Butter Substitute for Popcorn | 10 Best Alternatives

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A big bowl of popcorn is a favorite snack almost essential for a movie night when you have to catch up on several favorite show episodes. But if you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet or are a vegetarian, finding a good butter substitute for popcorn can be challenging.

There are a few healthy options out there that will allow you to enjoy your popcorn without all the guilt. We’ll discuss a few of our favorite substitutes below.

What is the healthiest popcorn?

Air-popped unsalted and unsweetened plain popcorn is the healthiest popcorn. It is low in calories and a good source of fiber. Air-popped popcorn is also free of additives and preservatives. However, there are many popular brands of air-popped popcorn that are flavored with salt, butter, and other unhealthy popcorn seasonings. If you are looking for a healthy option, check the label before you buy. It should be clearly indicated as unsalted popcorn.

10 butter substitutes for popcorn

If you are looking for a healthier butter substitute for popcorn, try using vegetable oils like olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil, canola oil, ghee, grape seed oil, and sesame oil instead of butter. These oils contain healthy fats that can help improve your cholesterol levels. So, how do you use these oils?

1. Sesame oil:

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy alternative to butter, look no further than sesame oil. Popcorn is the perfect vehicle for highlighting the nutty flavor of sesame oil, and the oil’s high smoke point means that it won’t burn easily.

In addition, sesame oil is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, which has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer. So next time you’re in the mood for popcorn, reach for the sesame oil instead of the butter. You’ll be glad you did!

2. Ghee:

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been traditionally used in Indian cooking. It is made by simmering butter until the water evaporates and the milk solids separate out, leaving behind a golden-yellow liquid.

Ghee has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying and sautéing. It also has a rich, nutty flavor that enhances the taste of popcorn.

To make ghee-popped popcorn, simply melt a tablespoon of ghee in a large pot. Add a cup of popcorn kernels and cover the pot with a lid. Shake the pot occasionally to prevent the grains from burning. Once the grains have finished popping, remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle with salt to taste.

The ghee will make the popcorn easier to digest and provide an extra flavor boost.

3. Olive oil:

Not only is olive oil lower in saturated fat, but it also has several other benefits. For starters, olive oil is packed with antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage. It’s also a good source of monounsaturated fat, linked to lower levels of heart disease.

In addition, olive oil can help enhance your popcorn’s flavor. When popped in olive oil, kernels tend to expand more evenly, resulting in a perfectly seasoned, fluffy, light popcorn.

Simply add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of garlic powder to your popcorn popper and the kernels, and enjoy a delicious and nutritious snack.

4. Grapeseed oil:

Grapeseed oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of grapes. It has many benefits that make it a good choice for cooking, including a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Grapeseed oil is also a good source of heart-healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

In terms of its Popcorn making abilities, grapeseed oil has two main advantages over butter. First, it doesn’t solidify when heated, which will coat the popcorn more evenly. Second, it has a higher smoke point than butter, so it’s less likely to burn.

5. Coconut oil:

One way to make your popcorn healthier is to use coconut oil instead of butter. Coconut oil is an excellent source of healthy fats, and it can help boost your metabolism. Plus, it has a delicious flavor that can enhance your popcorn taste.

First, melt the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl or a pan on the stove. Next, add your popcorn kernels to the melted coconut oil and stir to coat. Then, place the bowl in the microwave and nuke the popcorn according to your preferred method. Once the batch of popcorn is cooked, season with garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder or as desired. You’ll truly enjoy the savory flavors.

6. Avocado oil:

Avocado oil is a delicious and healthy alternative to butter for popcorn. While most people are familiar with the taste of olive oil (as above), avocado oil has a subtle yet distinct flavor that enhances the popcorn without overwhelming it.

In addition to its flavor, avocado oil is also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats can help to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease.

This oil also has a high smoke point, making it ideal for popping corn. When using avocado oil for popcorn, use a light hand so that the popcorn doesn’t end up greasy. A little goes a long way when it comes to this flavorful and healthy oil.

