With two sick kids at home this past week, we spent a lot of time watching movies and that got me thinking about popcorn. We used to be huge fans of microwave popcorn, but these days we prefer to pop our own on the stove.
I have to admit, I didn’t give up my micorwave popcorn easily. It started with a move to an “All Natural” (no fake butter) option. Mainly because I still wanted the ease and convenience of microwave popcorn without the fake butter flavor. We were trying to incorporate more “real food” into our diets and I didn’t think butter flavor qualified. I later learned that there is actually a disease called “popcorn workers lung?” It comes from inhaling the fumes of a chemical in the fake butter flavoring and has affected microwave popcorn factory workers.
I still thought the all-natural, butter free microwave popcorn was the way to go until I learned about the chemical coating used in the microwave bag liners, which breaks down into a “likely carcinogen” when heated. That’s when I finally decided to give the stove top version a try.
It took several attempts and lots of burnt popcorn before I figured out the best pan to use and the right temperature setting for our burner. Once I worked those two details out it really wasn’t that complicated or time consuming. It was actually kind of fun (and a lot less expensive)! The kids love to watch the kernels pop on the stove and we get to experiment with different flavors. Some of our favorites are cinnamon and sugar (stevia), salt and pepper and real organic pastured butter! Yum! Now I want popcorn.
Here are few tips for perfect stovetop popcorn.
- Start with organic kernels. (non-organic popcorn kernels are one of the top 10 foods most contaminated with pesticides and chemicals) We like Eden Organic popcorn. It pops fluffy and fast and tastes great.
- Choose a pan with a big base so the kernels can lay flat without pilling up on top of each other. Make sure you have a lid that fits or you’ll have popcorn all over your kitchen.
- I use about 2 tablespoons of expeller pressed coconut oil melted and ¼ cup of popcorn. This makes a huge bowl that feeds our family of four.
- Pop it on a medium heat setting. We have an electric stove and I usually set it around 6. It pops in about 5 minutes without burning.
- Add your toppings while it’s hot and enjoy!
If you prefer to stick with a microwave option check out the Catamount Glass Microwave Popcorn Popper giveaway on Safe Mama. It gives you the freedom to use organic kernels and real butter in a chemical free, easy to use microwave container that’s also dishwasher safe. Pretty cool. I enjoy making our popcorn on the stove, but this might be handy to have around.