Mexican Hot Cocoa Popcorn
Popcorn is surprisingly simple to make at home, even without a microwave. With questions arising about the plastics and chemicals in microwaveable popcorn bags, this is a worry-free way to go. Or you can follow the directions at the end of the recipe for safe microwave popping or air-popping. Either way, the result is a delicious, good-for-you treat. The dusting of cocoa will satisfy both the sweet and salty cravings in your house.
Makes 2 servings (about 3 1⁄2 cups popped corn each serving)
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon hot cocoa powder, sweetened (or 1 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
and 1 ½ teaspoons sugar)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil
1⁄4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
Good-quality spray oil
Optional: pinch of chili powder
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, hot cocoa powder (or cocoa and sugar), flax, salt, and chili powder (if using).
In a large pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium. Stir in the popcorn kernels and shake to coat with oil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot, and cook, shaking the pot often, until the continuous popping sound ends. Transfer to a large bowl, mist evenly with oil, and sprinkle on the cinnamon cocoa mixture. Serve hot.
Alternative Cooking Methods
Microwave: Put kernels in a paper lunch bag, fold over the top, secure it with a piece of tape, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Mist oil and sprinkle the cocoa and spice mixture (see directions above) over popcorn when popped.
Air-popped: Follow directions for your popcorn machine. Mist oil and sprinkle the cocoa and spice mixture (see directions above) over popcorn when popped.
Popping two batches of traditional generic popcorn a week, instead of an equivalent amount of microwave popcorn, will save $l00 a year.