World’s Easiest Homemade Microwave Popcorn (For School or Home!)
|September 27, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Healthy snacks, Recipes|
Popcorn is my favorite go-to snack for classroom parties and after school. I haven’t met a kid who doesn’t love it, and it’s quick, easy and cheap to make (you can feed an entire class for just a few dollars!). Better still, it’s healthy (that is, as long as you make it the right way and don’t drown it with butter and salt). This 100 percent whole grain not only packs a lot of fiber but has more cancer-fighting antioxidants called polyphenols than some fruits and veggies, according to a recent study (though let’s not get crazy: this is just one study and the researchers admit that it’s not entirely clear how much of the polyphenols get absorbed by the body).
I traditionally make popcorn on the stove top with oil, but this method requires you to stand there shaking a pot and leaves you with a greasy mess to clean. So I was pretty excited to discover the secret to making homemade microwave popcorn—all you need is a brown paper lunch bag and popcorn kernels. Seriously–it’s that easy!
I’m sure you know all about those pesky GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Some experts claim GMOs are safe to eat, while others argue that they can be toxic or allergenic. As long as the two sides continue to duke it out, I think it’s worth spending a little more for non-GMO popcorn, especially when children are involved. As they say, better safe than sorry.
An estimated 88 percent of conventionally grown corn crops in the United States are at high risk of being GMO, which means most conventional brands of popcorn don’t pass the test. Choosing Certified Organic popcorn doesn’t eliminate the risk, as organic crops can fall prey to cross contamination (as we recently learned from last week’s story about arsenic in rice) and are not always tested for GMOs. Your best bet is to look for a brand that is Non-GMO Project Verified, such as Eden, Arrowhead Mills and Tiny But Mighty.
Be careful when you’re cooking the popcorn. Stay close to the microwave so you can listen for when the popping slows to about one pop every 2 to 3 seconds. If you allow it to cook too long, it will start to burn. The brown paper lunch bag can be re-used (mine has been up to bat four times now), as can any unpopped kernels. And if you don’t have a brown lunch bag, you can use a large glass bowl with a heavy, but not airtight, glass lid or even a glass plate covering the top instead.
Homemade Microwave Popcorn
Yields: 5.5 cups popcorn
- 1/4-cup unpopped organic, non-GMO popcorn
- a brown paper lunch bag
- Place popcorn kernels in brown bag.
- Fold the top over a few times to close the bag.
- Place bag in center of microwave.
- Microwave on high until popping slows to about one pop every 2 to 3 seconds. (About 2.5 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave).
- Remove bag and open right away to release steam.
- Munch on it plain. (My kids devoured it this way!)
- Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil and a touch of sea salt.
- Extra virgin olive oil and cinnamon sugar or maple sugar.
- Extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
What’s your favorite way to make popcorn? Got any fun, healthy topping ideas? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.