DIY: Healthy Popcorn Recipes
For years I have been told that making homemade popcorn on the stove was tricky – not sure how or why that thought exists, as it really couldn’t be any easier. I wanted to give homemade popping a try because I’d recently heard just how dangerous microwave popcorn can be, and I’ve certainly enjoyed my fair share of bagged popcorn over the years. It was absolutely disturbing researching the health concerns of microwaveable popcorn, especially the fact that, according to the FDA, microwave popcorn bags are coated with a chemical that breaks down during the cooking process and is considered a likely carcinogen*. Considering the average American enjoys nearly 54 quarts of popcorn each year, I think we should all make the move to stove-top popcorn from here on out. I’ve divided the DIY into two parts – first, find out how to pop your corn, and second, follow along with the flavor combinations I’ve recommended for your popcorn that are as delicious, as they are healthy. Continue along for the how-to!
PART 1: POP THAT CORN
What You’ll Need (2 servings):
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup high quality popcorn kernels
- Saucepan with lid
- Pinch of salt
Before You Start: I decided to forgo researching the common way to do this before testing it out. After making multiple batches with the below method, I was curious as to if my method was the normal go-to way. I found so many recipes using another method – directing people to add a few kernels first and wait until those pop. I don’t doubt that method works great, but following the below left me with unburnt popcorn every single time…except for the one batch I forgot was on the stove (oops!).
Step #1: Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Allow all of the solid oil to melt before continuing on.
Step #2: Add an even layer of kernels to the bottom of the pan. Place the lid on the saucepan and gently shake the pan to coat the kernels in oil.
Step #3: Once you hear the kernels starting to pop, turn the heat to low. When there’s a few second pause in between kernels popping, turn off the heat. Once the kernels have completely stopped popping, remove the lid.
Step #4: Pour popcorn into a bowl, add a pinch of salt to taste and serve…or continue on to find out what to add next!
PART 2: HEALTHY FLAVOR ADDITIONS
Here are three different topping combinations that will take plain popcorn to a whole new level. Flavors that will simultaneously fulfill your sweet and savory cravings in the healthiest ways, ain’t no harm in that!
Fruit and Chocolate (the healthier kind of chocolate!): Sea Salt, Cacao, Currants. Use sea salt in place of table salt when you season your popcorn, then sprinkle on some currants or small fruits of your choice, as well as some bite-sized chunks of organic cacao, or biodynamic cacoa if you can find it (these Zenbunni Chocolates are my fave!).
Olé Molé Popcorn: All you need is a pinch of some organic taco seasoning to turn your plain popcorn into a major fiesta. You can also make your own seasoning. If you’d like to do that, mix together: 1 Tbsp chili powder, pinch of red pepper flakes, cumin, and ground pepper, with half a pinch of dried oregano and paprika.
Classic Caramel Corn: Process equal parts organic brown sugar and sugar until you have a fine powder of sugar. Mix in a pinch of salt and sprinkle on a pinch (or two) atop your popcorn. Sure, it’s still sugar, but making your own is a much healthier alternative to the store-bought seasonings which typically include some very unfriendly ingredients.
*Information from NewsMax “5 Scary Facts About Microwave Popcorn”