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Fun, Easy, and Cheap Snack: Vegan Microwave Popcorn

Posted by at 6:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)


popcornPopcorn is one of those foods that we all grew up with. It’s fun food, it’s movie-night food, and it’s party food. When I was a kid, my dad would throw some popcorn into a pot with some melted butter, cook it over the stove for a few minutes, and then put the popped corn into a big paper bag–drizzling in more melted butter and adding some salt. He would then shake the bag to distribute the goodies inside, and presto! We had popcorn that tasted just like in the movie theater.

Well, times have changed and so have I. Now I am an ethical vegan and no longer use dairy products in my food. Popcorn has also changed. Microwave popcorn is on all the shelves and you have to look pretty hard to find regular old-fashioned popping corn. The problem with the microwave popcorn is that it all seems to have butter in the ingredients. If it doesn’t have butter, it has other animal products and unidentifiable ingredients that I know I don’t want in my body. And it’s expensive. Popcorn is supposed to be fun, easy, and cheap.

I was standing in line at my favorite health food store a few months ago, with my organic popcorn from the bulk section in hand, when the lady in front of me struck up a conversation with me about popcorn. She asked me how I cooked the popcorn, and I told her I cooked it in a pot on the stove, with a little safflower oil. She then proceeded to tell me her genius popping method, and I have been doing it ever since.

She pops it in a paper bag, those small lunch bags we all use to carry our vegan sandwiches to work. And she pops it in the microwave. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions for that perfect bag of microwave popcorn, vegan style:

Take a small paper bag, put in 1/2 cup of popping corn, and close the top of the bag tightly, leaving plenty of room for the corn to pop. Put it in the microwave and cook on high for about 2 to 3 minutes. Every microwave is different, but you just have to listen. When it is almost done popping, turn it off, so you don’t burn the already-popped corn. My microwave takes 2 1/2 minutes. You should get about 8 cups of popcorn for that 1/2 cup of unpopped corn.

Once it is popped, you can eat it as is or add some microwave-melted vegan butter and sea salt to the bag, and give it a good shake. Eat it out of the bag, my personal favorite way, or toss it into a bowl. It’s a quick and easy snack for any party. Or just pull up a chair, put your favorite video into the DVD player, and enjoy your guilt-free movie night, vegan-style.

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10 Comments

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    kerry says...

    January 6th, 2009, 2:02 pm

    i love popcorn and the paper bag method sounds much easier than my hot air popper AND no dirty dishes. I like to sprinkle nutritional yeast on the popcorn. It gives it a nutty taste and makes the popcorn even healthier.

    Susan Hargreaves says...

    January 6th, 2009, 3:28 pm

    I have not had good popcorn in ages, everytime I make it on the stove I burn it, and have a lot unpopped kernals. So, I have been just enjoying popcorn at movies and bring nutritional yeast with me. Now I will try this paper bag method, thank you !

    Alek says...

    January 8th, 2009, 3:42 am

    A co worker just mentioned this method of making popcorn after having a disscusion about missing microwave popcorn. It works great and it’s so easy. Now I have a great alternative when going to movie night with my friends.

    Kathy says...

    January 9th, 2009, 1:39 pm

    Never thought of making my own. Only question, once the popcorn starts to pop, how do you keep the bag closed. I would think as the bag swells, the end would come open. Or doesn’t it matter?? Thanks for the great tip.

    Laura F. says...

    January 9th, 2009, 2:59 pm

    Hi Kathy,

    Nope, the top of the bag doesn’t open once the popcorn starts popping. Just make sure you close it tightly, and don’t put any more than 1/2 cup popcorn into the bag. I am guessing that enough of the air pressure is escaping through the seams, the top, and even the paper itself. If you still aren’t sure about this method, try it with just 1/4 cup the first time. You will still get a good-sized bowl of popcorn. I make popcorn like this all the time, and it works for me! Enjoy!

    laura says...

    January 9th, 2009, 3:57 pm

    i’ve been addicted to this method for a few years now. here’s my tip — i add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or other cheaper oil) to the bag before i pop it and set it on a plate to minimize mess. it coats the popped corn so that my nutritional yeast has something to stick to.

    Jennifer Baldwin says...

    January 11th, 2009, 6:45 pm

    I love this method and used to make popcorn this way all the time until I found a microwave popcorn bowl made by Microware. It works great! I especially like that you can make popcorn with or without oil and either way it turns out great. Also, no paper bags are wasted so it’s more eco-friendly. I believe the bowl is made of a safe plastic for the microwave, but if anyone knows any different, let me know!

    Jeanette says...

    January 22nd, 2009, 11:54 am

    My mom does that all the time! When she found out she had high blood pressure she needed to change her diet. So she did a bunch of alternatives in eating.
    Now I’m pregnant so I eat a lot of the foods she eats. A good one I shared with my vegan friend was a little snack my mom made up.
    She gets this hard thick bread,(looks like a thick cracker) it’s called “wasa” and is whole wheat. Then we put veganese (vegan mayonnaise), slices of avocado, salt with pepper, and lemon. It’s so good! and it’s a little snack for whenever.

    Elina says...

    February 9th, 2009, 6:09 am

    Hi, one comment: paper bags need to be 100% pure pulp to be safe. Recycled paper contains small but dangerous pieces of metal, scrap fibres etc, that may cause porblems in the microwave. Be careful!

    Christopher says...

    January 3rd, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Great tip! I knew the name brands have butter or whey so I wasn’t sure what to do. I just thought I would go without. I love popcorn during a movie.

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