So I posted an easy way to make stovetop popcorn using coconut oil a few weeks ago. I am a huge popcorn person- it is my go to snack when I want something salty to munch on. I try not to eat chips or crackers very often so popcorn is big in our house. 1 cup of plain popcorn kernels is just 20 calories! And 1 cup of unpopped popcorn makes a mountain of popped popcorn to eat.
I have been wanting to try a homemade popcorn recipe in a lunchbag for a really long time and finally got around to it recently.
I heard several years ago that you can just put popcorn kernels in a brown sack and pop it right up in the microwave! But in the past I thought- well why not just buy microwave popcorn? Why go to the extra trouble?
And then one day I noticed my 4 year old licking the side of the popcorn bag. You know that salty/buttery coating on the side of a bag? Well she was going to town on that and it hit me how many chemicals, preservatives and other nastiness she was consuming and I decided to give this method a shot.
Here is why I decided to try making my own-
- The most important reason is that you control precisely what goes into your food.
- You can get a clean, pure popcorn flavor- and if you want flavoring make it exactly to your taste.
- Far fewer calories per serving.
- Save money by making your own.
Although I still like stovetop popcorn it is not something my children can make and it does require (kind of) a lot of coconut oil (or canola oil)- I don’t find it to be oily but if you are counting calories this is important.
The beauty of a brown bag is that the kiddos can make it themselves, it is perfect for grab and go, you can shake in whatever seasonings you like and it requires just drops of oil! (So you save a ton of calories- yeah!)
I think this is a perfect after school snack idea- here is what you need:
- 1/2 cup of Plain Popcorn kernels
- 1 brown paper lunch bag (I got 100 for $1.00 at Walmart)
- 3 drops of canola oil or coconut oil
You simply open your brown paper bag, add the popcorn kernels and then use a spoon to just drop or drizzle a tiny bit of oil.
Now fold your bag over about 3 times (or you can tape it if you prefer) and pop in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until you hear the kernels stop popping away. I like to shake the bag just a tiny bit before I put it in the microwave to make sure the oil is dispersed.
Also in real life I don’t actually measure each time- I just eyeball about half a cup and I get the same results each time.
You do need to play with the time in the microwave a little bit since everyone’s microwave does not cook exactly the same. Just listen for the popping to slow and pull the bag out.
I like to sprinkle it with salt and seasonings in the bag and shake it all around to coat it all. I take these bags straight into the car and we are on the way.
Obviously drenched in butter is a great way to serve popcorn but I try to use seasonings instead to get flavor without all the calories.
Some of my favorite seasonings are very finely grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top or a combination of garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and dried oregano. Yum yum!
You can see the stovetop microwave popcorn recipe here plus a variation to make Homemade Cracker Jacks!
And if you have any little birthday parties coming up- popcorn is a great snack for children! Very inexpensive and easy and always a hit.
Check out my Back to School pinterest board for more fun ideas!