One of my favorite, healthy snacks is fresh popped popcorn. In the not so distant past, I had quite a discussion with some friends about "things that our kids know nothing about". The conversation included record players, cassette tapes, typewriters, percolator coffee makers, and film cameras. Then someone said, what about popcorn that doesn't come out of a bag in the microwave?
It never occurred to me how few people make popcorn from scratch anymore. The convenience of microwave popcorn is not worth the taste sacrifice. Oh, I admit, I've purchased it a time or two, but the small servings, the higher calories, and the trash it generates always makes me wonder why I bought it. Microwave popcorn often utilizes unhealthy oils.
I'm a popcorn connoisseur. I've been using a stovetop popcorn popper for years. It looks exactly like the one in the photo, but it's a bit more time worn. It has a crank handle to keep the popcorn from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan and fills the popper with every batch. If you haven't made popcorn outside the microwave lately, I highly endorse this product.
If you want to make kettle corn with one of these poppers, just add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the oil and kernels at the beginning. Keep cranking the handle and you'll have fresh perfect kettle corn.
Popcorn made fresh on the stove is lower in calories, cost, and garbage. I buy my popcorn in bulk, not single serve packets wrapped in plastic. It's one of the least expensive, healthy and fresh snacks I can serve.
Studies indicate a snack before bedtime can increase seratonin levels and promote quality restful sleep. Carbohydrates increase seratonin levels in the brain. Complex carbohydrates, which raise the level of tryptophan in the brain, have a calming effect as well. A combination of the two is ideal as a pre-sleep snack. It takes only 30 grams of high-quality carbs to see an increase of seratonin levels in the brain. A small bowl (approximately 4 cups) of popped popcorn equates to 30 grams of carbohydrates.