Here’s another fun recipe that could be adapted to any holiday based on the food coloring chosen. Since 4th of July is rapidly approaching, I attempted red, white, and blue popcorn. The red & white worked, but the blue was a fail. I’ll have to experiment with blueberries or something in order to get a good, healthy, natural blue food dye into my repertoire. Though the blue didn’t work out, it was still delicious!!!
If there is a food that is near and dear to my heart, it’s popcorn. My childhood is full of memories of my popcorn-freak-father having popcorn weekly and in as many different varieties as you could imagine. One of my favorite “dates” with him was when we would go to the popcorn store to buy specialty popcorn. He would always get something cheesy or spicy and I, a cool kid of course, would get the multi-colored popcorn. Cuz that’s basically what kids do. This is a fun, healthier version to make at home!
Sweet & Salty Popcorn
makes 6 quarts
1C popcorn kernels
1/4C high heat oil, I used Safflower
salt to taste, for salty popcorn
spray oil or butter, for salty popcorn
1T butter per colored, sweet popcorn
1C sugar per colored, sweet popcorn
2-3T water per colored, sweet popcorn
food coloring of choice, I used beet juice for red color (ignore the failed blue food coloring pictured)
Burnt popcorn is one of the most awful culinary tragedies. It’s shameful, disappointing, and stinks up the house. So don’t do that. Make homemade popcorn with the most preparedness possible.
Heat the oil on medium-high heat and toss in 2-3 kernels. Prepare the rest of the kernels. (You may want to make this in 2 batches if your pot is small.)
Once the first 2-3 kernels pop, dump in the rest of your kernels.
You’ll want to get a splatter screen quickly, otherwise popcorn and oil will be filling your kitchen rather quickly!
Shake the pot occasionally so the popcorn doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Then divide popcorn into respective number of colors desired. I divided my popcorn 3 ways for 3 colors, but since the blue didn’t work out, I ended up having 2/3 salty white popcorn and 1/3 sweet red popcorn – which actually was a nice ratio.
With the white, salty popcorn spray oil or butter onto it lightly and sprinkle salt to taste. Toss well (or as I did, attach a lid and shake well.) Then prepare the colored sweet coating for the remaining popcorn. On medium-high heat combine butter and sugar
and water and food coloring. Since my food coloring was natural and very liquidy I used 1.5T beet juice and 2T water. (You couldn’t even taste beets!)
Bring to a slow boil.
It is ready when it is the consistency of a thick syrup.
Remove from heat for a moment to cool, then dump over reserved plain popcorn. Mix well to coat and set aside to cool. (I cooled mine in the fridge so the plastic bowl the popcorn was in wouldn’t melt. The syrup is super hot!) Once all colors are mixed, cooled, and dried, combine with salty, plain popcorn and serve!