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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Poppin' Up a Healthy Snack

Several years ago we used to eat microwave popcorn on a regular basis. I then heard about all the chemicals and additives in microwave popcorn and stopped buying it, except for when my husband would put it in the cart.

We had switched to a hot air popper but never enjoyed it as much as the microwave popcorn. Hot air popped pop corn is healthier, but it is also dry and in order to make it taste buttery you must pour quite a bit of butter on top, thus making the popcorn somewhat soggy and a lot less healthy for you.

Then, I heard about the Whirley-Pop. It is an old fashioned type popcorn popper which is a pan for the stove top with a lid equipped with a turning lever which scoops the seeds at the bottom so they don't burn. It takes longer to make popcorn (about 10 minutes) but tastes amazing and is healthy for you. We eat this as a snack often and everyone in the family loves it - we equate it to tasting much like movie theater popcorn - but healthy movie theater popcorn! It also saves you money in the long run as it is cheaper than buying microwaveable popcorn.
The one thing I have found is that oil for popping is not created equal. I have tried vegetable oil and it was not good. I have tried olive oil and it was a bit of an improvement but not by much. A fellow homeschooler mentioned Safflower oil so we tried that - BINGO - it is the perfect oil for flavoring the popcorn. It is a bit more expensive (about $7 per bottle) but you only need a little for each pot full of popcorn and we aren't even half way through the bottle after months of making popcorn. This is the golden ticket oil for popping popcorn. I've also heard about using coconut oil to make it more of a sweet popcorn; I will be trying that soon.
It can get annoying standing at the stove turning the lever for close to 10 minutes but luckily the handle is long enough that I feel comfortable letting Becca or Jacob take turns, which they love to do, so I am able to wipe down the kitchen counters or prep other food while they help make the popcorn.

For us it requires no special seasonings or spices, we like it with just a sprinkle of salt.

I know that General stores (such as Lehmans) carry this popper. I bought mine on Amazon though and found it to be one of the cheapest prices.

(I was not paid, nor asked, to do a review of this popper. We just love it so much and wanted to share!)


  1. That looks great! I've been wanting to find a popcorn popper but this looks pretty neat too! Wondering if I can find one around here...hmm... thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Aunt Pat here, We had received one of these poppers years ago for Christmas; used it once and then put away and went back to microwave. Then we revived it when we were out of the microwave popcorn. We have been using this kind of popper on the stove for years and will never go back to the microwave stuff. We are on our 3rd popper; I got a new one in the shop and purchased it for backup and recently sent our older one home to Aaron. They love it now!

  3. I can't believe I lived without this popper for so long!
    Aunt Pat, what type of oil do you use to pop?! I'm experimenting with different ones and like to quiz everyone on what they use. :)

  4. Try coconut oil; it's not over-powering and my kids prefer it over butter.



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