How to Make Healthy Homemade Popcorn: Homemade Popcorn is EASY to make at home. Whether you make popcorn in the microwave, popcorn on the stovetop, or even popcorn in the instant pot–I will walk you through how to make tasty popcorn at home.
Are you looking for a healthy and easy snack for your kids after school?
A snack you can whip up in a matter of minutes and feel good eating?
Are you about to sit down for a family movie? About to catch up to your favorite shows on DVR?
POPCORN is the perfect snack for each one of those occasions!!!!
Healthy Homemade Popcorn
Popcorn is a great go to snack for so many reasons.
- Making popcorn at home is EASY.
- Popcorn is whole grain
- Popcorn satisfies your craving for something salty or crunch
- You can eat a large serving of homemade popcorn for very few calories
- Popcorn is also high in fiber.
When prepared in one of the many ways I am sharing with you, making popcorn at home is truly healthy!! There are no nasty chemicals here or abundance of unnecessary salt, just real food that tastes more amazing than any bag you buy to pop into the microwave.
There are so many easy ways to make popcorn at home and I am going to share my tips that will get popcorn in your hands before the movie your rented has had a chance to get through the previews!
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
To make popcorn on the stove top, place 1-2 tablespoons of oil into the bottom of a heavy 6 QT saucepan, or a metal popcorn pan. Add 2-3 kernels of popcorn and cover the pan with a lid. Once you hear a kernel pop, pour about 1/2 cup of kernels into the pan (enough to just cover the bottom of the pan.) Cover the pan and every 30 seconds, pick up the pan to shake up the popcorn kernels. I strongly recommend picking up the pan to shake, so you don’t scratch up your stove. Once you hear the kernels stop popping, remove from heat and remove lid. Salt with 1 teaspoon of salt, or to your liking.
How to Make Popcorn Using an Air Popper
If you are fortunate to have an air popper, it is a great way to have fat free popcorn anytime you desire.
To make popcorn with an air popper, fill your air popper’s lid with popcorn kernels, and place in your air popper. Turn on and place a bowl underneath your popper and wait for fluffy popcorn to fill your bowl.
Once popped, I recommend lightly misting your popped popcorn with an oil mister and season with salt.
How to Make Homemade Popcorn in a Microwave
Yes, you can have microwave popcorn without buying prepackaged bags. By making homemade popcorn you have protected yourself from diacetyl, a chemical proven to cause severe respiratory issues and perfluorooctanoic, recognized as “likely carcinogen” by the EPA, both found in microwave popcorn.
I have two methods for homemade microwave popcorn.
Making Microwave Popcorn with a Paper Bag
To make popcorn in a paper bag, pour 1/4 cup kernels into a brown paper lunch bag. Tightly fold the bag down about 3 times–small folds, to secure the bag shut. Place into the microwave and heat 2-5 minutes (depending on your wattage on microwave). The popcorn will be done when popping slows to more than a second between pops. Remove from microwave and carefully, to protect from burning yourself, pour the popcorn into a bowl and enjoy.
Making Microwave Popcorn with in a Bowl
You can make popcorn easily with just a glass bowl and plate that covers the bowl securely. Pour in 1/2 cup kernels into the bowl and cover the bowl with a plate and place in microwave and heat 2-5 minutes (timing depends on your wattage of microwave). The popcorn will be done when popping slows to more than a second between pops.
Of course, you can use a special bowl designed for popcorn in the microwave, but I just use my glass bowl.
How to Season Homemade Microwave Popcorn
Seasoning homemade popcorn is up to you. I prefer to mist with oil and season with salt. However, you can pour over melted butter and salt or even sprinkle with cheese and seasonings. My sister LOVES to add Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
How to Make Homemade Popcorn in the Instant Pot
I am going to be honest, making popcorn in the Instant Pot is NOT my favorite method. I love my Instant Pot for so many quick, healthy recipes, but the pressure cooker does not save that much time when cooking homemade popcorn. But it does work.
To make instant pot popcorn, turn the function to saute (high pressure) once it reads hot, add in 1/4 cup coconut oil and then 1/2 cup popcorn kernels. Cover with a clear lid for the Instant Pot or a clear lid that fits over your instant pot. Let pop until popping slows and then turn off Instant Pot. Carefully remove with the inner pot with pot holders and season with salt and serve.
You can read exactly how to make Instant Pot Popcorn in detail with a video and trouble shooting tips at The Typical Mom.
What Oil is Best to use for Homemade Popcorn?
I strongly suggest using coconut oil for popping popcorn on the stovetop. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it tastes like what you purchase at movie theaters and gives you the added health benefits of fatty acids. Feel free to use canola oil if desired. I would NEVER use olive oil–the flavor of the oil is much too overpowering for the delicate flavor of the popcorn.
For making popcorn in the Instant Pot, you must use coconut oil for it’s high smoking point.
Which Popcorn Kernels are best for Homemade Popcorn?
My son once did a science fair project on which popcorn kernels are best. We tested every brand of popcorn we could get our hands on and at least 10 times per brand of kernel.
We ate A LOT of popcorn.
The verdict was clear.
Orville Redenbacher Kernels pop up the fluffiest and leave the fewest unpopped kernels.
However, if you consider price per ounce, Wal-Mart store brand kernels were best. They left behind more kernels than Orville, but there was a cost savings at the end of the day.
What salt is best for homemade popcorn?
The finer the salt, the better it will stick to your popcorn and flavor your popcorn evenly.
I love kosher salt, but you should NOT use kosher salt or sea salt for that matter to season your popcorn.
The best salt to use for homemade popcorn is good old table salt or a super fine salt. You can even find salt labled Popcorn Salt.
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