Recipes Snacks — 18 January 2013

Spice up your favorite snack and pop up a bowl of chili-spiced popcorn. 

By: Jodie Shield, MED, RDN

Did you know that popcorn is one of the most popular snacks? Or that January 19th is National Popcorn Day? Well, it is. And according to the Popcorn Board (Yes, there is such a thing!), Americans eat about 16 billion quarts of the white, crunchy stuff each year. Thank goodness this tasty snack is good for you, too. That is if you don’t drown it in butter and blanket it in salt. Before I share my favorite popcorn recipe for Chili Popcorn, here are a few more interesting popcorn facts. I got them from the Popcorn Board which also offers recipes and tips for making the perfect popcorn.

  • Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 55 calories per cup.
  • When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 113 calories per cup.
  • Popcorn is a whole grain snack that contains fiber and is naturally low in fat and calories.
  • MyPlate counts 3 cups of popped corn as one serving from the grain group.

So in honor of National Popcorn day, pop up a big bowl of Chili Popcorn. I used air-popped popcorn in this recipe, but you can make yours with oil in a popper or on the stove (watch this video for details).  And be sure to download my Free app Eat Healthy Homemade Meals in Minutes available at iTunes and Goggle Play.

Chili Popcorn

4 servings

Prep Time= 5 minutes

No Cooking Required


  • 4 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash garlic powder


  1. Mix popcorn and melted butter in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the seasonings thoroughly.
  3. Sprinkle the seasonings over the popcorn and toss together.  Serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information per (one cup) Serving: 65 calories, 1 gram protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram dietary fiber, 0.5 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 30 milligrams sodium



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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

(3) Readers Comments

  1. This is a great way to add flavor to a simple snack, without drowning it in so much butter and salt — and so quick!

    • Jodie

      Glad you like it! It;s featured in my book Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens which recently came out as an ebook.

  2. Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up thee great effort.

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