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Teresa's Really Good Popcorn Seasonings Recipe

Teresa's Really Good Popcorn Seasonings Recipe

Champagne Won't Be the Only Thing That's Popping at Your Party

Teresa Karolewicz, Sun Basket’s Deputy Recipe Editor, is a former pastry chef and a self-professed popcorn snob. She makes popcorn the way her mother taught her, heating the oil with five kernels of corn, never more, never less. Since then, she’s picked up a few tricks of her own, such as adding salt and pepper along with the kernels to warm oil, and she’s taken to experimenting with seasonings both sweet and savory. We asked her to share some of her favorites with us, and we think they make the perfect snack for everything from a dinner party to a cozy night in. Easy to make, dead-on delicious, and healthy, too. 

Chef’s Tip: Shake vigorously is the operative instruction here. You want to keep the pot in constant motion or the seasonings will burn. 

Gingered-Cocoa Popcorn

Serves 4

Shopping List
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger 
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
½ cup white or yellow popcorn kernels

Tools
Small bowl, large sauce pot with a lid

1 Make the cocoa seasoning; heat the oil

  • In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, ginger, black pepper, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. 

In a large sauce pot, combine the oil with 5 popcorn kernels, cover, and warm over medium heat, shaking the pot a few times, until the kernels have popped.
While the oil warms, prepare the cocoa seasoning.

2 Pop the kernels
When the 5 popcorn kernels have popped, immediately add the remaining kernels to the sauce pot and pour in the cocoa blend. Cover and gently (and carefully!) swirl to combine. Using a towel to help hold the lid in place, cook over medium heat, shaking the pot vigorously every 5 to 10 seconds, until the kernels have finished popping. Remove from the heat.

3 Serve
Carefully uncover the pot and pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and serve at once.

Watch her how-to video here

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 210, Protein: 3g (6% DV), Fiber: 6g (24% DV), Total Fat: 12g (18% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g (8% DV), Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV), Sodium: 90mg (4% DV), Carbohydrates: 25g (8% DV), Total Sugars: 5g, Added Sugars: 5g (10% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Rosemary–Pink Peppercorn Popcorn

Serves 8

Unrelated to black peppercorns, pink peppercorns wrap their bite in fruity sweetness. Because they break apart easily, crush them with the bottom of a bowl or cup, or flat side of a knife, rather than in a peppermill or spice grinder. If you're allergic to nuts, take note: pink peppercorns are related to cashews and should be avoided when tree nut allergies are present.

Shopping List
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
½ cup popcorn kernels (white or yellow)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
Kosher salt

Tools
Large bowl, large sauce pot with a lid

1 Heat the oil
In a large sauce pot, combine the oil with 5 popcorn kernels, cover, and warm over medium heat until hot but not smoking and the kernels have popped.

While the oil warms, prepare the seasonings.

2 Prep the seasonings; pop the kernels
• Strip the rosemary leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
• Using the bottom of a bowl or cup, lightly crush the pink peppercorns.

When the oil is ready, add the remaining kernels to the sauce pot with the rosemary, pink peppercorns, and a pinch of salt. Cover, gently (and carefully!) swirl to combine, and cook, swirling occasionally, until the kernels have finished popping. Remove from the heat.

3 Serve
Carefully uncover the sauce pot and pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 160, Protein: 2g (4% DV), Fiber: 5g (20% DV), Total Fat: 8g (12% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g (5% DV), Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV), Sodium: 20mg (1% DV), Carbohydrates: 19g (6% DV), Total Sugars: 0g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Spicy Popcorn with Togarashi Nuts

Serves 8

We like to think of this combination of nuts and popcorn as a savory Japanese version of CrackerJacks. 

Shopping List
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons togarashi, plus extra to taste
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Kosher salt 
2 cups mixed nuts (cashews/hazelnuts/peanuts/walnuts)
½ cup popcorn kernels (white or yellow)

Tools
Large bowl, large sauce pot with a lid, sheet pan

1 Roast the togarashi spiced nuts

• Heat the oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, togarashi, ginger, pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon oil. Add the nuts to the togarashi mixture and toss to coat. Spread the mixed nuts on a sheet pan and bake until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.

While the spiced nuts roast, pop the popcorn.

2 Warm the oil; pop the popcorn
In a large sauce pot, add 2 tablespoons oil and 5 popcorn kernels, cover, and warm over medium heat until hot but not smoking and the kernels have popped. Add the remaining popcorn, season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook, swirling occasionally until the kernels have finished popping. Remove from the heat.

3 Serve
Carefully uncover the sauce pot and pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Toss the spiced togarashi nuts with the popcorn, season to taste with salt and more togarashi if desired, and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 290, Protein: 8g (16% DV), Fiber: 5g (20% DV), Total Fat: 23g (35% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g (18% DV), Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV), Sodium: 45mg (2% DV), Carbohydrates: 17g (6% DV), Total Sugars: 2g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.

Bonus recipe—ingredients not included in box.

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