Mmm: This healthful popcorn topping is on the rise

  • Updated: November 9, 2012 - 12:28 PM

Consider a popcorn topping that's healthful and delicious: yeast.

Consider a popcorn topping that's healthful and delicious. Kids will like it, too.

It's brewer's yeast, a byproduct of the beer-making process and high in the important mineral chromium, with other healthful properties. Just top air-popped popcorn with brewer's yeast and sea salt and watch how hastily the bowl is emptied.

If this becomes a recurring snack in your household, mix 1/2 cup of brewer's yeast with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and store it in a shaker. Start with just a shake or two to get your kids accustomed to the new taste; then increase the amount as they beg for more.

The grated or flaked brewer's yeast works well with popcorn. Many people prefer the flavor of nutritional yeast, as it is sweeter and more closely resembles Parmesan cheese, so try both and see which you prefer. Nutritional yeast is often fortified with B12, an essential vitamin for vegetarians and vegans.

Brewer's yeast is a high-quality protein. It contains the nine amino acids that are essential for health, for energy, brain vitality and mood stabilization, among many other functions.

Brewer's yeast is also a rich source of minerals, particularly chromium, an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Balanced blood sugar helps children sustain moods and energy.

It is chock-full of B-complex vitamins, which help break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins, thus providing the body energy. B vitamins also strengthen the nervous system, contributing to mood.

Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, brewer's yeast has been shown to lower LDLs or "bad" cholesterol. And it's a great source of dietary fiber, as is popcorn.

This popcorn topping has been served in theaters in Milwaukee, Seattle, San Francisco, Eugene, Ore., and New York.

WASHINGTON POST

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