Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy Homemade Popcorn

Popcorn is a healthy snack, right?  Yes. If you are popping it from the kernel yourself.    No.  If you are reaching for those convenient, but oh so aromatic, microwavable bags. 

Why?   I'll tell you.

That eyeglass steaming mist that washes over your face when you pull open those opposing corners contains over 4 dozen chemicals.  Before you even take a bite, you inhale all that goodness into your lungs.  Microwave Popcorn plant workers are at risk of  developing what is known as "popcorn lung".  It's a result of inhaling Diacetyl which is used to give it that movie theatre, buttery taste.  This should make you think twice before lingering and deeply inhaling over that warm, freshly popped bag.  There is actually a confirmed case of a diehard popcorn lover developing bronchiolitis obliterans, aka "popcorn lung", from doing that twice a day/365.  Extreme-yes, but something to be aware of regardless.  Luckily, major producers have started to eliminate Diacetyl in their products. 

There are still all of those other chemicals to worry about.  Whole foods are always best.  If the list of ingredients is either a mile long or contains stuff that you can't pronounce, it's not real food. 

Besides, popping up your own, the old fashioned way is more fun anyway!  Give it a try tonight and let me know how it goes.

Home Popped Popcorn


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernals
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the oil in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan or pot with a lid set over medium-high heat. 
  2. Test one-two kernels to see if the temperature is ready.
  3. Pour in popcorn kernels and sprinkle salt to lightly cover the layer of kernels. Remember, you can always add more salt later. Add the butter to the pot and cover with the lid.
  4. As soon as the kernels start to pop, shake the pan back and forth across the burner constantly until the popping slows down. As soon as the pops are about 2 seconds apart, remove from the heat and pour into a serving bowl. 
  5. Taste, and season with additional salt if desired.

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