What kind of popcorn to eat on Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is a partial fast based on the Old Testament prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences. It’s a vegetarian diet that excludes meat, sweets, and bread, but allows fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils. Many people find popcorn to be a tasty, satisfying snack during a Daniel Fast. But not all popcorn is created equal when it comes to following the guidelines of the fast. Here’s a look at some kinds of popcorn that are Daniel Fast approved and some that are not.

Daniel Fast Guidelines for Popcorn

When choosing popcorn for a Daniel Fast, it’s important to check the ingredients list and preparation method. According to the main rules of the fast, you want to avoid:

  • Refined grains and flours
  • Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • Preservatives and artificial flavors
  • Meat and animal products
  • Fried foods

So when it comes to popcorn, here are some specifics to look for:

  • Choose whole grain or sprouted corn kernels
  • Avoid popcorn with white refined flour, sugar, or artificial flavors
  • Opt for popping in an air popper or pot with oil rather than using microwave bags
  • Skip movie theater popcorn loaded with butter

Sticking to these guidelines will help you stay within the healthy, plant-based eating plan of the Daniel Fast while enjoying popcorn as a snack.

Daniel Fast Approved Popcorn

Here are some good popcorn options to enjoy during the Daniel Fast:

Air Popped

One of the healthiest ways to prepare popcorn is to air pop it. This method doesn’t require any oil or butter for popping, keeping the popcorn in its whole grain form. Simply buy plain popcorn kernels, place them in an air popper, and wait for the popcorn to pop up light and fluffy. Then season as desired with Daniel Fast approved toppings like nutritional yeast, spices, herbs, lime juice or vinegar.

Stovetop Popped in Oil

Popping popcorn in a pot on the stovetop is easy too. You’ll need coconut oil or avocado oil along with popcorn kernels. Melt a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in a single layer and cover the pot. Keep over the heat, shaking frequently, until the popping slows to several seconds between pops. Take off the heat and add seasonings like chili powder, garlic powder or cumin.

Popcorn Kernels Popped in Oven

Another method is to pop popcorn kernels right in the oven. Place 1/3 cup kernels on a baking sheet in a single layer. Put the baking sheet in the oven preheated to 400°F and cook for around 3 minutes, until the popping starts to slow down. Remove from oven, transfer to a bowl and add seasoning. This hands-off method requires no oil.

Pre-packaged Plain Popcorn

There are some healthy pre-made popcorn options too. Look for bags of plain popcorn from brands like Lesser Evil, Pop Secret 100% Whole Grain, Skinny Pop, Angie’s Boomchickapop, Amish Country Popcorn or Quinn. Check the label to make sure the ingredients are just popcorn kernels, salt and oil. Then season further with Daniel Fast compliant spices or nutritional yeast.

What to Avoid in Popcorn for a Daniel Fast

When doing a Daniel Fast, there are also some popcorn products you’ll want to avoid:

Microwave Popcorn Bags

Most microwave popcorn bags contain artificial flavors and unhealthy oils. The microwave packaging can also leach chemicals into the popcorn. It’s best to skip microwave popcorn on the Daniel Fast.

Pre-Seasoned Microwave Popcorn

Varieties like microwave popcorn that’s pre-seasoned with cheese or butter flavor contain artificial additives and sodium you want to stay away from on the Daniel Fast. Stick to plain popcorn kernels instead.

Popcorn Covered in Butter, Caramel or Candy

Some popcorn products take popcorn and coat it in fatty, sugary toppings like butter, caramel or chocolate. Popcorn drenched in these toppings would not comply with the Daniel Fast guidelines.

Movie Theater Popcorn

Huge buckets of popcorn from movie theaters are also off limits on a Daniel Fast. They are cooked in unhealthy oils and laden with tons of butter, salt and artificial flavorings. Prepare your own healthy popcorn at home instead.

Healthy Daniel Fast Popcorn Topping Ideas

To give your Daniel Fast popcorn an extra flavor boost, try these tasty, compliant topping ideas:

  • Nutritional yeast – gives popcorn a savory, cheesy taste
  • Ground cinnamon – adds sweetness
  • Chili powder or cumin – for spicy southwest flavor
  • Garlic powder and paprika – savory seasoning
  • Lemon or lime juice – fresh, citrusy tang
  • Apple cider vinegar – adds light tartness
  • Plain unsweetened almond milk – makes popcorn taste buttered in a healthy way
  • Drizzle of olive oil or melted coconut oil – light oil coating
  • Sprinkle of sea salt – brings out popcorn flavor

Get creative mixing and matching your favorite herbs, spices, vinegars and oils for delicious Daniel Fast popcorn toppings.

