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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Organic Popcorn

There's no need to buy oversalted, overprocessed, overpriced microwave popcorn. Guest blogger Jim Randall has an excellent recipe that's easy on your taste buds, your arteries, and your wallet:
Remember the good old days when popcorn was made in a kettle on the stove with popcorn, oil, salt, and butter instead of the microwave stuff with the chemical names you can't pronounce? Well, for old times' sake, rent a movie or put on a ball game and make some old-fashioned popcorn like dad used to make, only with a few changes to make it healthy and great tasting.
First, you'll need to get some organic virgin coconut oil. It's sold in health food stores or online at You may have heard through the years that coconut oil is not healthy. In fact, it has medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides such as Lauric acid (found in mother's milk), which studies say increase metabolism, fight viruses and bacteria, and have antioxidant properties. We like the expeller pressed coconut oil for this recipe as it has a blander, less "coconutty" taste and is less expensive.
While you are at your local health food store, pick up some organic popcorn and some unrefined sea (or Himalayan) salt. Don't use ordinary table salt. Unrefined salt is in its natural form and has not been altered by man. It contains more than 80 minerals and elements necessary for life, in contrast to refined salt, which contains two ingredients: sodium and chloride. Unrefined Himalayan salt is mined in the Himalayan mountain range and has additional minerals and elements that give it a distinctive pinkish color. It's delicious on everything. Get it at if you can't find it locally. (Note: TJ Maxx is another good source.--Ruth & Tim) The extra money invested in unrefined salt is worth it to your health.
Now, for the popcorn:
You'll need a large, heavy kettle with a lid.
Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup virgin coconut or expeller pressed coconut oil in the covered kettle over medium-high heat with 2 or 3 kernels of popcorn. When the kernels pop, the oil is ready.
Add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the kettle without crowding the kernels too much—1/3 to 1/2 cup should do it. (Trial and error will tell you how much to use so you don't run out of room in the kettle and have unpopped and wasted kernels. It will also tell you how much oil to use. This is a matter of taste; we like to use the larger quantity for a moister batch of popcorn.)
Keep the kettle at nearly its highest heat—you want the kernels popping very quickly when they start to pop. Shake the kettle, using a side-to-side motion to keep heat distributed. Pause every so often and loosen the lid to let the steam escape. When popping slows (be careful not to scorch!) remove from heat and let the corn finish popping with the lid loose or off.
Salt immediately with unrefined sea or Himalayan salt. Toss the popcorn in the kettle to distribute. This is an art form that can be mastered so you lose no kernels! Salt and toss one more time.
You will be addicted. No butter will be necessary. Popcorn keeps for days fresh in the kettle on the stovetop . . . if it lasts that long.


  1. Jim, everything I have ever eaten, that you have made has been delish! I will try this soon!

  2. Good stuff. This is a great post reminding us that we can indeed control what goes into our bodies -- just day no to the corporate readymade machine.

    I started making my own popcorn again b/c I couldn't understand what was in a microwave popcorn package and knew popcorn should have only a few things, like oil, salt, and of course, popcorn.

  3. That sounds like the most fatty popcorn I've ever heard of making at home- we use 2 tablespoons of olive oil and I find that unctuous and rich enough...

  4. We do the same basic thing with olive oil but the coconut oil sounds delicious! One way we serve it (we learned this on our honeymoon in the Virgin Islands) is to sprinkle the bowl of popcorn with green jalapeno sauce--it sounds strange but it's great!