Friday, February 1, 2013

Real Food, Weekend Edition: Popcorn and Kettle Corn

This tutorial is very simple, but if you've been regularly eating microwave popcorn, this can make a big difference for you.

We eat popcorn several times a week, so how we make it matters.  Our kids, their friends, my friends, me- everybody loves popcorn made with just unrefined coconut oil and salt.  When people try it for the first time, they usually say, "What makes this so good?"  It's the coconut oil.  This popcorn looks like it would be dry and plain, but what it is is delicious and a great energy boost in the afternoon (and a great snack for movie night.)

You can pop your own popcorn at home without throwing countless bags into the trash, and it's nearly as quick as heating up a bag of the microwave variety, without anything creepy inside. (Read the label!)  I really prefer this method to pouring coconut oil over air-popped corn.  This creates a much more even distribution, and it tastes so much better.

Here are two simple recipes; the first is our standby basic popcorn, which I triple for all of us, and the second is for a simple Kettle Corn, when you are wanting something a bit salty/sweet.  It's similar to another brand you can find in a bag at Target.....just the right amount of sweet without being too much. 

All you'll need is a dutch oven (preferred) or just any large skillet with high sides or a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Basic Popcorn

Prep Time: 1 min.
Total Time: 5 min.
Serves: 1
Calories: 260

3T Popping Corn
1T Unrefined Coconut Oil
Fine Grain Sea Salt

1. Place coconut oil in cold dutch oven, then set the heat to medium. When the coconut oil has completely melted, add two test kernels and cover tightly.  Using oven mitts, grab the dutch oven and shake it every once in a while.

2.  When you hear the kernels pop, add in the remaining kernels and, using a heat-proof spatula, turn to coat.  Replace lid. 

3.  As the kernels begin to pop, pick up the dutch oven and shake it, about every 10-15 seconds, to avoid scorching.  Do not remove the lid.

4.  When the popping stops, remove from burner, add a sprinkling of fine grain sea salt, toss with your spatula to coat, and enjoy. 

Kettle Corn

Follow the steps above, but add 1t Raw Sugar along with the rest of the kernels in step 2, making sure to toss the kernels for an even coat of oil and sugar.  This increases the calories to 280 for the batch. You can substitute any real sugar here to taste, and can experiment with various amounts of sugar to suit your taste as well.  Kettle corn is best when made in small batches.  Increasing the amounts in each batch increases the cooking time, which can cause some of the sugar to scorch.  


Danielle said...

Have you seen this recipe? I'm dying to try it:

I didn't know you could make pop corn in a plain ole dutch oven. Imagine that! I've been wanting one of those whirly pop things. I don't technically have a dutch oven. The closest thing I have is a stock pot made from stainless steal. Wonder if that would work?

Danielle said...

We tried this and it was SO good! So fun to just make it on the stove top. No more microwave stuff for us! I'd wanted a whirlypop, but now I don't even need that! Thanks.