We weren't trying to come up with a homemade Chicago style popcorn recipe.
Our daughter, who has plans of going to culinary school someday, was just making a couple batches of flavored popcorn on Super Bowl night. She's like me and loves experimenting in the kitchen and playing around with recipes. This morning I saw the two bowls sitting there on the counter with what was left of her creations, and both had spilled onto the counter when our son was packing some for his snack today. He hasn't quite learned what it means to clean up after himself, and for once I was glad. I ate both kinds of popcorn together and said, “This is so good and tastes just like the stuff from the store, I have to post this!” (When we shop at Costco and I'm having a weak moment, I may or may not let the kids talk me into buying some of the Chicago style popcorn there that has a not-too-bad ingredient label.) So I grilled her to find out exactly what she did…
And don't worry, unlike most recipes for Chicago style popcorn that you'll find online, there's no corn syrup or nasty msg seasoning mixes in this one!
Chicago Style Popcorn — Real Foodie Version
Yield 16 cups
- 2 batches of this popcorn made with coconut oil
- 1/2 cup pastured butter
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup maple sugar, just make sure the only ingredient is maple syrup
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup nutritional yeast — you can use a powder or the flakes. If you're not familiar with this stuff, it's not like other yeasts you've heard of at all, it's just a good-for-you, nutrient-rich ingredient that many use for recipes just like this, when you want a cheesy-like flavor on your food! (The brand I linked to here is free of synthetic folic acid, according to Adrienne in this post for her yummy Dorito Popcorn, which is also SO delicious and of course calls for only good-for-you ingredients.)
- Optional: a few shakes of chili powder, or other spices you may want to experiment with! This is really good for new flavor twists, but keep in mind that for the Chicago style, you'll just want to use the nutritional yeast.
Pop the popcorn and keep the two batches in separate bowls. Butter and salt them both. In one bowl, sprinkle the maple sugar all over and toss. Taste-test and add more sugar if needed. In the other bowl, sprinkle on the nutritional yeast and toss. Taste-test and add more for a more cheesy taste. Different types of popcorn pop up bigger or smaller, so that, along with your taste preference, will determine how much of it you'll like. When you get the tastes on both how you want them, toss together and enjoy!
Did you make a real food recipe?
More you might like:
- Here's more about why coconut oil is so good for you (which is why I always cook our popcorn in it!): Why Kent takes a spoonful of coconut oil daily.