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The sustainable snack

Expert insight:

The popped seeds, also called makhana, have a popcorn-like texture and are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, and amino acids, says New York City-based private chef and recipe developer Rachel Gurjar. A 3.5-cup serving of this gluten-free food also contains three grams each of fiber and protein, the same amount you’ll get from popcorn.

“As more people look for sustainable, eco-friendly foods, popped water lily seeds are a great option,” adds Remy Park, recipe developer in NYC. Grown in ponds and rivers, they require zero extra water to cultivate. 

The bottom line:

While you can find healthy flavored options, Gurjar recommends buying plain popped seeds from your local Indian grocery store. Heat them on the stove for five to 10 minutes with ghee and seasonings, like turmeric or nutritional yeast.