Healthy Living, Recipes on September 28, 2011 by

Eating Rules: The Real Way to Microwave Popcorn

I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret of the microwave popcorn industry: It’s all a sham.

That’s right, I said it. Store-bought microwave popcorn is a lie.

You don’t need to buy those expensive, high-fat, high-salt, individually-wrapped packets. You can just take plain popcorn kernels, toss them in a paper bag, and pop them yourself in the microwave!

The Real Way to Microwave Popcorn by Eating Rules | Bob's Red Mill

Really, it works! You get wonderful, fresh popcorn, just like out of a hot-air popper, in about three minutes. It’s 0% extra effort, 95% less expensive, 99% less wasteful, and 100% better for your health!

The Real Way to Microwave Popcorn by Eating Rules | Bob's Red Mill

Instead of dousing my popcorn with butter, I’ll use an olive-oil mister to lightly coat it so my toppings will stick. Our favorite topping is Nutritional Yeast.  It has a wonderful nutty, cheesy flavor — and it’s good for you, too! It’s high in Thiamin, Vitamin B12, Protein, and Fiber (and low in calories and sodium).

So don’t be fooled by the microwave popcorn in the store — you can make your own at home to save money, your health, and the environment.  It’s a win-win-win!The Real Way to Microwave Popcorn by Eating Rules | Bob's Red Mill

Healthy Microwave Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast

Place 1/4 cup dry corn kernels in a small paper bag. Be sure the bag has no staples or other metal in it.

Fold the bag over a few times and place in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes, just as you would with the store-bought packages.  Once there are about two seconds between pops, hit the stop button so it doesn’t burn. There will be a few unpopped kernels, but that’s okay.

Pour into a bowl and spritz with olive oil.  Sprinkle the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper on top.  Toss or stir to evenly coat, and enjoy!  (And don’t forget to save the bag for next time!)

Andrew Wilder writes the blog Eating Rules, and believes that “easy,” “healthy” and “delicious” can peacefully co-exist. He’s currently trying to see how many people can go for an entire month without eating any processed foods whatsoever, and is hoping you might be up for the challenge. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.



This is a great nighttime treat when that sweet-tooth urge hits!

Bonnie K says:

I save my small paper bags to do this. I have an air popper and place the bag under the feed. I will try the microwave and see if it’s better. I, too, use olive oil and salt and pepper–sometimes chili powder, too. I have never used nutritional yeast. Wish I could try a small sample.

e says:

fantastic! so easy, so much cheaper…. i wish i had known about this years ago! i will start adding popcorn to the evening snack list!

Andrew, YES… great post. Little brown lunch sacks are the BEST for this. Not so sure about the nutritional yeast (that is such an Eating Rules thing), but a little salt and mmmmm.

Renee says:

Is the nutritional yeast something required for the popcorn to pop properly or is it more for flavor/texture? Formerly having issues with Candida, I am not a big fan of adding extra yeast to the diet when I don’t know have to.

Hi Renee,

The nutritional yeast is simply for flavoring and could easily be omitted.

Tammy Millett says:

Wow I never knew you could do this. I can’t wait to try it!!! Thanks for the tip.

Wendy says:

We don’t own a microwave, just pop our corn the old way. Melt a little coconut oil in a pot and when it gets hot, put in a couple of handfuls of popping corn. We also love nutritional yeast as a topping. After my daughter got over the shock, she loved it and makes it herself all the time now.

Really? At our center there was a big concentration that eating extra cottage cheese gave that explosive growth to really make the difference.

Brenda says:

Please advise if the corn used in your popping corn is genetically modified. Plus, I would like to include all of your products, ie Oatmeal for the same question – what is in your product line genetically modified? Thanks

AmandaCarter says:

Hi Brenda,
At Bob’s Red Mill, we have made a commitment to purchase only non-GMO grains. All of our products are made from ingredients that were grown from identity-preserved, non-GMO seed. For more information about our GMO policy, please call our customer service team: 1-800-349-2173.
Amanda C.
Bob’s Red Mill

Dan says:

I *will* try this. We also love using nutritional yeast. And hot sauce. 🙂

For the naysayers, nutritional yeast can also be found in a variety of great, additive-free flavors. Mine is bacon and cheese. (

Magnatron says:

I remember the popcorn craze of the 70’s, and when microwaves came in, the microwave manufacturers, said NOT to use them for popping corn.
They said that microwaves work by using vibration to heat only fats, sugars, and liquids, and that popcorn didn’t contain enough of these, and could ‘burn out’ the magnetron; voiding the warranty.
Soon after, Orville Reddenbacher produced microwavable packages, and everything was proclaimed fine.
What happened with all that?

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