Magic Popcorn

Posted by Ayala Laufer-Cahana on
Magic Popcorn

Popcorn is not only fun, snackable, and the perfect movie companion, it can also be healthy. When made the right way, from scratch, it is a whole grain, high in fiber, relatively low in calories and fat, and it fills you up in no time.

Supermarket shelves offer many brands of microwavable popcorn, and several shelves of already popped corn, but this a snack you should make by yourself. Here's why:

Most microwavable popcorns contain either hydrogenated oil, or have replaced those with palm oil, which is a highly saturated oil and not great either. Many microwavable popcorns also add butter flavor. They used to add diacetyl, a natural flavor that gave popcorn its butter aroma. Heated diacetyl vapors inflame the small airways in the lungs and scar them. The severe form of the disease is called bronchiolitis obliterates or “popcorn workers’ lung,” which is untreatable and can be fatal. So, microwavable popcorn makers replaced diacetyl with other "butter substitutes", but it's hard to say if those are safe either.

Now that I've persuaded you to take on this project, let me show you how easy this is going to be. You don't need a heavy bottomed pot, you won't have dishes to wash, and this should work the first time you try it.

Because let me tell you a secret: there's nothing special about that microwavable bag of popcorn you buy in the supermarket.

Any paper bag will do. That brown bag that you used to pack your lunch -- it's perfect. So's the one that the grocer packed your veggies in. Any clean paper bag.

A bag, a microwave, Ayala's Magic Spice, a bit of oil or butter, and a touch of salt, and you'll have sophisticated, healthy popcorn in 5 minutes. Get a bowl ready.



  • A handful of popcorn
  • 1 teaspoon Ayala's Magic Spice
  • A few spritzes of olive oil, truffle oil, or a bit of melted butter
  • Salt to taste


  • Take corn kernels and throw them in a medium size paper lunch bag.
  • Fold over the top 3-4 times.
  • Put the bag in the microwave for a few minutes. I use popcorn setting, and turn off the microwave as soon as popping slows down significantly. 
  • In a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and serve.


Dr. Ayala



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