It’s been busy here lately. With the advent of fall is the start of basketball season. This is the time we juggle jobs, practices, games, school, and social times. It’s great fun, but very busy.
When we do get an evening together to watch a movie or play a board game, I don’t want to spend a lot of time making snacks. Popcorn is our quick and easy go-to snack on evenings like these. With a few ingredients you can have a healthy snack in just a few minutes.
If you make it yourself, you can change the flavor by trying different varieties of popcorn and adding your favorite seasonings. Want a little “kick” with your popcorn, try adding a little Cajun seasoning or red pepper. Grated parmesan cheese with garlic powder and basil delivers an Italian flare to your popcorn.
However you choose to season it, one thing remains the same. Popcorn can be a nutritious and filling snack that also tastes great. It is a whole grain, filled with fiber, and complex carbohydrates while being naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium.
I can think of three ways to make popcorn – air pop, microwave, and stove-top, maybe four if you happen to have an electric popcorn popper. My favorite is stove-top. Here’s why:
- It’s easier to season than air popped popcorn. This may purely be a personal preference, but I find air popped popcorn bland and difficult to season unless I add more oil or butter after it’s been popped.
- You control the ingredients. Store brand microwave popcorn is often filled with sodium, unhealthy fats, and other artificial ingredients. When you make it on the stove you have popcorn, oil, and your seasonings. That’s it. Nothing more.
- Popcorn is a fiber-filled satisfying snack. Popping it in a healthy oil may add a few more calories, but it can also keep you satisfied longer.
- It’s easy to make and doesn’t take much longer than microwave or air-popped popcorn.
- There are all kinds of different varieties of popcorn to try, each having their own unique flavor, appearance, and texture. It adds
Not sure how to make it? Read on for a short tutorial and a recipe for Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Popcorn.
How to Make Popcorn on the Stovetop:
Gather your ingredients: Popcorn, oil, and any seasonings you like.Pour 2 Tbsp. oil a 3-4 qt. sauce pan. Heat oil on medium to medium-high heat and add 3 popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and wait for the kernels to pop. This tells you that the oil is hot enough for the rest of the popcorn.
Remove lid and quickly pour the rest of the popcorn in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Add spices and salt if you want. I like to add sea salt and cracked pepper at this stage.
Return lid, cocking it just slightly so steam can escape.
As the popcorn starts to pop begin gently shaking the pan just above the stovetop burner for a count of 10. Then rest for a count of 5 and continue to repeat, shaking and resting, until the popping slows to several second between pops. Remove from heat and pour into your favorite popcorn bowl.
If you didn’t add seasoning during the popping stage, now is the time to try different flavors. Serve and enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to season your popcorn? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Popcorn
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1/2 c. unpopped popcorn
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground cracked black pepper or more to taste
- Heat oil in 3-4 qt. pan over med-high heat. Drop three popcorn kernels in the oil and place lid on top. Measure out sea salt and pepper in separate small bowl.
- When all three kernels have popped, remove lid. Pour popcorn evenly over bottom of pan and immediately sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top.
- Replace lid, leaving it cocked just slightly to allow venting of steam. As popcorn starts to pop, move/shake the pan over the burner to rest for a count of 10, then place it back on the burner for a count of 5. Again move/shake the pan over the burner for a count of 10, and then place it back on the burner to rest for a count of 5. Continue this pattern until popping slows to a few seconds between popping kernels.
- Remove from heat and pour into your favorite popcorn bowl for serving.