Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do It Yourself Kettle Corn

I met Lisa aka Snack Girl at the FoodBuzz Festival in November, and we had a fun time chatting a bit. Lisa writes about healthy snacks on www.snack-girl.com. Lisa is an avid snacker, foodie, published author, and mother of 2. An evolutionary biologist by training, she has become obsessed with how food contributes to our overall health. I follow her on Twitter and read her site, and I love her fun and informative posts.

Lisa asked me if I wanted to trade posts, and I happily agreed. The following post is a guest post by Lisa. Check out my celery salad guest post on her site.

Here is Lisa: 

Kettle corn has that perfect combination of crunchy, salty, and sweet that keeps you eating it long after you should stop.

I had been thinking of making my own kettle corn because I saw a PRETTY scary bucket of microwave kettle corn in the aisle at BlockBuster.

This brand, which shall remain nameless (Jolly Time), had 4 grams of Trans Fat stated in its Nutrition Facts.  Ummm, did you get the memo?

Also, it included sucralose AND sugar.  Why not just add enough sugar to make it sweet?  I guess they were trying to keep the calories low. 

So, I didn't come up with a way to make it completely in the microwave, but I did come up with a tasty version which is sweet, made with natural ingredients (no sucralose here!) and only 80 calories per serving.

I added peanut butter and maple syrup to the freshly popped popcorn AFTER it was popped.  The result is dreamy and my kids went bezerk.

It is a bit messy (you have to mix it with your hands), but the result is worth the work.  You can get it evenly distributed if you melt the maple syrup and peanut butter together - trust me.

I used a microwave popcorn bowl that a reader suggested.  You just dump 1/4 cup of unpopped corn in the bowl, turn the microwave on for 2.5 minutes, and you have freshly popped popcorn without using any oil. 
This is a bit easier than using the paper bags that I suggest in http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/homemade-microwave-popcorn/

Homemade kettle corn is a great party snack, watching football snack, or after school snack.

Give it a try and tell me how it goes!

Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe

(3 servings)
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter (can substitute smooth)
dash of salt

Pop popcorn in microwave, air popper or stove top (see  http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/homemade-microwave-popcorn/).  In a small bowl in the microwave, heat peanut butter and maple syrup for 30 seconds.  Pour over freshly popped popcorn, add a dash of salt, and mix with your hands.  Enjoy!

//80 calories, 3.0 g fat, 11.8 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g protein, 1.6 g fiber, 78 mg sodium

Thanks, Lisa! I know my family will love this! Find more healthy snacks on Snack-Girl.com.

Questions: Do you like popcorn? What’s your favorite way to eat it? I like adding finally chopped rosemary to mine, but I’m making Lisa’s kettle corn soon! Do you have any ideas for homemade kettle corn?

Be well,


  1. Peanut butter?!? That's an unexpected ingredient in kettle corn! I love the idea! Can't wait to give it a try. :-)

  2. I toss the popped corn with sugar free Jello powder for fruity flavored popcorn. The downside is that my fingers are colorful for awhile!

  3. Kettle corn is my weakness. I have to admit right here in front of the world that I buy and consume Orville's 100 cal micro packs and they are so so so good. Yours looks good and is all natural- yum. Thanks!

    PS I was about to give a whirley pop to charity b/c it doesn't result in poofy popcorn- the kernels only pop up small. But perhaps to pop it in the micro and then use the whirley so you don't have to get hands dirty? When I get back to the desert I'll give it a try. :-)

  4. I love popcorn with a little butter, dill, powdered buttermilk, garlic, lemon pepper, and black pepper!

    I love that the kettle corn recipe includes peanut butter...I'll have to give that a try!

  5. mmm omigoodness do I ever love kettlecorn!

  6. I love popcorn as a snack! Rosemary + popcorn sounds delicious. I like adding parmesan to my popcorn.

  7. Anonymous1/18/2011

    Such a great snack, yum!

  8. I love kettle pop corn! This sounds like a good idea! Will try!

  9. I've been hooked on making popcorn with truffle oil lately. But this sounds so addicting that I might have to start reaching for the maple syrup and peanut butter instead.

  10. That sounds so good and easy too! I bet my kids would love that.

    I love any kind of popcorn!

  11. The only kind of popcorn I like is kettlecorn so this sounds awesome to me!

  12. Genius!

    Yes, I love popcorn. I usually make it on the stove in coconut oil but maple and peanut butter??? SIGN ME UP!!

  13. This definitely IS Genius! (quoting Jenn from above). Actually this is the second post this week where I have read about adding PB to popcorn. I just love the idea and I have to try it soon! I would use crunchy, for sure, it's much more flavorful than boring smooth :)

  14. That is so awesome! I am going to try this for sure. I usually just pop mine in the microwave and salt it. Sometimes I mix in some dried fruit to get my sweet and salty fix.

  15. I could eat way too much of this tasty treat!

  16. Anonymous1/23/2011

    I love cinema's popcorns! I know they're not the healthiest thing in the world but they're so tasty! I need to try the homemade version of it! :)

  17. I have such a weakness for kettle corn and this sounds just too good.