Benefits of Popcorn on the Daniel Fast

Including popcorn in your Daniel Fast eating plan has some great benefits:

Whole Grain

Plain popcorn kernels are a 100% whole grain. Whole grains provide important nutrients and fiber, keeping you full and satisfied.

Low Calorie

Air popped popcorn is naturally low in calories. Popcorn can help you control portions and prevent overeating when sticking to the Daniel Fast.

High Fiber

Popcorn packs a hefty dose of fiber in each serving. The fiber aids digestion and stabilizes blood sugar.


Corn and popcorn are naturally gluten-free. This makes popcorn a great grain option if avoiding gluten.

Provides Antioxidants

Popcorn contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Low Glycemic Index

The glycemic index measures how quickly a food spikes blood sugar. Popcorn has a low glycemic index, which is beneficial for appetite control.

Daniel Fast Popcorn Recipes

Once you’ve popped up a batch of Daniel Fast approved popcorn, you can incorporate it into snacks and recipes like these:

Popcorn Trail Mix

Combine 4 cups popped popcorn with 1/4 cup chopped almonds, 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds. Toss with a dash of cinnamon for a crunchy, satisfying trail mix.

Popcorn Granola

Mix together 4 cups popped popcorn, 1 cup chopped nuts, 1/2 cup toasted oats, 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes at 300°F. Cool completely and enjoy a sweet popcorn granola.

Popcorn Breakfast Bowl

Top 1 cup popcorn with fresh berries, sliced banana, chopped nuts, and a splash of almond milk. Or serve popcorn as a base for apple cinnamon chia pudding.

Popcorn Energy Bites

Puree 1 cup popcorn with 1 cup pitted dates, 1/2 cup oats, 1/3 cup almond butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt in a food processor until a dough forms. Scoop into tablespoon sized balls and enjoy these portable popcorn energy bites.

Crunchy Popcorn Snack Mix

In a bowl, mix together 4 cups popped popcorn, 1 cup roasted chickpeas, 1/2 cup raw pepitas, 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries, and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and spice blend of your choice.

Tips for Making the Best Daniel Fast Popcorn

Keep these tips in mind for whipping up light, crunchy popcorn that aligns with the Daniel Fast diet:

  • Pop kernels in an air popper or pot over the stove – skip the microwave bags
  • Use coconut oil or avocado oil if popping popcorn in oil on the stove
  • Season well with herbs, spices, vinegars or oils – avoid butter, sugar and salt
  • Incorporate into trail mixes with nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  • Top popcorn with almond milk and fresh fruit for a balanced snack
  • Look for 100% whole grain popcorn kernels without artificial ingredients

Common Daniel Fast Popcorn Questions

Is popcorn allowed on the Daniel Fast?

Yes, plain popcorn without artificial flavors or sweeteners is generally considered Daniel Fast approved. The whole grain kernels align with the fast’s plant-based diet as long as you pop it in a healthy way without prohibited ingredients.

What is the healthiest popcorn to eat on a Daniel Fast?

The healthiest popcorn choices are those popped from plain kernels in an air popper or pot on the stove. Opt for brands that only contain whole grains without artificial additives. Season your popcorn with spices, herbs and oils instead of butter and salt.

Can I eat microwave popcorn on the Daniel Fast?

Most typical microwave popcorn contains artificial flavors and preservatives that aren’t permitted on the Daniel Fast. Your best bet is to stick to plain popcorn kernels you pop yourself in an air popper or on the stovetop instead.

What can I use as a healthy popcorn topping on a Daniel Fast?

Get creative with herbs, spices, vinegars, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and olive oil to top your popcorn with flavorful additions. Cinnamon, nutritional yeast, chili powder, lemon juice and almond milk make tasty options within the Daniel Fast guidelines.

Is popcorn a whole grain?

Yes, popcorn is considered a whole grain when prepared from plain popcorn kernels. Whole grains retain all the grain’s nutrients and fiber, unlike refined grains which have the bran and germ removed.


Popcorn can be part of an enjoyable, balanced Daniel Fast when you stick to whole grain kernels popped in a healthy way and flavored with compliant seasonings. Air popped, stove popped or popcorn cooked in the oven are all great options. Season your popcorn with spices, herbs, vinegars or nuts and seeds to add lots of flavor. Avoid microwave popcorn and pre-made popcorn with artificial ingredients. With the right popcorn choices, this crunchy, satisfying snack can fit well into your Daniel Fast eating plan.

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