Guess who doesn't have to wait until their next trip to the carnival, fair or festival for fresh kettle corn? This lady! Huzzah!
Homemade Kettle Corn Without the Carnival Price
As soon as I tasted my first glorious homemade bite last night, I knew I had to share this recipe. You know why? It's ridiculously simple, healthy and delicious. Not to mention that it's 1000x tastier than butter (or butter flavoring...gross) laden popcorn.
I've been eating bagged microwave popcorn most of my life. What a waste! Not only is it expensive, but full of fake and chemical-laden ingredients! In the past four or five years I've switched to plain, organic popcorn, but it's REALLY hard to find. Only Whole Foods carries it near me. Every brand that says "simply salted", "light", etc. still has fake butter stuff on it. Even so, it's cheaper to buy a large bag of kernels and pop them yourself on the stove top.
Skip the Microwave Popcorn
I know that no matter how much I plead, people will still use bagged popcorn for the convenience. At the very least...don't buy microwaveable kettle corn. I've only had it once...and it was disgusting. It tasted chemically and nothing like the stuff they make at the fair in the big drums.
So, if you're going to continue to eat bagged popcorn, at least don't buy the kettle corn variety. Please. This homemade recipe only takes 5-7 minutes tops. It's worth the 3-4 extra minutes!
Make Kettle Corn with Simple, High Quality Ingredients
Now that I've (hopefully) persuaded you, the other key to making it at home is using the best quality products. After all, there are only four ingredients in this recipe. That's where the coconut oil comes into play. Most people associate popcorn with butter. That's understandable.
However, if you're not privy, coconut oil is a superfood that tastes just like butter (except better). It has loads of nutritional benefits, plus it can also be used as a moisturizer for your hair and skin, as a massage oil, oil pulling, or even to treat wounds.
As with most things, it's best to buy it in the rawest form in order to garner the most nutritional properties (as products undergo processing/refining the nutrition is stripped away). That's why you should use virgin coconut oil that's been cold-pressed. Some brands really mark up the price, so purchase it in the largest quantity possible to get the most for your money.
Since many people look to Walmart for cheaper prices, I want to mention that they do not carry any virgin brands. Instead, they only sell LuAna Coconut Oil, which is refined and processed, thus not worth it.
If you're not concerned about the price, I would purchase the this brand. You can find it at health food stores or check online for discounts. People are raving about it. I may snag some in the future, but for now I have a bottle of the Whole Foods brand and I'm happy to twist off the cap and take multiple whiffs. The scent is fantastic. A mix of butter and coconut, as you would imagine. Can't wait to use it as body butter in the winter months.
Homemade Kettle Corn with Coconut Oil
A sweet, salty and savory popcorn that's made even more decadent by substituting virgin coconut oil instead of butter. Quick, healthy and vegan friendly, this homemade coconut oil popcorn is the perfect snack. No more waiting for the state fair or carnival for this popular treat.
Slightly Adapted from Chew Out Loud's Kettle Corn Popcorn
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of organic unrefined virgin coconut oil (get my favorite brand here)
1/2 cup of raw sugar (use organic or fair trade if possible)
1/2 cup of popcorn kernels (use organic/non-GMO corn if possible)
Fine sea salt, to taste (I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic or Utah sourced salt)
stainless steel stock pot with lid OR enameled cast-iron dutch oven
Measure out the popcorn kernels and place in a small bowl or plate. Do the same with the sugar. This is very quick and attentive process, so you'll want everything ready and at arm's length. Take a large, heavy bottomed pan (one you cook pasta in), place it on your largest burner and set it to medium high. Scoop out 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of coconut oil, which will be solid at this point.
Let the coconut oil melt and warm. After a few minutes, place 2-3 kernels into the oil with the lid off. Once one kernel pops, it is ready. Throw in the sugar and give it a quick stir. Then toss in the rest of the kernels, immediately cover the pan with a lid. Wait 3-5 seconds, then grip the handles or the sides of the pan with two oven mitts and push the pan back and forth across the burner for a few seconds. After doing this a few times, the kernels should begin popping like crazy.
Keep repeating both steps—waiting then moving the pan across the burner every few seconds—until the popcorn has slowed down. When this happens, remove the pan from the burner and let it keep popping for another 30 seconds or so. Once most of the kernels have popped, dump the fresh popcorn into a large bowl and sprinkle with fine sea salt. If desired, melt another teaspoon or so of coconut oil and drizzle it over the popcorn. Taste, savor and try not to eat the whole bowl yourself!
Notes & Tips
It's very important to make sure the oil is adequately heated before adding the kernels. If you don't do this, you'll only get burnt popcorn.
This recipe achieves an even balance between sweet, salty and buttery, but if you want it super sweet (like the stuff sold at fairs), increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.
If you dislike sweets, this recipe works perfectly for regular popcorn. Simply skip the sugar and add seasonings as you like after it's done popping. My absolute favorite is cracked black pepper and nutritional yeast (or Parmesan).
Keep Reading! More Recipes from The Rising Spoon:
- How to Make Kale Chips
- Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Creamy Pan-Fried Plantains with Cinnamon, Cardamom & Maple Syrup
I'd like to hear from YOU!
What's your favorite seasoning for popcorn?
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks!