Friday, November 16, 2012

Homemade Vegan Kettle Corn with Coconut Oil

Homemade Vegan Kettle Corn with Coconut Oil

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 for most of my life. What a waste! Not only is it expensive, but full of fake and chemical-laden ingredients. Have you checked what they put in those papers liners? Eek.

In the past four or five years, I've switched to plain, organic popcorn, but it's sometimes 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 stovetop. 

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 wasn't great. It tasted fake 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! 

Homemade Vegan Kettle Corn with Coconut Oil

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 similar to 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, and lots more.

As with most things, it's best to buy it in the rawest form in order to garner the most nutritional properties (as some 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. You can use substitute it for butter in most recipes (even baked goods) or use it to sautee foods on the stovetop and it has quite a long shelf life.

If you're looking in stores, Costco has fabulous prices on cooking fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil & butter. If you need to order online, this brand and this brand are both great and a good price per ounce.  

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
Serves: 4-5

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 if possible)
Fine sea salt, to taste (I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt)

Recommended Equipment
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 a 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)

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!

1 comment

  1. Popcorn is not actually my favorite but when it is cooked using coconut oil, I can't help but eat. Love munching especially when I'm watching TV.


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