Monday, January 6, 2014

Cheap, Low Waste Popcorn

I love popcorn. It's easily my favorite snack. I'll eat it plain or topped with salt, butter, or cheese (anything but kettle corn, really). But pre-made popcorn is expensive around here - 3 or 4 dollars for a bag of 10-12 cups of popcorn. Microwavable popcorn is cheaper, but I felt awful throwing those plastic-lined bags in the microwave since I'd given up cooking leftovers in plastic. And unfortunately, microwave popcorn has a lot of added preservatives/chemicals. (Some boxes even have warnings not to breath in the fumes when opening the bag!)
Then I noticed my farmer's market sold popcorn kernels and the bag even had instructions on making it at home on the stove. I followed the instructions with disappointing results - the oil splattered in my face when I added the kernels, the popcorn launching itself out of the pot, unpopped kernels, burned kernels. Ugh. I tried this process about 5 times before giving up and looking for other options. Nothing jumped out at me, and I ended up going back to microwavable popcorn.

Until last summer. Mr. G and I were at the mall (I think this may have been the vacation where I was freezing and had to buy a hoodie to make it through the day) and I saw a hand-crank popcorn pot in the cooking store window. A-ha! 


When we got home, I found one I liked with great reviews on Amazon and bought it. I've been using it once or twice a week since August, and I adore it. You dump in the oil and kernels, lock down the lid, give it a crank or two to coat the kernels, and wait 2-3 minutes for the popping to begin. Continue cranking the handle until the popping stops, then pour into a bowl and enjoy! So easy, so tasty, and virtually no waste - woohoo :)


It's even better now that popcorn is sold in bulk - my jars are already labeled with their tare weight and I just leave the popcorn label on (no need to wash a container that's going to be refilled with the same thing, right?).


DSC_0446 DSC_0449
So the final count comes down to this:

heaping 1/3 cup organic popcorn - 16¢

1 tablespoon organic canola oil - 20¢
salt - 1¢ (if that)

So, for 37¢  (and a little stirring) I get 10-12 cups of popcorn without plastic or chemicals! I'll count that as a win :)


Do you like popcorn? What's your favorite snack?


And I couldn't resist this guy: 
Popcorn reminds me of the movies too. 

15 comments:

  1. I have a stovetop popper similar to yours and we just LOVE it! I got mine for about $3 at the thrift store and have repaired it 3 times over the years. CatMan and I do movie night once a week and we always have to have 2 enormous bowls of freshly popped hot buttered popcorn to go wit it.... yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So cheap - that's awesome! There's nothing like fresh popcorn with butter, mmm! :)

      Delete
  2. Great savings! I love popcorn with lashings of butter. The microwave popcorn has so many additives that make it irresistible - sugar, butter flavouring. On the stove popcorn just doesn't have to same appeal to me. I will have to re-educate my taste as, like you say, the microwave stuff has so much that is not good.

    Interesting cooking tool! Does it really stop the corn burning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... if you want further incentive to curb your microwave popcorn habit, check this out!
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-chameides/the-chemical-marketplace_b_1943728.html
      Yikes!

      Delete
    2. Lucinda - It doesn't taste quite like microwave popcorn, but I've grown to like it more than the microwave stuff. I haven't had any burned kernels since the first batch (and since I had the heat on high, I'd say the blame lies with me). As long as you leave the heat on medium low and then stir at a steady pace, I think you'll be good. :)

      Cat - Thanks for the link! It's so scary that food companies are allowed to add chemicals and not even include them on the label - eek!

      Delete
  3. I love this! I realise now how lucky I am that buying bulk, we just tell them what it is, and they look it up. It means lines move slower, but saves the shopper! I also like that you thought to use tape for your tare - i just write it straight on things. Love that this was about popcorn, and I'm all taken by the low waste side!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting how even buying in bulk can be different in other places! I like the idea of looking things up rather than labeling the products - fewer stickers that way :) What do you use to write on glass?

      Delete
    2. A permanent marker - I use them a lot lately, as I'm trying to lower my weight, so I'm weighing foods to get a better idea of the calorie count - so I weigh in whatever container, than later weigh the empty container. Nutso I tell you, but I enjoy it!

      Delete
    3. Oh, nice! I do have a marker with a thin tip that would probably be perfect. Good luck with your weighing strategy - I hope it works for you :)

      Delete
  4. lucky find! I'll have to keep my eyes out for one of those. the fume-factor worries me. we tend to top with a custom mix of some fat/oil/butter/margarine that the minced garlic cooks in, nutritional yeast, chopped herbs, sometimes hot peppers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought of nutritional yeast - I'll have to try that.

      Delete
  5. I have also given up microwave popcorn for health reasons, and have just been making it in a pot on the stove top. It took me a couple of tries to get it right (temperature, shaking, etc.) We probably have it once a week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad the stove top works for you - definitely cheaper that way than buying a special pot! :)

      Delete
  6. I learned how to make stove-top popcorn when I was probably too young to be operating a gas range on my own. Or eating an entire pot of popcorn on my own. It's so much better than microwave, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, I've eaten the entire pot alone too!

      Delete

I love comments - please leave one (or twelve)!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...