Popcorn was my dietary staple for much of college. If only I’d known this little trick: Do-it-yourself microwave popcorn. The DIY version has none of the artificial flavors, colors or chemicals present in store-bought varieties. It’s also cheaper and produces less environmental waste.

Here’s how it works: Into a standard brown paper lunch bag put ¼ cup popcorn kernels. Add 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Fold the top of the bag over twice and fasten with two staples (no, it won’t spark in the microwave, I promise). Lay the bag on its “back” in the microwave and run it for about two and a half minutes until the popping of the kernals slows to just every few seconds. Dump into a bowl and eat as is, or fancy it up with melted butter, salt and other seasonings.

Your kids will think you’re a genius.

Photo by Amy Atlas

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  1. Michelle
    03.07.2011 at 7:26 PM #

    This is brilliant! I regularly make the “old-time” popcorn on our stove for our kids, but one of our boys got a package of microwave popcorn from his preschool teacher for Valentine’s Day. Since then, our boys no longer want me to make it on the stove because they thought it was so great to watch the bag puff up.. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy those little packages of solid fat, salt, and popcorn kernels, and so this is perfect! Thank you! You have an incredible knack for posting on a completely relevant topic at exactly the perfect time!

  2. 03.07.2011 at 7:27 PM #

    What a cool idea. (Or should I say poppin’hot?) Can’t wait to try it.

  3. Pamela
    03.07.2011 at 9:39 PM #

    I think you are the genius! This is great…can’t wait to try it!

  4. Kristin
    03.07.2011 at 10:20 PM #

    Last fall we picked ears of popcorn at a local farm’s harvest festival. We were amazed to read their instructions, which were to place the whole ear of popcorn (after letting it dry for a few weeks) into a brown paper bag, fold it up and microwave it. It popped right off the cob. Very fun for the kids and parents too.

  5. 03.07.2011 at 11:05 PM #

    I agree this is a hit. We’ve done this with salt or with sugar for “kettle corn”. Have the kids pre-decorate the bag and it’s a great after-game snack treat.

    • 03.08.2011 at 2:45 AM #

      I love the kettle corn idea….and pre-decorating the bag. Very cute. Thanks

  6. Pam
    03.08.2011 at 1:43 AM #

    I can’t wait to try this – Emily loved it and assured me the instructions would be posted this week.

  7. 03.09.2011 at 3:19 PM #

    I would love to post this recipe on my blog and link back to you if that’s ok.

  8. Kendra
    03.10.2011 at 10:21 PM #

    I love this idea! I am trying it tonight.

  9. 03.11.2011 at 5:02 PM #

    Hi Katie! I saw your post about this on Social Moms and thought I would come check you out. I love your blog and you have some great practical ideas for eating healthy with kids.

    I wanted to ask you if it would be okay to share this on my blog and link back to you? What a smart, healthy and frugal idea!

    • 03.11.2011 at 6:02 PM #

      Sure, feel free to post this on your blog with a link. Thanks for asking.

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