January 14, 2015

Microwave Popcorn without the Bag

Microwave popcorn that's cheaper, healthier, and greener than the prepackaged stuff. What's not to love? 

I love popcorn. I think it's a great snack food. I eat it a lot. My biggest problem with microwave popcorn though is that it's always way too salty. And its weird to me that there's not a single brand out there thinks, hey, we should do low sodium popcorn. Even the "healthy" brands are super salty, and what's healthy about that? The Shop Rite store brand has a salt-free butter flavor, and it's the only one I've ever seen.

So, I finally bit the bullet and bought plain popcorn kernels. I knew that you can make microwave popcorn in a paper lunch bag, except I didn't see them in the grocery store. No worries, there had to be instructions on the back of the bag. Well, there were. And they sounded hard (plus, lots of oil involved).

I took to the Internet to see if I could find an easy way to make popcorn that didn't involve paper bags, and I did.
Things you will need:
  • A large, microwave safe bowl
  • A microwave save plate that fits on top of the bowl
  • 1/3 cup plain popcorn kernels
 Measure out your popcorn kernels

 Pour them into the glass bowl and cover with the microwave safe plate. Note: you don't want the cover to be air tight, so I wouldn't recommend using any cover that might have come with the bowl. If you don't have a plate the right size, you can use parchment paper held in place with a rubber band.
Put it in the microwave for about 5 minutes on high. Now this time will differ between microwaves and popcorn brands. Make sure to listen while the popcorn is popping and take it out when the popping slows to a few seconds between pops. A little over 5 minutes works for me, but my microwave isn't very high powered. You might need more or less time.
Using pot holders because the bowl will be very hot, take it out of the microwave and remove the plate immediately (if you leave the plate on, the trapped steam will condense as it cools and make the popcorn soggy). Season as desired (I like a little drizzle of olive oil with some cracked black pepper and sea salt) and serve.

If you want butter, just mix a little melted butter in with the kernels before putting it in the microwave.
That's all there is to it. No bags to throw away, just a reusable bowl and plate that barely get dirty. Cheap and easy and environmentally friendly, and as healthy as you want it to be. Seriously, no downsides. Except you might find yourself eating way too much popcorn. *innocent whistling*
Technique adapted from The Yummy Life and Cherryvale Farms