Popcorn is one of the best snacks out there. It’s affordable and healthy, plus you can add so many flavors that you'll never get tired of it. Learn how to make popcorn at home.
It’s actually healthy and tasty on its own, so you can eat it even when you’re on a diet. Looking for a midnight movie snack that you can prepare in less than three minutes? Try making homemade popcorn and add whatever toppings you want!
It’s time to turn those corn kernels into a delicious low-calorie treat using a method that works best for you. Pick one of these 5 easy ways to make popcorn at home.
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Is popcorn healthy?
The answer depends on how you prepare your popcorn and how often you eat it. It's healthy for the most part, with three grams of fiber each cup. In addition, it contains vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin, thiamin, folate, magnesium, iron, and niacin. The American Heart Association recommends home-popped popcorn.
Like other whole grains, popcorn can help reduce the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and heart illnesses. It also has phenolic acids, an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammation properties. However, to make the most out of its excellent health benefits, you need to keep your popcorn unflavored or lightly seasoned.
The popcorn we usually buy before going inside the theaters and those ready-to-pop ones in grocery stores are delicious, but they're also filled with sugar, salt, butter, and preservatives. So why don't you make homemade popcorn with a healthy amount of add-ons?!
5 ways to prepare popcorn at home
1. Popcorn on the Stove
Pop those kernels the old-fashioned way. Some use oil when making stovetop popcorn, others with nothing but water. First, decide what ingredient you want to use. Then, get a medium- to large-sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Decided to use oil? Heat a few tablespoons of canola oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil (or any oil available in your kitchen!).
Now, to know if it’s hot enough, toss three to four kernels in the pan and then cover it. Wait for those kernels to pop. Once they do, the oil is at the right temperature, and it’s time to add the remaining kernels. Next, shake the pot for a few seconds to ensure that all kernels are coated in oil. Frequently shake your pot as they pop. Remove it from the heat immediately when the popping is about five seconds apart.
2. Microwave in a Paper Bag
Do you want to make popcorn in the most convenient way possible but don't want to use store-bought packs? Grab a medium-sized brown paper bag (or create one using parchment paper), oil, and some corn kernels, and you're ready to start.
Mix oil and kernels in a small bowl. Place them in a brown paper bag and seal the opening by folding it two or three times. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Microwave popcorn is usually done in two minutes, but it's best to keep an eye on it while it's running. Afterward, take it out of the microwave and put the fluffy popcorn in a serving bowl.
3. Microwave in a Bowl
If you can't find parchment paper or brown bags around your home, use a microwave-safe bowl and a plate instead. Another option is a glass bowl that can handle the heat. Put oil and kernels in the bowl and cover it completely with a plate.
Cook for two to three minutes. The best time varies, depending on how fresh the kernels are and the setting of your microwave. You'll know it's done when the popping slows down a bit. Once done, remove it from the microwave oven and season to taste.
4. Air-Popped Popcorn
An air popper is a small appliance used to pop kernels effortlessly. If you think that making popcorn in the microwave is easy, wait until you get to use an air popper. It uses hot air to make popcorn – no excess salt and preservatives. It also doesn't require oil or any other ingredient. Using an air popper is the most cost-effective and healthiest way to make popcorn.
Plug in the air popper. Next, measure the amount of kernels you want to pop. Overfilling it may result in burnt or stuck kernels. Some air poppers come with a measuring cup. If yours has one, use it. After measuring it, turn the air popper on and put a bowl next to it. Turn it off once the popping slows down.
5. Instant Pot Popcorn
An instant pot is a multi-functional kitchen device that helps us make desserts, stew, and other delightful meals. Well, it doubles as a popcorn maker, too! First, press “saute.” Once it displays “hot,” add the oil.
Like when popping kernels on the stove, put three kernels in the pot to test the heat. Expect these kernels to pop in about two to five minutes. Next, add the rest of the kernels and stir until everything's covered with oil. Cover with the lid. Turn off the instant pot when the popping subsides.
Make homemade popcorn today
Staying away from popcorn because of its reputation as a not-so-healthy theater snack? Don’t want to eat unflavored popcorn?! It’s possible to make popcorn healthier yet more exciting with minimal ingredients. Feel free to add a bit of salt, herbs, and spices. A bit of flavoring won’t hurt, as long as you eat in moderation. This is the perfect snack for solo movie nights and weekend get-togethers!