Easy Homemade Popcorn (Ultimate Recipe Swap: Afterschool Snacks)

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Greet your kids afterschool with a healthy snack! Today Mandi of Life Your Way shares two easy ways to make popcorn — in a paper bag and on the stovetop.

Popcorn is one of my very favorite snacks, but the microwave stuff just isn’t that great for you…or your wallet, especially when you have a family of 6 or more!

For a while, I used the handy dandy paper bag trick to make my own microwave popcorn. Have you seen this? It’s so cool…and easy as pie:

Take 1/3 cup popcorn kernels and dump them in a regular paper lunch bag. Fold the top over several times, creasing it with your nails or adding a piece of tape to hold it closed.

Place it in the microwave and hit the “popcorn” button (which is usually 2-3 minutes, in case yours doesn’t have one) and then listen for the telltale pops. When the popping slows down, open the microwave (even if the time hasn’t run out). Let it cool slightly then season with melted butter and salt and you’re set!

Even though that’s pretty much as easy as it gets, our family really prefers stovetop popcorn these days, and it’s surprisingly easy as well:

Discover more than 60 recipes for homemade kitchen staples like these in Easy Homemade, which is available for your Kindle, Nook or a full-color PDF to read on your computer for just $0.99 this week only!

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You’ll also find me sharing more about the what, why and how of homemade pantry staples at these great blogs:

— Mandi Ehman lives in wild, wonderful West Virginia with her husband of ten years and four beautiful, spunky little girls. As a full-time work-at-home, homeschooling mom, she runs Life Your Way, a site that blends intentional and creative living, and Jungle Deals & Steals, where it’s all Amazon, all the time.Ultimate Recipe Swap

URS Guidelines

Remember: Each week at Ultimate Recipe Swap, there is a posted theme. You are welcome to share any recipe that fits the theme and contains a link back to Life as MOM. If you’re curious about the upcoming themes, I have a calendar here. This week’s theme is Afterschool Snacks.

If you have a recipe that fits the theme, please link it. However, things like Beef Strogonaff will be deleted from Chicken week because it doesn’t contain chicken. Please keep this meme as helpful to others as we can.

And don’t make me the bad guy! ;)

What is your favorite afterschool snack?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. We use the paperbag trick:). Kind of nervous about stovetop, but if it’s better tasting I guess I can buck up and try. 🙂

  2. Huh, I’ve never made homemade popcorn. Both ways seems super easy. I’ll have to try it.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      We use an air popper. Love it since there’s nothing to wash. But, stovetop does taste a lot better.

  3. Popcorn is my favorite! I’ll have to try the coconut oil.
    I’ve used both and then switched to an air popper b/c it’s so easy (kid-friendly) and they’re pretty inexpensive. Just get one with metal lining so you don’t have to worry about Bisphenol A.
    Favorite topping is nutritional yeast (B vitamins galore) and butter.

  4. I’ve been doing the paperbag popcorn idea for years and love it, but I think it’s healthier to make it in a pan. I just hate to wash the pan.

  5. This is a trick I learned growing up–if you add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, then add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan. I’m not sure the math behind why it works. When I follow this ratio–no matter what size of pan I use–it is the perfect amount. No extra popcorn overflowing.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      That’s exactly how my parents used to do — back in the days before microwaves.

  6. melissa says

    You can make your own kettle corn the same way–just add 1/2 cup sugar to the pot when you add all the popcorn in. Just make sure you keep shaking the pot very well!

    • My kids are addicted to kettle corn. Do you use 3 TBSP oil as in this recipe? How much salt do you add?

  7. I love that idea!

  8. We use a stove top popcorn pot. (It came with my hubby — what a deal!) Our favorite thing to do is to put a little of Zatarain’s (liquid) Shrimp and Crab Boil in the pot with the oil for popping. Spicy! Tip: You have to put all the popcorn kernels at the same time if you do this because you really don’t want to unleash all those spicy vapors right into your face.

  9. Perfect timing! I just brought home mugs full of popcorn kernels from a party and had no idea how to prepare them! Thanks!

  10. I use the paper bag whenever my daughter is asking for popcorn. So easy and no mess!!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I’m thinking you could probably make a whole bunch of paper bags ahead of time and stash them in the pantry for quicker popcorn. 🙂

  11. Ha, I found your blog from on a liink on Math U See’s Facebook page. I have used that paper bag recipe with success in the past and forgot all about it! Now i’m all out of those paper bags so I am going to try the stovetop recipe. Thanks for the recipe I have been wanting to try it. We prefer to use coconut oil in our home as well.

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