June 18, 2012
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Making healthy popcorn at home doesn’t have to be difficult or messy. Put that pan away and turn off the stove. Today, we’re going to make healthy homemade popcorn the easy way – in the microwave!
Growing up the only way I knew to make popcorn was with a little oil and a hot pan on the stove.
While we do still use that method from time to time, it’s so much easier to make popcorn in minutes using the microwave.
Quick and easy snacks are the way to go whenever possible, especially when you’re feeding a bunch of hungry, growing kids.
Initially, we tried store-bought microwave popcorn, but after reading the scary ingredient list of artificial colors and chemicals I began to look for a better way to make microwave popcorn.
After a little experimenting, I finally found it. All you need is a ¼ cup of popcorn kernels and a lunch-size brown bag.
Homemade Popcorn Microwave Instructions
¼ cup popcorn kernels yield approximately 5 cups popped corn
- Put ¼ cup of the popcorn kernels in the bag.
- Fold over the top of the bag 2-3 times and put it folded side down in the microwave.
- Press the popcorn setting on the microwave. Let it run until popping slows or microwave finishes.
Cheap, easy, and a little healthier, right? The best part of this snack is that you can make individual servings and top it differently for everyone.
If you are prepping ahead for an after-school snack, simply label each bag with your child’s name so it’s ready for them as soon as they get home.
Movie Theater Popcorn
Have you ever wondered how to get that “movie theater” taste on your homemade popcorn? Our at-home secret is ghee!
Also known as clarified butter, Ghee is a great tool to have in your kitchen arsenal. It can be used for cooking at higher temperatures due to it’s high smoke point, often replacing oil.
What makes clarified butter different than the sticks we keep in the refrigerator is the process in which it is made.
Butter is heated, allowing the water to evaporate, and the milk fat to separate. The thick delicious butter you have left is ghee.
At room temperature Ghee is in a more solid state, but when heated turns to a beautiful, golden liquid.
The rich, nutty flavor of the clarified butter takes your homemade snack to a whole new level when drizzled over top and tossed with a bit of salt.
Ghee, butter, salt… you know the traditional toppings but if you are looking for something new, try one of these flavors on top of your next batch of homemade popcorn.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Chocolate & Coconut
- Garlic Powder
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Chocolate Chips or White Chocolate
- Cinnamon & Honey
Which homemade popcorn flavor combination will you try first?
How to Make Healthy Microwave Popcorn
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- Toppings: salt butter, grated Parmesan, etc.
- Pour the popcorn kernels into a brown sandwich bag.
- Fold over the top of the bag2 to 3 times and place the folded side down in the microwave.
- Microwave on the popcorn setting until the popping slows.
- Remove from the microwave, open the bag, and season as desired.
Life changing!!!! As a popcorn addicted, type 2 but well managed diabetic, i have over-relied on “low fat” labelled microwaveable popcorn, but have NEVER felt good about it. On the other hand, previous experience with air-popped popcorn left me feeling so unfulfilled as no seasoning would stick to it.
I used this recipe and one woman’s comment: I added 1 tsp of olive oil to the kernels, then salted it lightly before microwaving. I popped in a closed but vented glass container instead of brown paper lunch bag. The result was AMAZING and preferable to ANYTHING I’ve had commerciall produced.
It even holds a light sprinkling of nutritional yeast, my favorite topping for popcorn. In addition, 1/4 cup perfectly fits the small glass casserole dish I popped in, and also completely fills the popcorn bowl I use when I pop a “mini bag” of the skinny girl popcorn.
This cuts $2.5 – $5 a week out of my grocery budget, and allows me to keep about a 2 month supply of kernels on hand at all times!
Thank you, so much! Popcorn is a must, and I’m thrilled you enjoyed this recipe.
I’m anxious to try this. I will say that I have done hot air popcorn with the same result, but the complete resistance to holding any seasoning makes it pretty dull. I assume this method is similar.
I am very interested in using less oil than i would use to pop corn in a pan, but to perhaps lightly coat the 1/4 cup of seeds and add seasoning. I also liked the olive oil choice. I”m addicted to my nightly popcorn, and I’m thinking that with very light olive oil, I can produce a healthier product than even the low fattest of the microwaveable bags! Can’t wait to try tonight!
I’ve used this method for healthy microwave popcorn and it worked perfectly! Thanks for an easy way to eliminate toxins and it’s so much cheaper!
We did this when I was younger. Be careful not to re-use the brown bag or put it back in longer to try to get the rest of the dud-kernals to pop. I did this once and the bag caught on fire while in the microwave due to the extremely hot dud-kernals and the dried out bag. That was pretty scarey! Just be careful and be fore-warned.
Our local farm has a toddler time activity every week and at the end of the activity, they give each child an organic ear of corn still on the cob. We just stick the whole thing in a bag and it pops right off the cob! It’s fun and is exactly the same as what you recommend here!
yes! i love the cob technique too! -although a bit harder to find for many people. what a cool thing your local farm does!
thanks Laura.I wanted to take a easy route of seasoning it all together and no after step. Guess thats not gonna work.
Sadly no… only if you use a lot of butter or oil to pop.. but then it defeats a lot of the “healthier” purpose. it has to have something to stick to..
Just made it.Popcorn popped beautifully.I did feel like seasoning didn’t stick with the popcorn well though..it was dispersed to the bag.
The directions are for plain popped corn. If you want to add seasoning…you have to pop the corn first and then add seasoning. Some people coat the popped kernels with a little coconut oil or butter if they really want it to stick. I just pop first then season.
If you shake and coat the kernels with butter or olive oil and flavorings (salt, cinnamon, parmesan, whatever your favorite is) first, the popping action disburses the oil and seasonings evenly! (If you go for salt, I recommend pickling salt, as it’s a much finer grain.)
What’s the “popcorn” setting on the microwave? I don’t have that button.
Azure, usually around 2min. I always stand by microwave and “listen” for them to slowly stop popping so they don’t burn.
Thanks – this was my question too! (although now I want a microwave with a popcorn setting!)
I love making popcorn this way!
Me too. :D This was on Dr. Oz, that’s how I found out.
I was thinking of doing the stove method today, but now I’ll be trying this! Thanks!
Molly @ NatureBox
We really need to give this a try! Bought a big bag of kernels at TJ’s but I don’t have any brown paper bags. I’m so excited to finally give this a go myself!
i never knew it was *that* simple! so fantastic.
yes! simple AND cheap!