Popcorn is awesome.
My mom used to eat microwave popcorn every afternoon with a glass of Lipton iced tea. It really wasn’t until writing this post and recalling that memory of her posted up on the porch waiting for a hurricane of kids to come whirling off the bus that I came to truly appreciate the ritual of her daily snack. Probably the only 20 minutes or so of alone quiet alone time in 18 years of raising small humans.
Sacred popcorn time.
I grew up mimicking my mom’s snack patterns. Popcorn in the afternoon. An orange before bed. Always some kind of post-dinner chocolate. Luckily, I like to think these are all healthy patterns to imitate. Though perhaps I’ve added a little chocolate to post-everything.
When I was in college I got hooked on the “diet” popcorn trend, and my friends will surely never forget the fateful day I realized the “single-serving” snack I was eating by the bagful actually contained 7 servings. (HAHAHA.)
But the thing about microwave popcorn is that no one really likes it except the person eating it. Have you ever popped popcorn in an office or a dorm room full of people not partaking in the popcorn ritual? Everyone else there hates you for it. And for good reason (beyond just the unpleasant smell it creates).
Turns out a chemical used to coat the bags (PFOA) is a known carcinogen. And one of the chemicals in that delightful fake butter (diacetyl) in those damn diet popcorns I ate 7 servings at a time has been found to cause bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn workers’ lung” in the factories where it’s created.
So what’s a popcorn lover to do? Make it home, duh.
Stovetop popcorn is super simple, and it actually doesn’t require a JiffyPop dome. (Though those are great fun. Seriously, what was better than Granddaddy busting one of those out over the fire on a camping trip?)
All you need is a large saucepan with a lid, some oil with a high smoke point (I used grapeseed), and popcorn kernels (ideally organic because most of our corn supply is genetically modified at this point). Add seasonings of choice for a lovely little unoffensive snack.
I like this because you can make popcorn on your own for pennies compared to microwavable options, and you’ll have more control over what’s in it and on it.
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- ⅓ cup organic popcorn kernels
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt to taste
- Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat
- Add your dill and garlic powder and let it warm to release aromas
- Toss in two or three kernels and cover with a lid
- Once your test kernels pop, add the remaining kernels and cover with the lid
- Watch your kernels pop to fill the saucepan
- Remove from the heat when the time between kernel pops is about 3 seconds or more
- Salt and enjoy
I got my organic kernels at Trader Joe’s, but I’m sure they’re available in most grocery stores.