Popcorn is one of the worlds most popular snacks. Did you know that 1.2 billion pounds (500 million kilograms) of popcorn is consumed by Americans every year? That makes popcorn America’s most popular snack food by volume. It’s also one of the healthiest snacks, even when you make homemade popcorn seasonings!
There are many health benefits of popcorn that you may not know. Popcorn is a good source of fiber, and it is a whole grain which makes it naturally high in essential nutrients. These include vitamins, minerals and high amounts of fiber. This high fiber content has several health benefits such as weight loss and a reduced risk of many diseases. Popcorn also has more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables.
These facts all make popcorn the ideal snack if you are feeling a bit peckish. It’s simple to make, filling and healthy (depending on what you decide to season it with).
Popcorn has become increasingly popular over the years with many opting to make it at home. Popcorn can be healthy or unhealthy based on how you make it and what homemade popcorn seasonings you add.
See how to make popcorn and how to make delicious but healthy homemade popcorn seasonings to add to it.
Why Does Popcorn “Pop”?
Popcorn is a type of corn that will pop when exposed to heat. At the center of each of the kernel is a small amount of water. This water will expand when heated which causes the corn to explode.
How you decide to pop your popcorn will depend on the tools you have.
What You Need to Make Popcorn in a Popper
If you want to learn the skill of popcorn making, there are a few things you need to know. Below is a list of all the supplies you will need and directions on how to make the best popcorn that will leave your friends wanting more.
Popcorn Making Supplies
Making popcorn is pretty simple. It only takes a few supplies to make this delicious snack happen.
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 3 tbsp. oil (if required)
- 1 popcorn popper
- Paper bag (to add seasoning)
Top Tip: Although microwaves are helpful to make many microwave snacks, avoid using microwaveable popcorn. Microwave popcorn bags are the least healthy option because they often contain chemicals. The flavorings are artificial, and due to the size of most of the bags, you’ll eat an oversized portion.
How to Make Popcorn in a Popper
The popcorn making process differs depending on the type of popcorn popper you use.
Types of Popcorn Poppers Available
There are three main types of popcorn poppers:
- Hot air: This is a modern popcorn popper that makes light, fluffy popcorn without any added oil.
- Microwave: The microwave is the most convenient way to make popcorn at home.
- Stovetop: This is the traditional popcorn popper like your parents used to use.
Which one you use is entirely down to your preference and which suits your needs.
Using microwave popcorn popper will take less than three minutes and does not require any oil or butter. Follow these steps:
- Add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels to the microwave popcorn popper.
- Replace the lid and microwave on high power for one to three minutes.
- Listen to the popping and remove the plastic popcorn popper when the popping slows to one to two seconds between the pops.
- Remove the lid and some homemade popcorn seasoning as desired.
Hot Air Popper
By making popcorn in a hot air popper, you will get lighter, fluffy popcorn that’s not oily. Follow these steps:
- Pour 1/2-cup of popcorn kernels into the base of the unit.
- Position the bowl underneath the spout of the popper to catch the popped popcorn as it flows out.
- Plug in the hot air popper for it to warm the popcorn kernels in the base.
- Unplug the popper after the popcorn finishes popping.
- Discard any unpopped kernels from the bottom of the base.
- Allow the popper to cool after the popcorn has finished popping.
- Season the popcorn.
A stovetop popcorn popper produces the most flavorsome popcorn and requires oil or butter to pop the kernels.
Now that you have chosen the type of oil to use in your stovetop popper follow the below instructions for best results.
- Put two kernels into 3 tbsp. oil and cover the pan with the lid. When the corn begins to pop, remove the pan from the heat. Turn the heat up to high, remove the two more popped kernels then add the rest of the popcorn to the pan and cover with a lid.
- Put the lid on the pan give it a good shake, and let it sit for one minute. This action will allow the popcorn kernels to heat up evenly.
- Place the pan back on the heat on high and wait. Shake the pan frequently to ensure all the kernels get a fair chance to pop.
- Don’t worry if the popping gets intense or the popcorn pushes the lid off the pan. It’s normal.
- Remove from the heat as soon as the popping reduces to a few seconds between pops. Let it sit for a minute to give any stubborn kernels time to pop. Add the popcorn to a large bowl ready to be seasoned.
Best Types of Oil to Use in a Stovetop Popper
There are a few different types of oil that can be used to pop popcorn. Here are the best oils to use:
- Extra virgin
Walnut and extra virgin oil are the best. The next best to use is canola oil.
How to Make Homemade Popcorn Seasoning
Once you have chosen which of the below homemade popcorn seasonings, you’d like to make, follow the below directions for the best results:
- Combine all ingredients (spices, herbs, seeds, etc.) into a blender or food processor.
- Blend on high for a few seconds until the ingredients turn into a powder consistency.
- This mixture can then be stored in a spice jar or Tupperware and used when required.
Take your snack game to the next level with these homemade popcorn seasonings that you need to add to your popcorn ASAP!
