Flavoring Popcorn

I love popcorn and I kinda adore how it's whole grain and, depending on what you put on it, pretty darned healthy for you. But that's a pretty big caveat when you consider how much salt and butter and more get loaded onto it regularly. But if instead of reaching for a microwave packet, you made your own plain popcorn in the microwave (I have a gadget like this for making it simple) or in a heavy bottomed pan on the stove and add seasonings of your own, you can make it quickly, cheaply, healthy, and tastier than anything you can get wrapped in plastic.

The guide below takes you through the process of blending custom popcorn seasoning blends and applying them to your own warm popcorn. There are three savory and three sweet varieties for you to try, but I hope you'll get bold enough to try your own blends and find new favorites. If I happen to have chopsticks on hand, I've been known to toss popcorn with a bit of pickling salt and some sweet curry powder. Without chopsticks, that one tends to leave fingers yellow!

These options work best if the popcorn is both warm and lightly oiled. Otherwise the seasoning has a hard time sticking to the popcorn. If you are making savory popcorn, extra virgin olive oil works beautifully, but I actually use it for all of them. Canola oil is lighter in flavor, so if olive oil isn't your thing, head there instead. But do make sure you lean into enjoying this tasty, good for you snack!

Popcorn Flavoring Blends

  • Savory Popcorn Seasonings:
    • "Cheesy" Taco: 1 T. taco seasoning, 1 T. nutritional yeast
    • Herby Ranch: ½ tsp. dried dill, ½ tsp. dried shallots, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper
    • Tex-Mex: 2 T. nutritional yeast, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. smoked paprika, ¼ tsp. chili powder, ¼ tsp. salt
  • Sweet Popcorn Seasonings:
    • Peppy Chocolate: 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder,1 T. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. salt, pinch of cayenne pepper
    • Cinnamon Roll: 2 T. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. salt
    • Ginger Cookie: 1 ½ T. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 4 c. popped popcorn
  • 1 tsp. olive or canola oil

Choose the popcorn seasoning of your choice and blend thoroughly by placing all of the ingredients in a small, resealable glass jar, sealing the jar, and shaking vigorously to combine. Set aside while you prepare the popcorn.

Prepare the popcorn in either the microwave or on the stove. Spray or drizzle the oil onto your popcorn, tossing to evenly coat. Use olive oil if you want that flavor to come through or canola oil if you prefer a more neutral taste.

Sprinkle your seasoning over the popcorn and toss to coat once more. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 1-2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

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