Random craving turned into a quest that resulted in some awesomeness!
I have a toddler. My toddler no longer likes the half dozen or snacks that I rotate through for her to enjoy. Blankly staring at the pantry yesterday while Angel Baby stood behind me, repeatedly signing “eat,” while repeatedly saying the word “eat,” I saw my jar of popcorn kernels. Eureka! hadn’t made popcorn in ages!
I pulled out the jar and read the label I made for it.
“Popcorn: 1/4 c in bowl with plate as lid for 4:45 in micro”
Ugh, no thanks. Yes, this works. About a third of the kernels don’t pop, the bowl gets super hot, and there’s too big of a chance of burning half your popcorn. Also, if you don’t get it out of the microwave and into a different container right away, you get half-soggy, half-already-stale-popcorn. No, thank you.
It is time for a new method… And a cuter label.
Thank God for the Internet
I found this gem that I haven’t fully explored yet: RecipeGirl! Enjoy… Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled program.
I don’t keep any kind of typical frying oil in my house. I don’t fry food. I don’t like fried food. Goes to reason, eh? What I do have is some non GMO Smart Balance cooking spray, organic extra virgin olive oil, unrefined organic coconut oil, and refined organic coconut oil.
The instructions RecipeGirl has on her post “How to Pop Popcorn on the Stove” called for oil that would be heated to pop the corn, so the cooking spray and olive oil were out. Since I use the unrefined coconut oil cosmetically, I grabbed the refined stuff. I don’t have any real scientific reason nor did I do any research to come to this conclusion. There you have it.
I got out my medium sized pot plus its lid and grabbed a tablespoon from my silverware drawer. (No, not a 1T measuring spoon, just one we use for eating.) I carved out two spoonfuls of coconut oil as it was quite solid from sitting in my pantry. I knocked these into the pan and turned the heat on low. The instructions said to put the kernels in oil before heating it, but I needed the coconut oil in liquid form. This took about two minutes.
I turned the heat off, then I poured about 1/3 cup of kernels into the pan. I added about a dozen more after swishing the pot around to coat the kernels. I had a nice even layer, one deep, of oil-coated kernels on the bottom of my pot. Then I turned the heat to medium.
About two, maybe two and a half, minutes of shuffling the pot around on the burner, four kernels burst to life. I placed the lid on the pot and went back to shuffling.
I’m glad my lids are clear. Not only could I watch the progress, since the popping sounds were very muted, Angel Baby (who was on my hip. The. Entire. Time.) got to witness the magic.
We had a pot full of popcorn! Not one was burnt! Not one was unpopped! And the best part? It tasted JUST LIKE POPCORN! No oil taste, no butter taste, no salt taste… Not even a taste of coconut. Just popcorn. Phe. Nom. En. Al.
Of course, plain popcorn is for the birds. Literally. So I jazzed it up a little. After just a few dashes of salt (I am not a fan of salt; check out my other recipes if you don’t believe me), I tossed in a couple teaspoons of organic pure cane sugar. I removed a portion for Angel Baby in between the two shots of sugar, seeing as toddlers don’t need any extra sugar.
She loved it. She was so considerate to share with her bunny*, too. She even came back for a second cupful! Good times, I tell ya.
Clean up was a cinch. There weren’t any dead kernels to throw away nor any nasty residue in my pot. I stuck the pot, lid, and spoon in my dishwasher. If you don’t believe coconut oil is amazing, check this: The oil washed right off in my dishwasher. When I cook with olive oil, I always hand wash the pots and pans, because that oil won’t come clean in my washer.
And all that jazz!
You can do whatever you want to your popcorn.
- Basil and Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper
- Cinnamon and sugar
- Brown sugar and melted butter
- Lots and lots of melted butter
- And more!
Note to shoppers
I buy my kernels from Fresh Thyme’s bulk bins. It is normally $1.49/lb for their organic popcorn kernels (at my store), but I watch the sale ads; sometimes they mark it down to $1.29/lb and sometimes they mark down all their bulk items 20%. Shop smart!
* This bunny was made for my husband when he was a small child by his stepfather’s mother. According to the BHE’s mom, he carried this bunny around a lot and loved it. Now it’s Angel Baby’s turn.