Three twists on a classic summertime snack

When searching for a snack, nothing beats the convenience of microwave popcorn. However, dozens of reports point to the health risks associated with ingredients used by many manufacturers of microwave popcorn. We discovered an alternative that is safer, healthier and less expensive than a traditional bag of microwave popcorn.

Our test kitchen tried multiple brands of microwave poppers, and our favorite was the Nordic Ware Pro Pop Popper. This model consistently had the most popped kernels of the brands we tested, and we enjoyed how it doubled as a sturdy serving bowl. Visit West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle on Facebook to enter to win one of six Nordic Ware Pro Pop Poppers that we’ll be giving away throughout July.

For a healthier alternative to butter, we added two tablespoons of The Spicy Olive’s Butter Olive Oil to the kernels before popping, then sprinkled with salt after. This simple recipe creates a guilt-free snack. If you want to try something a little fancier, enjoy these two ways to dress up your popcorn.

Truffle Popcorn

·          ½ cup popcorn kernels

·         2-4 Tablespoons The Spicy Olive’s Butter Olive Oil

·         1 teaspoon The Spicy Olive’s White or Black Truffle Oil

·         The Spicy Olive’s Black Truffle Salt

Add kernels to Pro Pop Popper. Stir kernels in butter olive oil until coated. Using a pour spout, slowly drizzle the  truffle oil halfway down on the inside edge of the popper (the oil will gradually roll onto the popcorn as it pops). Microwave per manufacturer’s instructions. Sprinkle with black truffle salt to desired taste. Stir well to help coat in the truffle oil and salt. Recipe courtesy of The Spicy Olive.

Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn with Chocolate Drizzle

·          ½  cup popcorn kernels

·          ½ cup honey

·          ¼ cup sugar

·          ½-¾ cup creamy peanut butter

·          ½ teaspoon vanilla

·          1 teaspoon salt

·          1 Tablespoon coconut oil

·          ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Add kernels to microwave Pro Pop Popper and microwave per manufacturer’s instructions. In small saucepan on medium heat, bring honey, coconut oil and sugar to a rolling boil. Once ready, remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Add more peanut butter depending on taste preference. Stir until smooth. Pour peanut butter sauce over popcorn kernels and stir until completely coated. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a separate bowl and drizzle over popcorn when ready. Recipe courtesy of NordicWare.com.