This recipe for nori popcorn is a tasty way to get the health benefits of sea vegetables!
I know I'm in the minority, but one of the few foods I absolutely despise is movie theater popcorn. Blech. It's not a health thing - there's just something about that fake butter smell that churns my stomach. I sometimes even have a hard time going to the movie theater if it's too potent!
Homemade popcorn though? Now that's a different story! I'm all about making it on the stovetop. There's something really soothing about shaking the skillet of popcorn kernels, listening to the build up, the rapid fire of pops, then the die down. Plus, it's fun to get creative with different seasonings and spices!
My absolute favorite is parmesan and black pepper popcorn, but this Asian-inspired nori popcorn is a close second. I came up with this as a way to make those nori snacks more substantial. I love nori snacks, but snacks they are not. There's no way a 30 calorie package of seaweed is going to fill me up until my next meal!
This popcorn is a great way to fit sea vegetables into your diet, a food we should be eating more of outside of the occasional sushi dinner. That's because sea vegetables, like nori, are a source of unique nutrients hard to find in other foods. Let's take a look:
- Perhaps it's best known and most important benefit is that seaweed contains more iodine than any other food source. Iodine, a mineral that's found in varying degrees in other foods, depending on the soil it's grown in, plays a critical role in thyroid health. The thyroid gland helps regulate metabolism, and when it's not working like it should, can result in fatigue, depression, and weight changes.
- Seaweed is a natural source of alginate, a polysaccharide that forms a gum-like consistency when it binds with water. Alginate has some major benefits for gut health -studies suggest it can help protect the gut wall by strengthening gut mucus and increasing healthy probiotic bacteria.
- Lignans, a type of polyphenol, are found in high amounts in seaweed. With estrogen-like activity, lignans may reduce the risk of breast cancer by blocking stronger forms of estrogen associated with a higher risk of the disease.
- Although the small portion size of seaweed doesn't make it a significant source, it does contain a nice little dose of vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A and protein!
This recipe makes a pretty big amount - although you'll go through it quickly! I like to pack extra in baggies to bring it to work for a snack. It's also really tasty tossed with almonds, peanuts or cashews, which makes it a more substantial snack. If you want to really deck it out (and add some beneficial probiotics), mash together equal parts butter and miso paste, melt and pour over the top!
Make this nori popcorn for your next movie night! @healthyaperture @RHartleyRD Tweet this
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 2/3 cup popcorn kernels
- .4 ounce package toasted nori snacks, crushed
- Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
- Heat sesame oil on medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or sided skillet with a lid.
- When oil is hot, add popcorn kernels and cover with lid. Cook, shaking occasionally, until popping has slowed down to about 3 seconds between each pop.
- Remove lid and immediately sprinkle with salt.
- Pour popcorn into a large bowl. Top with crushed toasted nori and sesame seeds.