Homemade Flavoured Popcorn

Apparently it’s ‘National Popcorn Day’ today. I’m not entirely sure in which nation, but hey, any excuse to eat popcorn! And to share my favourite popcorn recipes with you. Because homemade popcorn definitely tastes best. We used to get those microwave bags, but honestly, it just doesn’t taste the same. And you don’t need a fancy popcorn maker to make them from scratch – any old saucepan will do. Just don’t forget to put on the lid!

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First thing’s first: before you can add any flavours to your popcorn, you gotta pop it! To prepare the popcorn, heat some vegetable oil in a lidded saucepan, until the oil is smoking hot. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add a couple of handfuls of popcorn kernels, then put the lid on! The first time I made popcorn this way, I was surprised at the amount of popped corn that a small amount of kernels will make, so don’t make it too full! If the bottom of your saucepan is completely covered, it’s probably too much already. I’d say I add enough kernels to cover about a third of the bottom of the pan, half at most.

The kernels will take about 3-5 minutes to pop. When the popping slows down, you can give the saucepan a little shake – I wear my oven gloves, so that I can hold that lid tightly in place while I’m shaking! Once the popping noises stop, the popcorn is done. For a small bag of popcorn I added a scant teaspoon of seasoning. See below for the seasoning recipes.

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When I’m making popcorn for the kids, I don’t actually add anything else at all, beyond the vegetable oil I use to pop the corn. They like it just fine that way, and it means I don’t have to worry about them eating bucket loads of it, because it’s super healthy. Just plain old corn. I think it’s super yummy that way too, but since parents generally don’t practice what they preach (“No iPad in bed!”), we also like to spruce our popcorn up a little once the kids are in bed. A couple of years ago, I made a ‘movie night kit’ for my husband for Christmas, and created four little jars of popcorn seasoning: two savoury, and two sweet. So, forget the old question of sweet or salty, why not try something completely different on your popcorn!

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(makes one small jar each)

Italian Seasoning: 4 teaspoons onion powder, 3.5 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Ranch Dressing: 3.5 teaspoons garlic powder, 3.5 teaspoons sweet paprika powder, 3.5 teaspoons Italian herbs, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chilli Chocolate: 8.5 teaspoons cocoa powder, 3.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1.5 teaspoons chilli powder

Pumpkin Spice: 10 teaspoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 0.5 teaspoon ground allspice, 0.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg

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