5.) Sweet Popcorn Seasoning
Most of us will opt for a sweet homemade popcorn seasoning over a savory one. The delicious taste of anything sweet combined with the crunch popcorn is certainly something to behold. These next sweet popcorn seasoning ideas are worth a try.
Chocolate and Coconut Popcorn
This glamorous yet simple homemade popcorn seasoning is perfect for those with a sweet tooth but who don’t want to go overboard in indulging in a massive chocolate binge. Coconuts also help support the immune system and provide a natural source of quick energy.
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (pick milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate)
- 2 tsp. of coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes or toasted coconut flakes
- 1 cup of unpopped popcorn
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
- Use the double boiler method to melt your chocolate with 1/2 tsp. of coconut oil.
- Spread your popcorn on a layer of wax paper on a baking pan.
- Drizzle the popcorn with chocolate and coconut flakes.
- Let the chocolate harden
Recipe from Salty Canary.
Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
Brown sugar and cinnamon homemade popcorn seasoning will change your movie nights forever! Not only will this tasty seasoning delight your taste buds, but cinnamon is a great supporter of metabolic function and can aid in weight loss.
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix the seasonings, then mix it into the popcorn.
4.) Savory Popcorn Seasoning
For those who are more inclined to pick a savory homemade popcorn seasoning, try these recipes. They are not only delicious but are also healthy.
Lemon and Kale Popcorn
Kale is a favorite for those of us that follow a healthy diet. The potassium content in kale can help reduce the risk of heart disease. The combination of lemon and kale makes a great homemade popcorn seasoning idea.
- 1/2 bunch kale, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 2 tsp. grapeseed oil
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 10 cups popped popcorn
Recipe from Simply Fresh Dinners.
Sesame Seed Popcorn
This simple idea is a perfect savory popcorn seasoning alternative to a sweet seasoning. Sesame seeds are packed full of B vitamins, which are healthy for skin and hair health.
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp. gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and nori seaweed.)
If unable to find gomasio in your grocery store, use 1 1/2 tbsp. sesame seeds.
3.) Salty Popcorn Seasoning
We all crave salt at some point, but too much salt is proven to be bad for us. These next popcorn seasoning ideas are low in salt but will still help that craving.
Macha Sea Salt Popcorn
Have you got onboard the matcha bandwagon yet? If not this might be the time to start. Macha has antioxidant properties said to help reduce blood pressure.
- 1 tbsp. matcha green tea powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
Ranch season is ideal for making as a popcorn seasoning because it can be made with herbs and spices that you will properly already have in your cupboard. This herbs and spices are jam-packed full of vitamins, calcium, and iron.
- 1 tbsp. onion flakes
- 2 tsp. parsley leaves
- 1 tsp. dill weed
- 2 tsp. basil leaves
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. himalayan salt
2.) Spicy Popcorn Seasoning
If you love a bit of spice to your food, these next couple of homemade popcorn seasonings are for you.
Spicy Chipotle Popcorn
Chipotle powder is health-boosting as it contains capsaicin. It also happens to taste great sprinkled on popcorn as a seasoning.
- Add to oil while cooking – 1 tsp. tabasco or jalapeño pepper sauce
- 1 tbsp. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. salt
Curry powder has a variety of blended spices. These powerful spices have many health benefits include turmeric, which is good for the liver and digestive system.
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut flakes
- 1 tsp. ginger powder
1.) Cheesy Popcorn Seasoning
If you are a cheese fiend, try these homemade popcorn seasonings.
Parmesan and Rosemary Popcorn
Parmesan and rosemary are a perfect combination of ingredients that your tastebuds will love. Rosemary is also a powerful antioxidant that will help your body protect itself from harmful properties.
- 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
Vegan Cheese Popcorn
Vegans can rejoice because homemade popcorn is delicious with vegan cheese. Natural yeast has a wide range of health benefits as it contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
How to Add the Seasoning to the Popcorn
Once you have popped all those kernels in a popcorn popper, they are ready to be seasoned. All the above homemade popcorn seasoning ideas (except for the chocolate and coconut topping) can be added to the popcorn by following these directions:
- Put the warm popcorn into a paper bag
- Drizzle extra melted oil over popcorn to your liking.
- Close the bag and shake to distribute the oil as evenly as possible
- Sprinkle popcorn seasoning over the popcorn.
- Close the bag and shake again to coat the popcorn with your delicious seasoning.
These homemade popcorn seasonings ideas are so delicious that you won’t be able to stop eating them and will rush to make another batch.
If you eat popcorn regularly, consider investing in a popcorn popper machine. Read our Popcorn Poppers Buyer’s Guide to find out which are the best stovetop, hot air, and best value popcorn poppers on the market.
Which of homemade popcorn seasonings is your favorite? Why not make your favorite of these popcorn seasoning recipes and enjoy wrapped up in a blank on the couch watching a movie? Or, even better, give all the recipes a try and have a movie marathon!