Pop In and Celebrate National Popcorn Day
Today, we eat popcorn as a healthy snack, as a compliment to the newest movie release, and when we take ourselves to the ballgame! Popcorn is as American as apple pie, so pop up your favorite recipe or try one of these new ones, just in time to celebrate National Popcorn Day.
2 cups Popcorn, unpopped
2 cups Sugar
1 tbsp. Coconut oil
1/2 cup Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
4-5 Food coloring options (see recipe below for healthy/natural food coloring)
Prepare as many sheets of aluminum foil on flat surfaces as you have food coloring options. Set aside.
Be prepared to work quickly. While you pop your popcorn, place your sugar, oil, water, salt and vanilla in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir the sugar mixture until it's completely liquefied.
Separate the popcorn evenly into as many large bowls as you have food coloring options. Set aside. Separate the sugar mixture into as many small bowls as you have food coloring options.
Add 5-8 drops of food coloring to each of the small bowls of sugar mixture and stir until the color is consistent throughout.
Pour one color of sugar mixture over each of the bowls of popcorn and stir until the color coats it completely. Repeat for each color. Spread each color popcorn over a prepared aluminum foil surface.
Toss sprinkles of every kind over it before it dries. Allow to dry for at least 2 hours until no longer soggy.
Homemade Healthy Food Coloring
- For red, use raspberries, pure pomegranate juice or roasted beets.
- For yellow, use raw carrots or mangoes.
- For blue, use radicchio or red cabbage.
Make one color at a time.
Fruit version: If you’re using raspberries (red) or mango (yellow), start with a cup of fresh or frozen fruit. Put it all in a blender to liquefy, then pour your thick liquid over a fine strainer to remove the seeds. You should have about a half cup of juice.
Root vegetable version: For roasted beets (red) or raw carrots (yellow), use a juicer to extract all the juice without any pulp. Use one whole beet and 2 large carrots, or 1 cup ofeither one, chopped up. If you don’t have a juicer, use a food processor, with just enough water to liquefy. Just add small amounts of water, bit by bit, until you have enough to totally blend the veggies. Then use a fine metal strainer or cheesecloth to remove the pulp. You should have about 1/2 cup of juice, depending on how big your veggies are.
Cabbage version: To use radicchio or red cabbage (blue), chop up a small head of either one, add to a medium-size pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes, until the water turns deep purple. Remove the cabbage, strain the liquid, and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and the liquid should turn from purple to blue
Once you have colored liquid, you’ll need to reduce it to make a more powerful coloring agent. Pour juice into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it’s reduced to a thick, very colorful paste.
Maple Bacon Popcorn
16 oz. Bacon
1/3 cup Popcorn, unpopped
1/2 cup Butter, salted
3/4 cup Light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup Maple syrup
1/2 tsp. Maple extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a rack inside a large jelly roll pan. Place the pieces of bacon side by side on the rack. Place into the oven and let bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip each slice of bacon. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Remove from rack and place on a paper towel lined plate. Let cool.
Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees. Line a large clean jelly roll pan with parchment paper. This will prevent any sticking. Using an air popper, pop the 1/3 cup of corn kernels. You can also pop the corn kernels in a kettle with some vegetable oil. Keep the kernels moving and the lid on the kettle.
Spread the popcorn on the large jelly roll pan that's lined with parchment paper. Using scissors or a knife, cut the bacon into bite size pieces and place on top of the popcorn. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add in the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Place over medium heat and stir until the butter and sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture come up to a boil and boil for 8 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and add in the maple extract.
Drizzle the maple brown sugar mixture over top of popcorn. Stir the popcorn and flip it to help coat the popcorn. Place in the oven and bake at 275 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the popcorn again and flip it. Cover the popcorn as much as possible with the maple mixture.
Place back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Stir and flip the popcorn one last time and set aside to cool. As the popcorn cools, the maple mixture will become crispy.
Savory Rosemary, Garlic & Parmesan Popcorn
1/2 cup Popcorn kernels
1/4 cup Palm Shortening or coconut oil
1/3 cup Butter
1 tsp. Rosemary, minced, fresh
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Sea salt, to taste
Put the popcorn kernels and palm shortening into a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Alternatively, you can use a pan like this that is designed for popping corn. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and turn the stove on high (it must be on high or the kernels won’t pop completely).
Wearing oven mitts, shake the pan oven every 10-15 seconds, being careful the lid stays on tight, then place back on the burner. Repeat until the popcorn stops popping. Pour your popcorn into a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt your pastured butter over low heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the in the minced rosemary and garlic. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes, or until your garlic is slightly brown. While it's still warm, pour the butter mixture over your popcorn, then toss to combine. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over your popcorn, then add salt to taste.