcorn, especially when it comes fresh from the ear and is ready in just a few minutes. Popcorn has long been a favorite snack for nutritionists and dietitians, with just 31 calories and about 2 grams per cup, it’s low in calories and has a small amount of fiber in addition to some calcium, potassium and iron.

This popcorn took just a few minutes and is air-popped in the microwave without using any oil or a stovetop. Because popcorn is versatile and allows for many different flavors you can make it your own and add whatever you like. I added Mediterranean-style herbs, basil and oregano along with olive oil and some salt and pepper once it was done cooking.

To mix it up you could add curry powder and some turmeric for an Indian-inspired flavor or some saffron and paprika or truffle oil. Popcorn makes for a great snack or addition to any meal, so get popping!

There’s one important note about popcorn: the linings of many pre-packaged popcorn bags meant for the microwave are lined with dangerous chemicals including PFOA that may contribute to an increased risk for bladder cancer, thyroid problems and high cholesterol. So it’s important to make your popcorn at home yourself!

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  • 1 ear dried corn (for popcorn) or 1/3-1/2 cup dried, organic kernels
  • 3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Any other herbs or spicesYou’ll need a brown paper bag for this recipe.



  1. Place ear or kernels in a brown paper bag.
  2. Shut the bag by folding it over at the top and place the bag into the microwave.
  3. Pop the popcorn on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes then remove the already popped kernels into a bowl.
  4. Place the unpopped kernels or ear back into the microwave and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or a minute.
  5. Add the herbs and spices and the oil, then serve and enjoy!

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 7 minutes

Servings: 4

  • Nutrition per serving:
  • Calories170
  • Fat12g
  • Saturated Fat1.5g
  • Cholesterol0mg
  • Sodium150mg
  • Carbohydrates16g
  • Fiber3g
  • Sugars0g
  • Protein 2g

Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used.

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Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

Isabel is a Registered Dietitian, wellness expert and fitness coach. Isabel has her own nutrition and wellness practice based in New York City, Isabel Smith Nutrition, but she works with clients and corporations both nationwide and worldwide in a variety of areas including skin health, weight loss, gastrointestinal issues and allergies, sports nutrition, general wellness and more. As a Guided Reboot coach, Isabel has helped hundreds juice their way to better health. When she isn’t helping clients achieve optimal nutrition and wellness, she can be found trying and creating new juices and making other healthy recipes, running, cooking, spinning, practicing yoga, and enjoying time with her two Yorkshire terriers. Isabel is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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