I’m a snacker. Well actually, I would consider myself more of an eater, but snacker falls into that category. I’m also a nibbler. I like to take little bites of everything. When I’m chopping veggies, I can’t not sneak a little taste of each one. When I’m baking, I can’t not taste the batter or dough. Even when I’m cooking, I can’t help myself, I just need to take a little bite of what’s on the stove even though I know it’s not done yet. I just like to nibble.
So that’s why snacking is so perfect for me. But as we all know, snacking can also be super dangerous – especially for your waistline. Snacks get a bad rap, but they can also be an integral part of your diet, if you choose thoughtfully and consciously think about what you’re putting into your body.
It’s all about finding the perfect balance – what fits into your lifestyle and is a reasonable portion size so that it keeps you satisfied and doesn’t leave you craving more than you need.
It’s taken me many years, but I think I’ve finally found an “eating schedule” that works for me. I eat three meals a day and
allow try to allow myself one snack. I try my hardest to make smart choices at each meal, but have found snacks to be the hardest.
Being gluten-free, snacks can be a challenge, especially when you’re determined to eat healthy. There aren’t a lot of nutritious, on-the-go gluten-free snack foods on the market (although fruits and veggies are always a great option). There’s always tortilla chips – which I absolutely adore – and other gluten-free packaged snacks, but they’re overly processed, low in nutrients and overall just not that good for you.
So I’ve resorted to making my own snacks. Healthy, nutritious, but still satisfying and delicious snacks. Popcorn has become a staple for me.
Personally, I think popcorn is the perfect snack. It’s light, filling, low in calories, low in fat and easy to make. It’s portable, naturally gluten-free and super tasty. I even sometimes eat it for dinner when Mr. Henderson isn’t around because I love it so much. I mean honestly, you can’t go wrong with popcorn. Am I right?
In this house we pop our own popcorn. No bagged stuff for us. We buy organically grown corn kernels in bulk at our local health food store and pop it old school style on the stove. A little bit of olive oil, a hot burner and a covered pan, you’re good to go!
But just plain old popcorn is a little bland. It needs some spice, and I’m a spice loving kinda girl. Anything I can do to add a burst of flavor I’m all for – I think spices are there to enhance flavors and let the food shine.
Salt and pepper being my most favorite two spices in the entire world.
This simple, yet delightful little snack only takes five ingredients, three of which are “spices”. Corn kernels, oil, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. And if you’re not already eating nutritional yeast (you should be), let me just tell you, its amazing cheeziness is the light of my dairy-free life. It always makes me happy. I pretty much use it any where that I can – popcorn being my newest found obsession.
What’s your favorite snack food?
- ¼ cup corn kernels (about 3 cups popped popcorn)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil on the stove over medium high heat.
- Add the corn kernels and watch carefully until they begin to pop.
- Once the kernels being to pop, swirl the pan around on the burner (so it doesn't burn) and wait until the pops are about 3 seconds in between.
- Transfer the popped popcorn to a large bowl.
- Drizzle with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss with salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.