Here’s a delicious riddle for you: what is gluten-free, vegetarian (vegan if you skip the butter), easy to make from scratch, healthy and the perfect accompaniment to melted butter?
As more and more “harrowing” news surfaces about the perils of microwave popcorn, we want to show you just how easy it is to make your own—no fancy popcorn maker needed. Just get out a deep pan with a lid, follow these simple seasoning suggestions, and make your own. You will never look back.
- ½ cup organic popcorn
- ¼ cup organic olive oil or coconut oil
Start with a large, deep pan with a lid. Bigger is always better because popcorn needs room to explode. My kids suspect that a better-quality pan with a thicker bottom is also key.
Editors Note: Use a little extra oil to be on the safe side. I put the kernels in the measuring cup with the oil to make sure they were coated, then added a little extra. Every single kernel popped and nothing was burnt!
Put the lid on. I repeat, put the lid on. Keep the heat on high.
You should start to hear popping after a minute or two. It will quickly turn into a crescendo of popping, kind of like the grand finale at a fireworks show. At that point, quickly turn the heat down to medium low. (If you’re using an electric stove, you should turn it down even before the crescendo, since electric heat cools off slower than gas heat).
When the popcorn popping starts to slow, turn off the heat. But let the pan sit on the burner and continue to pop. (UNLESS you smell burning. Then, remove it immediately).
Classic with butter and salt: Melt as much butter as you like—more is always better and appreciated, not less. Melt it in the microwave or on the stove. Add it to the popcorn. Stir. Now, this is important, always put the melted butter on before the salt; that way the salt sticks to the popcorn instead of going to the bottom of the bowl. Salt to taste.
Cheesy: Melt some butter (or use olive oil if you prefer) and toss into your popcorn. Add grated Romano cheese to your desired level of cheesiness
Spicy: Melt some butter and toss it into the popcorn. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper, perhaps a bit of paprika. For added kick, use a smoked salt. If you are unsure of the combination, test it on a small batch and then roll it out to the larger bowl.
Herbal: Add some melted butter or olive oil, and then some fresh chopped herbs like parsley, basil, rosemary and dill. You can also add some Romano cheese or even a bit of truffle oil. Salt and pepper to taste. (If you don’t have fresh herbs, try dried). =
Sweet: For dessert, melt some butter, pour and toss the popcorn in it and then add some sugar or maple sugar. If you prefer your sugar less granular, add it to the butter when it’s melting. Then it becomes caramelized.
Photo by Sarah (Rosenau) Korf, Ervins Strauhmanis, Toshiyuki IMAI, CC
Maria Rodale is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc. She is an activist and a businesswoman who has made promoting the benefits of an organic lifestyle both her personal mission and her business.