Popcorn Without a Microwave

Popcorn is having a bit of a moment in the foodie world, and I for one am okay with it. There's a lot you can do with popcorn in terms of flavor, as in its plain form, it doesn't bring much to the palate. This makes it a perfect snack food to experiment with, adding not only interesting flavor combinations, but also boosting the health factor a bit. While it's very handy that there's an entire blog devoted to popcorn recipes, I wouldn't recommend a single one. The blog has been put together by the U.S. Popcorn Board, to raise awareness of its use as a healthy, whole grain snack - shame, then, that they ruin that with mounds added of corn syrup and refined oils to their recipes! I'd rather keep things simple and use up all of those interesting ingredients I've got filling my kitchen cupboards (and not just because we're moving and we need to empty those cupboards out!) Enter, Nori Popcorn:

This recipe couldn't be simpler, and better yet, doesn't involve a microwave. We threw out our microwave a couple of years ago and haven't looked back. Why? Because there are proven health issues associated with microwave use. Think about the types of foods that are microwaved. More often than not, they're processed, packaged, refined, frozen, not "real" foods. Even something harmless, like a mug of milk you want to warm up for hot chocolate, becomes damaged goods when heated in a microwave.

The case FOR a microwave, however, is clearly all about time saving. They cook things quick. Well, I'd like to counter that theory with this popcorn recipe - it takes the same, if not less, time to make my stovetop popcorn than it would to make a bag of microwave popcorn. Is it more work? Yes, if you count standing at a stove shaking around a pot for a few minutes "work". Think of it as DIY Jiffy Pop.

I'd also like to add that this popcorn, bought as kernels, is cheaper than buying a box of ready-to-microwave stuff. I picked up a bag at Whole Foods for less than £2 (around $3) which has lasted me several bowls of the stuff!

While there are a number of flavors you can add to your popcorn that are both healthy and delicious, my favorite right now is this Japanese-inspired combination of sesame oil and toasted nori seaweed. You can buy nori in it's raw form in sheets - it then needs toasting (held over an open flame for 1-2 seconds until it turns bright green) and then crumbling into tiny flakes. You can also buy it already ground up, making it a cinch to sprinkle on anything. This one from Clearspring in the UK is a great option; in the States, Maine Coast makes some excellent seaweed products.


Nori Popcorn

by The Particular Kitchen

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Keywords: saute snack gluten-free nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian wheat free