Homemade Popcorn

Homemade Popcorn

photo credit: zanastardust

It’s the snack that wafts such a wonderful smell throughout the house or office. As soon as you get a whiff, all you know is that you want some!

We’re talking popcorn here.

It tastes great, smells great, and it’s no wonder so many of us snack on it so often! And the nifty little bags that can be popped right in the microwave make it such a simple snack. Actually just us Americans eat over 17 billion quarts of it each year!

But is it really good for you? It all depends on what type you eat. Microwave popcorn? Absolutely not. And it doesn’t matter which type you eat either. It can be the ‘movie theatre’ type, the regular ‘ol butter, the low fat, or even the kettle corn versions. None of it is healthy in any way, shape or form. And I’m not just talking about the fat in it either.

Let’s take a look at what’s in microwave popcorn:

  1. Bad vegetable oils. While I truly believe fat isn’t bad for you, the fat that is in microwavable popcorn is. It’s normally a blend of different vegetable oils, all of which contribute to poor health.
  2. Salt. The sodium content is usually through the roof! Not only does this effect your health but it can desensitize your taste buds and really give you a taste for all things salty.
  3. GMO’s. Corn is one of the most genetically modified organisms out there. What this means is that large corporations (like Monsanto) are coming up with newer versions of corn by altering their DNA. Unfortunately, there are no long term tests that show this type of food is even safe to consume.
  4. Flurotelemer. It’s a coating used on the inside of the bags to make them grease resistant. And this coating is actually seeping into the popcorn. This chemical actually stays in your blood stream for a long time. What damage does it do? I don’t think anyone really knows.
  5. PFOA. Also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, has also been found in the coating as well by an independant scientific review board. It seems that it’s actually an acid that can be extracted from the flurotelemer when exposed to heat (umm, microwave?). This chemical has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is considered “likely to be carcinogenic” to humans as well.
  6. Diacetyl. This is a chemical component in that fake butter flavoring. They found that it was causing lung diseases in the factory workers. Lucky for us, companies have started to phase it out, even thought the FDA has not yet banned the substance. Of course they don’t want to lose thier business, but the question is….what are they replacing it with? Real butter? Or some other chemical to enhance the butter flavor?

So are you going to contract cancer just because you eat one (or a few) bags of microwave popcorn? No. And our bodies are built to rid themselves of toxins. But long term, it must have some effect on our bodies. And if we overload our system with to many toxins, it can’t correctly do it’s job. Which is when we see health concerns.

The best bet if you’re jones-ing for some popcorn is to make your own! I love our homemade popcorn and once you get used to the normal taste of butter, you won’t miss the fake stuff!

Popcorn {recipe}
Recipe type: Snacks
  • a couple tablespoons of coconut oil or butter
  • ¼ -1/2 cup popcorn kernels (organic is best)
  • a few more tablespoons of melted butter for topping
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat coconut oil or butter in pan with a kernel or two. When the kernel pops, add in the rest of the popcorn.
  2. When it really gets going, make sure to shake the pan around a bit and release a bit of the steam. This helps it to remain crunchy and also keeps it from burning. And then just like with the microwave stuff, once you can count a few seconds between pops, take off the heat source so as not to burn.
  3. Pour into a large bowl and then melt a couple more tablespoons of butter in the hot pan. Pour over popped corn, stir, and add salt/seasonings to taste.
This is such a healthier version, it’s usually my snack of choice while we watch our favorite shows or a movie. You can also kick it up a notch by making it into some caramel corn! I try not to indulge in this version to much as to much sugar (even unrefined sugars) isn’t good for you either! You can also make this ahead of time and store in a ziploc bag for a day or so without it losing to much of it’s crunchiness. Just make sure it’s completely cooled before doing so (the steam will make it soft).




Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
Donielle believes women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, she has a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. Her personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and she started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information she found helpful in her journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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  1. nmetzler says

    For a special treat my family always made “cheese popcorn”. Now, I’m not talking about the cheese powder that people often put on popcorn… no, we melt real cheese in with the butter and poor it on the popcorn.
    You don’t have to use much butter- just enough so the cheese doesn’t burn. Pour it on as you stir (sometimes having two sets of hands is nice!) so that it doesn’t form clumps.
    People often look at me strange when I tell them about this but everyone always loves it!
    It is, of course, high in fat but for a treat it’s much better for you than a bag of microwave popcorn!

    Also, for myself, when I am hungry in the middle of the day I often make a small bowl of popcorn. I use coconut oil and sprinkle brewers yeast on it- makes a wonderful healthy snack. My husband doesn’t care for the yeast but all the women in my family love it.

  2. Courtney says

    I love making real popcorn now and we add a few things to make it have a little more nutrients, dulce flakes, nutritional yeast for a cheese flavor, garlic granules and braggs liquid aminos. YUMMY!

    I think a lot of people dont realize how bad popcorn in your microwave truly is

  3. Serena says

    My favorite way is definitely the caramel corn recipe that you shared. We have fallen in love with it around here! I never knew that popping corn on the stovetop (with a glass lid) could be such a hoot. I really enjoy doing it! And making the caramel corn is soooo quick and easy!

  4. zebe912 says

    Just an FYI: popcorn is not advised for people who tend towards inflammation. The husks, especially seem to really do a number on the body. I miss popcorn horribly, but removing it from my diet has helped. I can end up with a nasty headache a day or so after eating it. I grew up with stove top popcorn and love it with just a little butter & salt. Or plain airpoped is good too. But no more for me!

  5. April says

    I grew up in a house that always had the ginormous box of microwave popcorn from Sam’s Club in the pantry. It was one of my favorite snacks. Then my husband (who is not even all that health conscious!) taught me this method. I. will. never. go. back. Honestly, healthy or not, microwave popcorn can’t even compete with this! The only thing I put on mine is salt usually, but there are so many variations. I’ve made a garlic parmesan version that is fantastic! I taught my best friend how to do this, and she couldn’t believe you don’t need any special equipment to make stovetop popcorn.

  6. Kristin says

    Is air-popped pop corn okay? I like to use my air popper but will admidt to using “I can’t believe its not butter” spray on it which I’m sure is not good for you. Thanks for answering.. I’m just starting to learn about all the things I thought were “healthy” are really “fake” and bad for the body. This blog is very helpful!

  7. Donielle says

    I’ll have to try some of those add-ins some of you mentioned, thanks for the tips!

    and Kristin – Air popped would be fine. Since it’s not full of chemicals right from the store (like the already bagged and buttered microwave popcorn) you’ll be all set. Although with the I can’t believe it’s not butter, it’s kind of like adding them in after the fact! :-) Try real butter once and you’ll never go back! And don’t worry about the fat!

  8. FoodRenegade says

    Mmmm. I haven’t had popcorn in ages, but this just motivated me to try! Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  9. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home says

    Mmmm, we love to make organic popcorn, with organic butter, sea salt and brewer’s yeast. It tastes just a little bit cheesy, and oh-so-good! One of my favorite snacks for an evening when I’m feeling munchy!

  10. onjoyhappinessandsam says

    We make ours with an air popper w/ coconut oil and it is FANTASTIC!!! It’s also awesome to grind up your salt in an extra coffee grinder – just like the movies!!