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Popcorn Made the Healthy Way

Posted Oct 01 2008 12:00am

Popcorn can be a great treat, especially if you skip the microwave and movie-theater varieties. Here’s a simple-but-tasty way to adorn your homemade kernels: sprinkle on a little bit of cayenne pepper, sea salt, and grated Parmesan cheese.  Delicious and healthy!

Cayenne-Parmesan Popcorn

Cayenne-Parmesan Popcorn

How to Pop It:

Your easiest option is an air-popper. If you don’t have one (which I don’t), you can also pop your corn using the old-fashioned, you’re-gonna-get-a-workout method.

1. Find a pot that’s deep but not too heavy–you’ll be shaking it constantly. It should also have a fairly tight-fitting lid.
2. Set out a large bowl.
3. Add a tablespoon of ghee, butter, or coconut oil to the pan enough to cover the bottom of it with a thin film once the fat melts and set the pot over medium-high heat.
4. Measure out your plain popcorn (grocery stores usually stash the plain kind on a bottom shelf somewhere near the Orville Redenbacher stuff). I find that 1/4 cup will make enough for one person. Do not try to eyeball this–you’ll wind up with enough popcorn to decorate three Christmas trees! Popcorn has amazing powers of expansion.
5. Add the kernels to the pot and swirl them around to make sure that they’re covered with oil.
6. Cover the pot and get out a potholder or oven mitt.
7. Use the potholder/mitt (I prefer a mitt since sometimes tiny speckles of oil come out from underneath the lid) to hold the lid down firmly with one hand.
8. With the other hand, get a good grip on the handle of the pot. Start shaking. You can rest for a few seconds now and again, but if you don’t shake the pot almost constantly, you’ll burn the popcorn. If you shake it continually, however, you’ll have stronger arm muscles and a beautiful bowl of popcorn. (I rarely have unpopped kernels when I make popcorn this way.)
9. After a minute or so, you’ll hear the rapid popping start. This is the fun part! Keep shaking and listening–when the popping slows to a crawl, it’s time to pour the popcorn out of the pot and into the waiting bowl. You can plop a pat of butter into the still-hot pot to melt it.
10. Pour the butter over the popcorn and then swirl some popped kernels into the pot to get the rest of the butter onto the kernels.  Alternatively, you could also use extra-virgin olive oil or more melted coconut oil.
11. Add toppings. These may include: sea salt, freshly-ground pepper, roasted garlic flakes, dry grated cheeses such as Parmesan or Romano, cayenne pepper, chili powder, curry powder, etc.  For dessert popcorn, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle on a bit of honey.



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