Since I started on my health kick of little changes I’ve developed a huge love of popcorn. Making it at home results in a low calorie snack that is incredibly filling, and can be adjusted to suit all kinds of cravings.
I’ve salted it to replace crisps at lunchtime. I’ve added cinnamon to create a morning snack for lazy weekends. I’ve grated over dark chocolate for those evenings where only chocolate will do. And of course, I’ve covered it in toffee and baked until crispy – because that’s the only acceptable variation for a film night.
Popping your own corn is so ridiculously easy to do at home. I thought it would be hard, but honestly – it’s easier than cooking pasta!
- A small knob of butter
- Popping corn – enough to cover the base of the pan you are using
- A pan with a lid – this is very important!
First up, melt your butter over a low heat. Tip in the popping corn, place the lid on the pan, swirl to cover in butter and turn the heat to high.
Wait! Once it has started popping you can turn the heat down a little, but I like to keep it high. Once the popping slows back down, turn the heat off BUT leave the lid on for a few more moments.
After about two minutes, tip into a large bowl and add your flavourings, remembering to remove any unpopped kernels. If you are planning to make and store your popcorn, best to spread it flat to let it cool as this will keep it as crisp as possible.
Now, the lid is important because when it pops, the corn jumps all over the place. Covered in hot oil. Trust me, you don’t want it flying in your face. It’s for the same reason you let everything cool slightly before removing the lid, as there may be still some popping action!
I quite like used salted butter for cooking, then adding a little sugar – the sweet salty combo is pretty awesome.
Adding cinnamon alongside sugar also works really well.
Grating over dark chocolate is always a good bet – though messy to eat. Cinnamon as well takes it to a whole other level of yumminess.
Spicy Cajun. Simply add some cajun spices (or whatever other spices you fancy) along with a little salt. Stir through and enjoy instead of crisps.
Toffee. My absolute favourite, but by far the worst for me. Either make your own toffee, or cheat like I normally do – add a tablespoon of toffee sauce per person to the popcorn, stir to coat and then tip onto a lined baking tray. Bake at 160C for 30 minutes, stirring every 10, until golden and crispy. Turn the oven off and cool inside so the popcorn stays crisp.
Peanut Butter. Yep – follow the instructions for the toffee popcorn, but add a teaspoon or so of peanut butter along with the toffee. Stir in some peanuts, bake and there you have it!
Are you a fan of popcorn? Ever made your own? What topping would you go for?