I’m not a fan of the chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives in microwave popcorn (in fact, we don’t use microwaves at all … here’s why.) However, we love popcorn as a crispy, flavorful snack on movie nights or family games.
We decided to research the old-fashioned way of making popcorn and found that it was actually not difficult at all to make your own popcorn on the stovetop!
Is Stovetop Popcorn Healthy?
Healthy is a fairly relative term. I’ve learned over the years that what’s healthy for one person may not be healthy for another. I avoided all grains for years while I was working to reverse my autoimmune disease, and now that I’m in remission, I can handle cereal every now and then.
The good news is that corn is an unprocessed whole grain, and organic and non-GMO options are easy to find. And even when you buy organic varieties, it’s pretty cheap.
So far, everything is fine, right? But what about healthy toppings?
Make amazing popcorn with natural ingredients
I see popcorn as a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration. On its own, the popcorn has a nice toasted and nutty flavor, but it’s a bit dry and needs a bit more. We had a lot of fun experimenting with different ways to season our popcorn.
- The first step is to choose your fat. We used grass-fed butter, coconut oil and infused olive oil. I like the nutrients and healthy fat profile of these options.
- After drizzling the butter or oil, I mix it with a combination of herbs, spices, and Himalayan salt. Here are some inspiration ideas:
How to make popcorn on the stove
There are several ways to popcorn popcorn, which in my opinion are better alternatives to prepackaged microwave popcorn.
- You can still use a microwave and sauté the popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. But like I said, we don’t have a microwave.
- Try a hand held stovetop popcorn maker like this one. (But I prefer to use a pot that I already have.)
- You can also use an air popper. This method is probably the fastest and easiest in terms of cleaning. It is a simple countertop device that circulates hot air around the beans until they burst.
- If like me you love minimize the number of small single-use devices in my kitchen, then popcorn on the stove is for you!
Tip: To make popcorn on the stove, you need a large jar with a lid, coconut oil (or another healthy oil with a high smoke point), and popcorn. Pour a little oil and just a few kernels of popcorn in the pan and let heat. When the test cores burst, you’ll know your oil is ready! Turn off the heat, add the remaining grains, put the lid on, shake the pan well to coat them and let stand for a minute. Then relight the heat and wait for the popping!
Note: keep in mind that when the popcorn pops it expands about 40 times its pre-popped size, so don’t overfill your jar! Half a cup of kernels will make about 14 cups of popcorn.