Garlic Parmesan Rosemary Popcorn is a fun, savory twist on everyone's favorite movie snack. It's easy to make by infusing the butter with garlic and rosemary, then tossing it with popcorn kernels and grated Parmesan.
What would game day or family movie night be without buttery popcorn? Whether at the cinema or at home, movies and popcorn go together. And while there is nothing wrong with just classic salt and butter, why not take it up a notch by adding grated Parmesan and infusing your butter with garlic and herbs.
But before we get to the recipe, let me tell you why I think popcorn can be a great, wholesome snack, but why I don't recommend you just grab a bag of microwavable popcorn.
IS POPCORN HEALTHY?
Popcorn is actually a whole grain food with 1 cup of popcorn (plain) having around 30 calories, 1.2 grams fiber and 6 grams carbs.
However, what it comes down to is what you put onto your popped kernels of popcorn. And those prepackaged microwavable bags of popcorn are certainly not what I consider healthy.
There are saturated fats and artificial flavors mixed in with the kernels. Furthermore, the microwavable bags have a foil lining that is resistant to oil and moisture. These linings contain PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals) that have been found to be harmful.
Their toxic effects can induce tumors and certain types of cancer. On top of that, they are non-biodegradable, so won't easily break down.
In conclusion, microwavable popcorn bags are not the way to go about having a healthy popcorn snack. Luckily there are other, better options to make popcorn.
HOW TO PREPARE HEALTHY POPCORN
First, you want to start with good kernels. I recommend non-GMO, organic kernels. And this year we have even started growing our own popcorn from seeds in the garden.
One way to make healthy popcorn at home is on the stovetop in a large pot with a heavy bottom and fitting lid. Start by heating a high-smoke-point oil (like coconut oil).
Use 1 tablespoon of oil per ¼ cup of kernels. Place 3 kernels in the middle of the pot and close the lid.
When these kernels start to pop the oil is hot enough. Add the other kernels, close the lid and shake the pot to coat all the kernels with oil.
Tilt the lid just a little to let any steam escape so it won’t make the popcorn soggy. Keep shaking the pot about once in a while. Then when the kernels start popping, shake every 20 seconds.
Turn off the heat when the popping slows. Keep the lid on a bit until the popping stops, then remove the lid and continue to dress and season the popcorn to your liking.
If stovetop popcorn seems a little too involved for you, you can still make hands-off microwave popcorn in a healthier way with a simple brown paper lunch bag.
Add about ⅓ cup of kernels to a medium-sized paper bag. Fold the top over 2-3 times to keep all kernels and popped corn inside.
Lay the bag sideways into your microwave and set it for 5 minutes on high. Don’t walk away though, as it won't take that long.
Listen to the popping. Once it slows down to less than a pop a second, turn off the microwave right away to avoid burning the already popped corn.
Finally, if your family loves popcorn as much as mine and eats some at least on a weekly basis, it’s worth looking into a popcorn making small appliance.
There are different options from stovetop pots with hand crank (to stir the popped corn so you don’t have to do the shaking mentioned above), to air poppers that don’t require any oil or outside heat source to make popcorn, and even microwave poppers that take over the function of a paper bag and can be continuously reused.
Read more about the best popcorn popper appliances HERE.
Once you've got your popcorn, let's flavor it. This Rosemary Parmesan Garlic popcorn is my favorite way to take everyday butter popcorn to the next level.
HOW TO MAKE ROSEMARY PARMESAN POPCORN
Start by popping ½ cup of popcorn kernels any of the above-mentioned ways. Depending on the brand and type of kernels this should yield about 10-14 cups of popped popcorn.
Add the popcorn to a very large bowl together with the finely grated Parmesan cheese. There should be enough space left to be able to toss the popcorn without everything spilling out
Next, make the herb infusion. To get a really uniform rosemary flavor for the popcorn infuse the butter (or olive oil) We are making a hot infusion instead by heating the butter and rosemary together with a clove of garlic for just a short while.
Using heat quickly extracts the essential oils from the rosemary and infuses it into the fat. I also like to add the salt at this point already to dissolve it and distribute it more evenly over the popcorn.
Drizzle the herb-infused butter over the popcorn parmesan mix and toss to coat everything. Depending on your personal preference, you cal also add some black pepper and more sea salt to taste.
More Popcorn Recipes You'll Love
Garlic Parmesan Rosemary Popcorn
- ¼ cup butter or olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary minced
- 1 garlic clove minced or pressed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- popped corn from ½ cup of kernels about 10-12 cups
- ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- black pepper
- To make the herb infusion, add the butter (or olive oil) to a small saucepan together with the minced rosemary, garlic, and sea salt. Heat on medium-low heat.
- Once the butter is melted let the mixture simmer for another 1-2 minutes, then take the saucepan off the heat.
- Into a very large bowl add the popped corn and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the rosemary infused butter on top of the popcorn and toss everything well to combine.
- Season with black pepper and more salt, if desired. And enjoy right away!
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