Easy Stove Top Popcorn

Tabitha:

Popcorn CAN be a nutritious snack – it is after all a whole-grain which helps to add to your daily fibre quota.  However, some microwave popcorn can tip the calorie and fat scales!  It is worth being mindful of the type of popcorn you make and eat.

Have you ever cut open a bag of microwave popcorn and seen what is inside?  In the extra-butter flavours you’ll find tons of hard fats coating the popcorn kernels (the picture below is from: http://www.quinnpopcorn.com/2010/12/popcorn-bag-dissection/.)  Those hard fats are full of saturated and trans fats – the two fats that are known to clog arteries and raise cholesterol levels.

Instead – I opt to make popcorn on the stove-top.  Then you can control how much fat (and the type of fat) you use and how much salt.  Plus its really tasty and costs a fraction of what microwave popcorn costs per bag.

Because you have to heat the oil to a high temperature – olive or vegetable oils or butter will start to smoke and burn.  Instead I use peanut oil – which is high in monounsaturated fats (mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are the healthy fats) and also has a high “smoke point” which means you can heat it to a high temperature before it will burn.  Gives the popcorn a nice flavour too.

Stovetop Popcorn

Ingredients:

1. 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels.

2. 2 tbsp of peanut oil (poured off the top of my natural peanut butter).

3. Pinch of salt (if desired)

Directions:

1. In large pot with a lid – add oil and salt and three popcorn kernels.  Heat on medium until the three popcorn kernels have popped.

2. Then add in the remainder of the kernels and immediately remove from heat.

3. Shake the pot (with lid on) for 30 seconds.

4. Return to heat and shake every so often to prevent burning.

5. Keep the lid slightly off to allow for steam to escape and keeps the popcorn more crispy.

6. Remove from heat once popcorn stops popping!

Tip: rather than using butter on the popcorn add some popcorn seasonings to the oil before popping.  I use Mrs. Dash seasonings or my own mix of spices to flavour it.

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