Taste of Olney: A Healthier Version of Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag

In 1981, General Mills obtained the first patent for a microwave popcorn bag according to the “The History of Popcorn” article reported on the History Channel’s website. The following year, popcorn consumption increased dramatically. Now, America’s Test Kitchen provides a healthier alternative to high-calorie microwavable popcorn that often contains unnatural ingredients. After discovering this recipe, I decided it was worth a try, and it was worth the 10 minutes I spent making this naturally delicious snack.

Here is what you’ll need to make six one-cup servings:

¼ cup of popcorn kernels

¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

½ teaspoon vegetable or olive oil

A brown paper lunch bag (I used the ones located by the Ziplock® bags at Walmart)

1 TBSP of unsalted butter

Oven Mitts

Microwave-safe bowl

Rubber Spatula


Drop the popcorn kernels into the brown paper bag and drizzle the kernels with oil. Next, fold the bag approximately three times to seal it, but do not use anything that is prohibited in the microwave such as staples or tape. Also, do not write on the bag as this may cause toxins to leak into the bag. After you seal the bag, SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE, shake your baggy while singing “Shake, shake, shake; shaking my baggy.”

Place the bag on its side on top of the microwavesafe plate inside of your microwave. Make sure the kernels are in an even layer. Set the timer for five minutes and do not leave the microwave unattended. You should stand close by to listen for the popping to slow down. After the popping slows down to one or two pops, put on your oven mitts and remove the popcorn from the microwave.

Allow the popcorn to cool while you prepare your flavoring. If you’re using butter, place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover, and heat for 30 seconds to melt the butter. Remove the bowl of butter from the microwave, carefully open your bag of popcorn and pour the popcorn into the bowl of melted butter.

Use the rubber spatula to evenly coat the popcorn with the butter or other flavor mixes. Sprinkle with salt if you desire and enjoy.

If you want to add some pizazz, create your flavoring to sprinkle over the popcorn along with the salt just before serving it to your guests. Below are a few suggestions from America’s Test Kitchen:

Cinnamon-Malt (1 TBSP Malted Milk Powder, 1 TBPS packed brown sugar and ½ TSP Ground Cinnamon)

Sriracha-Lime (1/2 TSP Sriracha sauce added to the melted butter. Sprinkle ½ TSP of grated lime zest along with the salt before serving.)

Parmesan-Herb (1/4 Cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1 TBSP of Italian Seasoning Blend)

Please share your photos of your finished product and comments on our Facebook page. www.Facebook.com/OlneyEnterprise

Children should work with adults to make this snack. The popcorn will be extremely hot when you remove it from the microwave. Take safety precautions by keeping the bag away from your face to avoid burns.

Visit https://AmericasTestKitchen.com to try their version of this recipe and more. Let us know your results by posting a photo and caption on the Olney Enterprise Facebook page.

The Olney Enterprise

213 E. Main St.
PO Box 577

Olney, Texas 76374

Phone: (940) 564-5558

Fax: (940) 564-3992