Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stovetop Popcorn

Yummy note: I'm always trying to figure out how to make a healthier version of our butter-soaked popcorn, and I finally found a delicious alternative. Popping the popcorn kernels in coconut oil gives the popcorn a much more flavorful popcorn, rather than using like a canola or vegetable oil for popping the popcorn and then covering it in butter. I was surprised how the coconut oil worked so well; personally, I like the refined coconut oil better, as it is a little less "coconutty" of a popcorn. My kids start complaining sometimes when I used the unrefined coconut oil, so now we stick with either the basic coconut oil or use a specialty popcorn oil. For an added healthy kick to this popcorn, I enjoy adding a good shake or two of nutritional yeast on top, which is a good source of Vitamin B12, protein, and folic acid. Nutritional yeast is a somewhat acquired taste for some, but I think it a nutty-like, similar to parmesan almost, taste to the popcorn.  

Stovetop popcorn

2-3 tbsp coconut oil (other oil will work, but it doesn't have same flavor as coconut oil)
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Optional toppings: Butter, salt, cheese, or nutritional yeast

Directions: Place 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (or if use about vegetable oil, you may need closer to 3-4 tbsp) in a large, heavy pot with a lid. Heat the oil over medium/high heat and add one or two kernels of popcorn to the pan. Wait for the kernels to heat up and pop, as this will tell you when your oil is ready. Remove the popped kernels and then add in the rest, about a 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with a lid, and give it a few shakes, so that the kernels have a single layer in the pan. You could also put a pinch of salt in at the same time as the kernels. Make sure to use potholders to lift/shake your pan over the heat, as it does get quite warm. Keep the lid shifted just a little to allow steam to vent, or sometimes it causes popcorn to get to mushy, and not the crunchy yummy popcorn you want! Be careful when shaking the pan and don't walk away from it or it might burn. Basically keep shaking the pan continuously and it should only take a few minutes of shaking to get all of the popcorn kernels to pop. Again, don't open the lid all the way, as you could get hit with a hot flying kernel, and trust me that hurts for a second, lol. While the popcorn is popping, melt a little butter if desired. Pour the popcorn into a big bowl; drizzle with the melted butter, margarine, or alternative butter/oil. Sprinkle with salt and nutritional yeast for a healthy treat.

Simple ingredients

Put one or two kernels of popcorn in first until oil is ready. 

Once the first kernels pop, remove them, and add the rest of the popcorn kernels. 

After a few minutes of popping and shaking the pan on the stovetop, enjoy fluffy popcorn!

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