Popcorn is a very nutritious, high-fiber, low-calorie, wholegrain snack. No, I’m not talking about the neon yellow kind that comes in microwaveable pouches. For some strange reason, I spent most of my young life believing that was the only way I could enjoy popcorn. I was so, so wrong.
Air-popping your popcorn with one of those handy machines is a much better alternative. Failing that, all you really need is a stove and a saucepan. I am still amazed at the fact that I didn’t realize how easy it is to make popcorn on your stovetop while at the same time avoiding the high fat, salt and chemical content of most popcorn available in those microwaveable packages.
Prepared these ways, popcorn is a very healthy snack provided you don’t drown it in oil and salt. It’s much better than other popular movie-watching snacks, that’s for sure! Popcorn contains a ton of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins B, A, E, and K, iron, potassium, zinc and cancer-fighting polyphenols. And the science behind how it actually pops is quite fascinating (read more about that here).
Stovetop Popcorn 101
If you’re preparing popcorn on the stove, here’s an easy step-by-step:
- Melt some coconut oil (a tbsp. or two) on medium heat in a big saucepan
- Add a couple kernels and cover
- When those kernels pop, you know your oil is hot enough and you can go ahead and add the rest of the kernels
- For even popping, remove the pan from the heat for about 30 seconds and shake it around to evenly coat the kernels
- Put it back on the burner and let it pop!
- Wait for the popping to slow down to one or two pops every couple of seconds, pour the popped kernels into a bowl, and season to your taste.
My Favorite Popcorn Seasoning Recipe
If you’ve never tried smoked paprika before, it’s the vegetarian’s answer to that smoky bacon flavor. It’s also my personal favorite popcorn seasoning! It’s super easy to make this recipe and you can adjust amounts of each item to your taste.
Smoked Paprika Popcorn Seasoning
- Smoked paprika
- Sea salt
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne powder
(for an optional kick)
Mix everything together in a bowl first, or sprinkle each ingredient individually according to your taste. It’s also helpful to drizzle a bit of coconut oil or olive oil on your popcorn before adding the seasoning to help everything stick, but it’s not necessary if you’re not keen on adding the extra fat. Experiment and see what ratio of each ingredient you like best (some people are bigger garlic fiends than others, for example).
Going to the movies? Pop some of this stuff at home, pack it into brown paper lunch bags, and skip that super unhealthy and not to mention stupidly high-priced movie theatre kind.
Now, get it poppin’! Let us know what your favorite toppings are in the comments section, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, Plated, to unlock a coupon to use on your next Luvo purchase.