The Best Popcorn Kernels and Why Popcorn is A Great Snack
Popcorn is one of the fastest ways to have a delicious snack at any time. When the time comes around, you want to make the best popcorn that you can, whether it is for a movie night, or for a special date, or simply because you are hungry, you won’t want to make popcorn that isn’t tasty.
Today, I’m going to tell you about some of the best popcorn kernels out there.
Why You Should Always Go For Popcorn?
As mentioned before, popcorn is very easy to make, but it’s also very healthy. Aside from being low in calories, popcorn is full of good ingredients. Before you dive fully into some popcorn kernels reviews, you should know what’s so good about popcorn first.
And if you’re considering the calories, know that a single cup of popcorn–about 25 grams–has only 31 calories and 0.3 grams of fat. Check out some more specifics about popcorn’s nutritional content.
What is in Popcorn?
For one thing, popcorn is full of polyphenols. What are these? Polyphenols are a type of chemical most commonly found in plants, which help neutralize free radicals.
Okay, so by now you are asking, why so much science? Well, unlike “healthier” foods out there, like edamame, popcorn’s amount of polyphenol can fight off free radicals and prevent them from damaging your cells and make you age faster.
Essentially, when you eat popcorn you are building up on antioxidants, aiding your body in fighting off aging agents.
Also, popcorn is rich in fiber. Though excessive amounts of it aren’t good for your body, consuming fiber in sufficient amounts will benefit your digestion and diet.
How Should I Make Popcorn?
Now that you know how good popcorn is for you, it’s time to learn how exactly you should be eating it.
For starters, microwavable commercial popcorn is a no no. Not only is it full of harmful chemicals, it also comes in a wrapper that, under the US Food and Drug Administration, can cause long time dangers to our bodies.
More specifically, diacetyl, the chemical in microwavable popcorn that gives it its butter-y flavor, remains in our bodies for long periods of time and eventually may cause irreversible harm.
So if not in the microwave, then how should you cook popcorn? Easy. As its name suggests, you should pop it. Imagine popcorn kernels as inflated balloons, once you cover them in a pressurized environment, such as a closed pan, and the pressure inside becomes higher than outside, the kernels will let go and pop in the familiar shape we all know and love.
At home the process may sound hard, but it is actually quite easy You can watch this video to find out how to make your own healthier popcorn at home. All you need is the best popcorn kernels, oil, a stove, a pan and a lid.
You can also pop your popcorn in a different way. Try using a pan as well, but instead of covering it with a lid, use foil. Though this prevents you from seeing the popcorn kernels popping, the foil will help you prevent oil from splatters.
Lastly, you can use an air popper. Hot-air popcorn makers are like those you see in a movie theater. You simply need to gather butter, or oil, popcorn kernels, and salt. The maker will do all the work for you, and in the end, you only have to add butter, oil or salt to the popcorn.
How Do I Pick the Best Popcorn Kernels?
There is no right or wrong answer, whatever you decide to buy, do a little research and find whatever looks best for you. The best kernels will be fresh and crisp. We will give you some ideas on the best popcorn for an air popper below, as well as for other methods.
The way that your popcorn kernels are stored will also affect how good they are and their flavor. If you are going to consume your popcorn faster, it is okay to go with kernels stored in plastic bags or boxes, but if you plan on keeping them longer, look for those stored in plastic or glass jars.
Don’t leave your kernels unsealed when storing them, as oxygen will make them go stale and difficult to pop, plus they will have an unpleasant flavor too.
I Don’t Want Plain Popcorn…What Can I Do?
When it comes to popcorn, there is no limit on how many flavors you can give it. After choosing your kernel carefully, cooking your popcorn at home, the next step is to choose what flavor you’re in the mood for.
Here’s an important tip: always flavor your popcorn while it is still warm. With that said, how about some honey butter popcorn? Or chili cheese popcorn? Perhaps a simple chocolate coating does the trick… Why not try some more fun ideas for your flavored snack?
Choosing the Best Popcorn Kernels
Organic, non GMO
High in fiber and protein
Soy, gluten and peanut free
Made in the US
Less “butter” flavor
- This pre-packed popcorn comes portioned, even the salt and oil come prepared for you. This is a certified organic, non-GMO popcorn grown in Iowa and packaged in Wisconsin. It also includes 100 percent coconut oil, and is 100 percent vegan, as well as gluten, soy, and peanut free.
- Franklin’s is recommended for a 8 oz popcorn popper. The idea behind this popcorn is to recall the best theater popcorn you’ve had, and make it healthy at the same time.
- Though healthy and savory, this popcorn won’t be as fluffy as others, but you can make it as chewy, or fluffy, as you want by playing around with the portions instead of using the whole packet.
- Some may see the price for a pack of 24 8 oz packets as too much money, but this popcorn is healthier than many others–which is why it may also not taste as butter-y as the previous ones you have tasted.