7. Canola oil:

Canola oil is a healthier alternative to butter, and it can be just as delicious when used to make popcorn. Canola oil has a light flavor that will not overwhelm the popcorn, and it is a good source of heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

When making popcorn with canola oil, simply heat the oil in a large pot or kettle on medium-high heat. Then add the kernels and cook until they are popped. Be sure to shake the pot frequently to prevent the popcorn kernels from burning.

You’ll end up with a tasty, low-fat treat perfect for that movie night. Just remember to get your flavor combinations right.

8. Nut butter:

Nut butter is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional butter for popcorn. While nut butter does have a higher fat content than regular butter, it is also packed with protein and essential nutrients. In addition, nut butter has a richer buttery flavor that can take your popcorn to the next level.

When choosing a nut butter for your popcorn, it is crucial to select one that is unsweetened and has a creamy texture. Almond butter or peanut butter are both great options.

To use nut butter on your popcorn, simply melt it in the microwave or on the stovetop and drizzle it over the popcorn. You can also add a variety of other toppings, such as chocolate chips or diced fruit, to create a truly unique snack.

9. Trail mix:

Look no further than trail mix if you’re looking for an unusual but delicious and nutritious way to upgrade your popcorn. Simply sprinkle a handful of trail mix over your popcorn and enjoy the added crunch and flavor distribution.

The extra nutrients from the nuts and dried fruit will give you a boost of energy.

Whether you’re looking for a movie night snack or an on-the-go energy source, trail mix is the perfect popcorn companion.

10. Citrus:

The most popular way to enjoy popcorn is with butter, but did you know that you can also use citrus as a butter substitute?

Citrus provides a lovely sweetness and zing that pairs perfectly with the salty flavor of popcorn. And, it’s easy to make your citrus-infused butter at home.

Simply combine equal parts softened nut butter and grated citrus zest. Then, add a little bit of freshly squeezed citrus juice to taste. This delicious butter can be used on popcorn or toast, or muffins. So next time you’re in the mood for something different, give citrus-buttered popcorn a try! 

Related Topic:

Can vegetarians eat popcorn?

Yes, popcorn is vegetarian food. It is made from corn kernels that are popped with hot air or oil.

Though it is often associated with greasy fingers and movie theaters, popcorn can be a healthy snack for vegetarians.

Unlike many other types of corn, popcorn is whole grain, high in fiber and low in calories. Still, it is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Popcorn can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other dishes. 

Popcorn nutrition facts

Popcorn is a whole grain and contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of fiber.

A single 3-cup serving of popped regular popcorn has:

Carbs19 grams
Fat1.1 g

 As you can now tell, popcorn can fit into a healthy diet. Just be mindful of how you top it or what you use to pop it to ensure it doesn’t become a calorie-laden treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is popcorn with butter healthy?

While popcorn is a healthy snack on its own, adding butter or other toppings can quickly turn it into a high-calorie treat. If you are watching your weight, it is best to avoid adding butter or other fatty toppings to your popcorn.

Is olive oil good on popcorn?

Olive oil is a healthy alternative to butter and other fatty toppings. It will give your popcorn a slight Mediterranean flavor and is perfect for anyone watching their fat intake.

Is homemade popcorn healthy?

Yes, homemade popcorn is a healthy snack option. You don’t have to buy the cooked popcorn.
Just be sure to use a healthy cooking method, such as air popping or stovetop popping with a small amount of oil. Microwave popcorn is still a trend these days.

Is air-popped popcorn good for you?

Yes, air-popped popcorn is a healthy and low-calorie snack. It is also a good source of fiber. Just avoid adding extra butter, cheese, or other high-calorie toppings. 

Final Word:

Popcorn is a healthy and versatile snack. Whether you are looking for a movie night treat or a quick and easy snack on the go, you now have several options to choose from. So get creative and enjoy your goodies with one of the above butter substitutes for popcorn.

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