Homemade popcorn has always been a favourite snack. It’s cheaper and healthier than commercial snack foods. It’s also easy to make naturally flavourful stovetop popcorn.
This year our devotion to homemade popcorn stepped up a notch. With all the news about how recycling isn’t really recycled, we have decided to do zero-waste swaps as much as possible. This involves shopping in bulk with reusable containers, skipping the plastic-wrapped vegetables and canning homemade salsa.
It also means cutting back on our packaged snack foods. That is probably the hardest part. Do you know how many coffee shops wrap their gluten-free baking? And most quick snack food comes individually wrapped.
Flavourful stovetop popcorn has been our solution to all of this. We order a big bag online and make it nearly every week.
Why Make Stovetop Popcorn?
Stovetop popcorn is easier than you might think. It’s probably also quicker than a reusable microwaveable container because you can make a HUGE amount all at once. And those instant popcorn bags sort of defeat the purpose of a low-cost, zero-waste, healthy snack.
I will admit a hot air popper is appealing… however, our tiny townhouse kitchen doesn’t have room for extra appliances.
Stovetop popcorn can also be made on a camp stove, making it a perfect snack for cottages, camping and backpacking trips.
Best of all, stovetop popcorn is so easy that my kids can safely be left to make it all on their own.
Flavourful Stovetop Popcorn
This recipe makes about 8 cups of popcorn, which will serve 4 people. We usually make triple this amount because Brad is really proud of his huge popcorn bowl. We also like to eat a lot of popcorn and the leftovers are perfect for school snacks.
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 tbsp oil (for the bottom of the pot)
- 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil (for after popping)
- 1/4 tsp salt or a flavour mix (see the section below)
- Take a large pot (at least 8 cups), and put 1 tbsp of oil on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the popcorn kernels and put the lid on the pot.
- Turn the stove on medium-high and leave the pot on the burner for about 1-3 minutes (depending on how fast it take for your burner to heat up).
- Once the oil starts sizzling, vigorously shake the pot to agitate the kernels.
- After a minute the kernels should start to pop. Keep shaking the pot until most of the popping stops.
- As soon as the popping stops, dump the popcorn in a big bowl. Leave the pot to cool for a minute while you prepare your flavouring mix.
- After a minute, put the 1/4 cup of butter into the pot to melt. If you’re using oil, then you can skip this step and just pour the oil over the popcorn.
- After you’ve added the butter, sprinkle on the flavourings. Toss to make sure everything is well coated.
- Serve right away or store in an airtight container as a snack for school lunches.
The best part of homemade popcorn is that you can experiment with flavour.
Our absolutely favourite flavour is the smokey paprika. However, when you eat popcorn as much as we do, it’s good to have a few different flavours to try.
The exact amount of salt will depend on whether you’re using butter or olive oil. I’ve included a smaller amount, so just add 1/4 tsp more salt if you’re not using butter.
- Smokey Paprika: 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
- Sweet Cinnamon: 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger
- Curry: 2 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt
- Rosemary Garlic: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp diced rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
- Pesto: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 4 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
- Ranch: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill and 1/4 tsp salt
- Mexican: 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- Cheese: 3 tsp cheese powder (natural grated dried cheese is best), 1/8 tsp mustard powder, 1/4 tsp salt
- Za’atar: This Middle Eastern spice mix is often premixed with salt. However, if yours isn’t salted then add 1/4 tsp of salt to your popcorn, otherwise use 1 tsp of za’atar.
- Maple: Mix 2 tbsp pure maple syrup with the butter before pouring over the popcorn.