Buttered popcorn is one of those guilty pleasures that makes most people happy. The smell of warm popcorn in a movie theatre is enough to have you craving it in no time. When you’re at home, however, it’s so easy to just reach for one of those microwavable pouches and have a bowl of buttery salty goodness in no time. But have you ever looked inside of one of those pouches? It’s a little gross. There’s a sticky, cakey, yellow mass of partially hydrogenated soybean oil, potential trans fats, preservatives, etc. that sticks to the bag and looks so unappetizing. Why bother with something so unhealthy when it’s just so easy to make a more natural, tastier version for yourself.
Even stove top popcorn (think Jiffy Pop but with a covered pot) requires a bit of oil just to cook it, which isn’t the end of the world, but why add that if you don’t have to? All you need is a paper lunch sack and some popcorn kernels!
The best part about making your own microwave popcorn is that you can choose each of your ingredients. Want it vegan? Skip the butter or use some Earth Balance. Afraid of GMOs? Get some organic popcorn kernels. Want something sweet? Use a little cinnamon and sugar. Now go make a bowl and grab your favorite movie. And don’t forget to share!
makes 2 servings
4 tablespoons popcorn kernels
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
Put the kernels in a small paper bag- the size you’d use for a bagged lunch- that you’ve opened all the way.. Fold the top of the bag closed twice. Place the bag in the microwave and cook, on high, for 2- 2 1/2 minutes, depending on your microwave. Until you’re familiar with how long your microwave takes, listen to the popping. When the pops are 3 seconds apart, then the popcorn is done and you should remove it from the microwave before it burns. Pour the popcorn into a bowl. Melt the butter in a small pan or in a microwave safe dish in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle half of the butter and half of the salt on the popcorn. Toss the popcorn with a fork or spoon, add the remaining butter and salt, and toss again until well mixed.
Thai curry popcorn: add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite curry paste (yellow for mild, red for spicy, green for extra spicy) to the melted butter and whisk together with a fork before adding it to the popcorn.
Truffle parmesan: In addition to the butter and salt, sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon truffle butter over the popcorn.
Italian: Instead of butter, use extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
Sweet: 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, butter.
Or, choose any of these to sprinkle on your popcorn, but be careful with seasoning mixes, they’re salty!: Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, chili powder.