- One of the things to keep in mind is that these pre-packed packages may not have the perfect amount of ingredients for you. You may want to cut out the amount of kernels, or the amount of salt. Try it yourself and taste what works for you.
Made in the US
- This frustration-free packaged popcorn is made with special equipment to make sure that all the kernels are stored properly and pops well. Great Northern Popcorn also comes with a blend of butter flavored salt and low-melt oil.
- Great Northern ingredients include coconut oil, yellow #5 and #6, beta caretone, natural and artificial flavors. These kernels also work well with 8 oz poppers, or with smaller ones, simply check the packet you want before you buy it.
- Unlike others, this popcorn isn’t organic, and it isn’t fresh, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t flavorful and good. As with movie theater popcorn, with Great Northern you will feel the crispiness and butter-y flavor that we all love.
- With the portion packs you have to be careful about how much oil and salt you actually want to use, as it may end up too greasy for your taste. With this type of popcorn, the salt is actually already added, so perhaps try it out yourself and see if it’s the right level for you.
No added ingredients
Short expiration date
Not pre-packaged and thus can pop less
- A popcorn kernel jug that can satisfy everyone in your home! Orville’s might be one of the most popular kernels out there, and it’s because this old-time favorite has a delightful fluffiness and buttery flavor to it.
- Naturally filled with protein and fiber, this popcorn is non-GMO and it is much more affordable than most other options out there. However, you may want to watch the amount of popcorn kernels you use versus the amount of oil, as it’s all up to you, and if you don’t want to have unpopped kernels.
- Since commercial popcorns tend to be filled with chemicals, they may last longer. This isn’t the case with Orville’s, so watch out for the amount you buy. This jug may be too big and close to its expiration date for you!
- Unlike some pre-packaged options, with this kernel jug you have the option to play around with ingredients and portions. Especially with some things like salt and oil. Since you’re getting a big jug of popcorn kernels, you might want to try out the best ways to make it similar to going to the movies!
White corn is smaller
Reported unpopped kernels
- Bob’s Red Mill popcorn comes in 27 oz packets with no added salt or oil. It is also non-GMO, gluten free, and kosher. This option is different as it comes in completely white corn, which is still equally flavorful but smaller.
- Because these kernels pop smaller, they are also easier to eat and won’t get stuck in your teeth! But you may also want to take into account that white corn tastes a bit different from your usual yellow, so try it out before you buy large amounts.
- Also, because they are smaller kernels, you should watch out the amount of oil you use. Sometimes the same amounts as with yellow kernels can leave unpopped kernels.
- If you’re planning on using a popper, see what recommendations they give out, as white corn may pop differently in it and you may want to go a different way.Now that the holidays are coming, you can use your Bob’s Red Mill White Corn popcorn for all sorts of sweet recipes without worry of overwhelming popcorn flavor.
Variety of flavors
Variety of flavors
Only meant for microwave
Reported unpopped kernels
- Quinn popcorn breaks the mold from your other options. This so-called “reinvented popcorn” delivers new pop bags and ingredients. Also gluten free, non-GMO, and grown in the USA, the variety package comes with different tasty flavors, such as butter and sea salt, white cheddar and rosemary.
- What is exactly makes this microwave popcorn special? The Pure Pop Bag is made of compostable and recycled paper, which contain no chemical coatings or plastic, making it safe to consume.
- The listed ingredients for Quinn’s include organic high oleic sunflower oil, vermont maple sugar, and sea salt…. And you will taste all this freshness directly from your microwave!
- As with other microwavable items, this popcorn can burn more easily than that made in a popper or on the stove. Be careful and test the amount of time you want to use. Also, because this option isn’t meant for the stove or air popper, the ingredients and the taste may be different.
- Explore the new flavors already made for you and take this snack with you to the office or pop it at home when you’re feeling lazy and in need for a snack.
And Now, Which Are the Best Popcorn Kernels for Me?
Although all these options have great benefits and they are delicious in their own way. Some things to consider when buying your next popcorn kernels, or the best popcorn for an air popper, are: do I prefer butter or natural? Do I like my popcorn salty? Fluffy? Chewy?
These are just some of the things that I have thought out before deciding which, in my opinion, is the best popcorn for you. With all that said, I prefer using the stove or an air popper, not so much the microwave, and thus my recommendation is Franklin's Gourmet Movie Theater Popcorn.
I chose this option because it is organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and vegan, yet manages to taste really good. I want to be able to enjoy my popcorn and not feel guilty, or bloated, after eating it.
With Franklin’s, the pre-packaged portions are perfect for a group, and though they may be too big for one, they can be rationed further. This option saves you time, and offers you new ways into healthy snacking. Definitely worth the money!
Let me know what you thought of all these options. I’d like to hear which one is your favorite and why. Now it’s time to put on a good movie, make some popcorn and relax!
You may also want to check out this review roundup: best soda maker