Popcorn Anyone?

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What do oatmeal, popcorn, and brown rice have in common? They are all whole grains and whole grains can be delicious as well as nutritious. Eating more whole grains is linked with:

  • Slower cognitive decline in aging
  • Healthy digestion and staying “regular”
  • Less inflammation
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Improved metabolism
  • Lower BMI and less obesity
  • Lower LDL “bad” cholesterol
  • 14% lower risk of stroke
  • 19-22% lower risk of heart disease
  • 17% lower risk of colorectal cancer
  • Overall “successful aging,” defined as the absence of disability, depression, cognitive problems, respiratory problems, and chronic disease
    *For more information on these studies, visit the Whole Grains Council website*

September is whole grain month. To learn more about the many delicious types of whole grains, we will be focusing on a different grain and feature a new recipe each week of the month. Try to make at least one half of your grains whole and enjoy some whole grain goodness today.

Popcorn makes a great afternoon snack and can be made in advance to have on hand for later. All you need is a large pan or pot with a lid and some popcorn kernels. Try this recipe from Med Instead of Meds for Simple Stovetop Popcorn.

Simple Stovetop Popcorn

Flavor your popcorn to your liking – some of our favorite flavor combinations include:

  • Paprika, black pepper, and salt
  • Oregano, thyme, parsley, black pepper, and salt
  • Shredded parmesan and black pepper
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg

Pop, season, and enjoy!

Serves: 4
Serving Size: about 1 cup
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil.
  • 2 tablespoons popcorn kernels – about enough to cover the bottom of your sauce pot with one layer of kernels. (Note – Popping kernels grow a lot during cooking, more than you’d expect, so if you’re in doubt of whether you’ll have enough room in your pot or pan for all the popped corn, start with fewer kernels.)
  • Herbs and spices to taste.


  1. Put a medium saucepot on high heat. Coat the bottom of the pot with a thin layer of oil. Add three popcorn kernels and put a lid on the pot.
  2. Once one or more of the kernels has popped, cover the bottom of the pot with a single layer of the remaining popcorn kernels and replace the lid.
  3. Gently shake the pot over the heat source to prevent the kernels from burning. Continue shaking until most kernels have popped.
  4. Turn off the heat and continue to shake for a few seconds to pop any final kernels.
  5. To season popcorn, choose your preferred flavor combination (see suggestions above). To help herbs and spices stick, drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over the popcorn, toss, season, and then toss again. (Med Tip: Season your popcorn while it’s still warm so it will better absorb oil and spices.)