There’s nothing like a big bowl of salty, buttery popcorn to dig into while you curl up on the couch and watch a movie, is there? I just love the smell, the taste, the texture, and the yummy buttery goodness! What I don’t love, however, is nasty chemicals leeching into my food, and if you’re making microwave popcorn at home, that’s exactly what you’re getting!
What’s In Microwave Popcorn?
There’s a chemical coating on microwave popcorn bags that breaks down when heated and turns into perfluorooctanoic (PFOA), a substance the FDA has identified as “a likely carcinogen.” And if that wasn’t enough to scare you off from eating microwave popcorn forever, that fake butter flavoring is also something to be weary of. Diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical, is actually what’s responsible for that butter flavor and smell. It’s so toxic that scores of popcorn factory workers have developed what’s referred to as “popcorn lung” – a chronic and often fatal lung condition.
So what’s a popcorn lover to do? Well, like everything else here on Nature’s Nurture, we’re going to make our own, of course! Now before we go putting some popcorn kernels into a brown paper bag and throwing it into the microwave (which is totally possible), let’s just forget that the microwave exists. I do have a microwave and I do use it from time to time, but it’s something that we really try to keep to a bare minimum in our house (and will hopefully get rid of one day!). I really believe microwaves are a bad idea not only for our health, but also for the nutritional content of our food.
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
Since I don’t have an air popper, and I’m in no need for an extra kitchen gadget taking up valuable space on my counters or cabinets, I just make popcorn on the stovetop – the old fashioned way. It’s really quite simple, doesn’t take much time at all, and if you’ve got kids at home, it’s a real treat to watch the little kernels pop, pop, pop – especially if your pots have glass lids! 🙂
Here’s the basic, simple “recipe” for making homemade popcorn on the stovetop. If you’re looking for different ways to season your popcorn (butter is just the beginning!), check the list at the end of this post for some yummy and tasty ideas!
All you need is some oil (I use expeller-pressed coconut oil from Tropical Traditions), popcorn, and salt. You could use whatever oil you have on hand, but I tend to stay away from vegetable oils since they become oxidized when exposed to heat. Coconut oil is very heat stable and the expeller-pressed variety has no coconut taste or smell.
Heat your oil in a large heavy-bottom pot/pan (I use stainless steel). Then add the popcorn and salt, stir around a bit, and cover the pan with a lid, leaving some space for steam to escape.
After a few minutes, you’ll hear the kernels start to pop! Give the pan a gentle shake a few times to move the kernels around so they don’t burn. Note: Don’t remove the cover like I did – that was just for a quick photo-op. Otherwise, you’ll literally have projectile popcorn all over the place!
Once the popping comes to a stop (or several seconds between pops), immediately remove the pan from the heat and remove the lid. Voila! You’ve just made popcorn!
Now dump the popcorn into a large bowl and season however you would like. You could drizzle with a few tablespoons of melted butter and add more salt to taste for a classic bowl of butter popcorn. Or you can get creative and try some of the yummy ideas in the list below! My favorite go-to seasoning is some olive oil and grated parmesan cheese!
How do you make your popcorn? What are your favorite toppings and seasoning ideas?
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil ( (or oil of choice))
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ½ teaspoon salt ( optional)
- Large heavy-bottom pan with a lid
- Optional toppings ( see list for ideas)
- Heat oil in pan on medium heat.
- Add popcorn and salt and stir around to coat all kernels.
- Cover pan with lid, leaving some space for steam to escape (otherwise, you’ll have soggy popcorn).
- Within a few minutes, you’ll start to hear the kernels pop. Give the pan a gentle shake back and forth a couple times to move kernels around (so they don’t burn).
- Once popping comes to a stop (several seconds between pops), immediately remove pan from heat.
- Remove lid, pour popcorn into a bowl, and season to taste! My go-to is melted ghee and sea salt, but check the recipe notes for more ideas!
Ideas for Popcorn Seasonings
Start with a bowl of freshly popped popcorn, drizzled wither in some melted butter or olive oil (or both!) and try some of the ideas below:
- Parmesan cheese
- Herbs like dill, basil, parsley, etc.
- Hot sauce (mixed with the butter first)
- Garlic sautéed in butter
- Salt and vinegar
- Lemon pepper
- Chili powder
- Cumin powder
For more ideas, including gourmet toppings like vanilla, caramel bake, cheese, and kettle corn, check out TipNut.com‘s awesome list!