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Makeover Kettle Corn Into "Can Do" Corn

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Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe

Kettle corn has that perfect combination of crunchy, salty, and sweet that keeps you eating it long after you should stop.

I received an e-mail from a reader about kettle corn.

From Stacia:

I really like kettle corn microwave popcorn. It's just not the same adding the flavoring after the corn is popped, as you have to add more and it's not as evenly distributed. Anyone have ideas about how to make homemade kettle corn in the microwave without a lot of mess?

Thanks, Stacia! I had been thinking of making my own kettle corn because I saw a PRETTY scary bucket of microwave kettle corn in the aisle at BlockBuster.

This brand, which shall remain nameless (Jolly Time), had 4 grams of Trans Fat stated in its Nutrition Facts. Ummm, did you get the memo?

Also, it included sucralose AND sugar. Why not just add enough sugar to make it sweet? I guess they were trying to keep the calories low.

So, I didn't come up with a way to make it completely in the microwave, but I did come up with a tasty version which is sweet, made with natural ingredients (no sucralose here!) and only 80 calories per serving.

I added Which Peanut Butter is Healthiest? and Maple Syrup to the freshly popped Homemade Microwave Popcorn AFTER it was popped. The result is dreamy and my kids went bezerk.

It is a bit messy (you have to mix it with your hands), but the result is worth the work. You can get it evenly distributed if you melt the maple syrup and peanut butter together - trust me.

I used a microwave popcorn bowl that a reader suggested (see below). You just dump 1/4 cup of unpopped corn in the bowl, turn the microwave on for 2.5 minutes, and you have freshly popped popcorn without using any oil.

This is a bit easier than using the paper bags that I suggest in Homemade Microwave Popcorn.

Homemade kettle corn is a great party snack, watching football snack, or after school snack.

Give it a try and tell me how it goes!

Do you have any ideas for homemade kettle corn?


Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe

(3 servings)
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter (can substitute smooth)
dash of salt

Pop popcorn in microwave, air popper or stove top (see Homemade Microwave Popcorn). In a small bowl in the microwave, heat peanut butter and maple syrup for 30 seconds. Pour over freshly popped popcorn, add a dash of salt, and mix with your hands. Enjoy!

80 calories, 3.0 g fat, 11.8 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g protein, 1.6 g fiber, 78 mg sodium, 2 Points+


Nordic Ware 60120 Microwaver Popcorn Popper 12 Cup, White

$11.60   $8.99


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 32 ]

I am a popcorn fanatic, especially kettle corn. Using peanut butter and syrup sounds interesting. I'll have to try this!

on January 12, 2011

Do you think you could use honey instead of maple syrup? I love kettle corn, but I don't have any maple syrup in the house right now.

on January 12, 2011

@Matt - I think it honey will work. Let me know how it turns out.

on January 12, 2011

This sounds delicious and easy...and all things in the cupboard. I am going to make some now for my boys snacks tonight. Thanks for all of the value that you provide!

on January 12, 2011

Oooh that sounds good. Man I love popcorn.

My air-popper is really small (smaller even than a blender) and it works fantastic. I adore it. I'm usually a salt-and-butter popcorn type of girl, but adding PB and maple syrup would be really yummy... and more nutrients from PB than I'd get from just plain butter, too!

on January 12, 2011

Holy cow that sounds AMAZING! Yum!

on January 12, 2011

I bet this would also be amazing with agave nectar substituted for syrup!!

on January 12, 2011

Wow this would be good with maple syrup, agave OR honey--and PB2! I love powdered peanut butter (and it has less fat than regular peanut butter). Alternatively, you can use peanut flour from Trader Joe's and a little salt and sugar to make your own equivalent of PB2.

on January 12, 2011

I love homemade popcorn as a healthy snack. I bought a popper (which is very bulky and hard to store if you don't have much room but it beats unhealthy bagged popcorn. I spray Pam and sprinkle spices or cheddar seasoning for a great post workout or afternoon snack

on January 13, 2011

My husband is obsessed with Kettle Corn (OK, so am I). A new Netflix envelope just arrived yesterday so maybe we'll make it a movie & kettle corn night! I love the sound of this...thank you for sharing!

on January 13, 2011

This recipe is so good! We've made it twice already. Thank you for sharing!

on January 20, 2011

BIG hit with my kids! I have a microwave air popper. I think I used it once. I actually prefer the old paper bag method!

on January 22, 2011

Is the nutrition information for the WHOLE recipe, or is it per serving? If it's per serving, what is the serving size please?

on January 24, 2011


3 cups popped popcorn, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup =

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 60 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9.1g 14%
Saturated Fat 1.4g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 81mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 35.6g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4.8g 19%
Sugars 13.5g
Protein 7.0g
Vitamin A 1% • Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% • Iron 7%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

on January 25, 2011

I make my kettlecorn substitute by spraying lightly the popcorn as it leaves the air popper with butter flavored PAM and then sprinkle with salt and 2 packages of splenda. Love the salty sweet flavor and not sticky at all!

on February 19, 2011

Um, YUM.

on March 29, 2011

I just made this with my 3 year old and we LOVED it!! we put the popcorn in a big freezer bag and the poured the toppings in and shook it up. she loved that part!! the best thing about it is, she was eating the PLAIN popcorn before we even adding the toppings. for a little girl who has only ever eaten extra butter (thanks to daddy), this was a huge accomplishment IMO! thank you snack girl, not only for home made kettle corn, but for plain popcorn as well!! :)

on May 22, 2011

I made this with tahini instead of peanut butter and it was delicious.

on June 12, 2011

So let me get this right. A serving size is one cup??? Why not make it awful if that is all you can eat for 2 points? Really now!

on July 8, 2011

I have heard that using the microwave "is a weapon of mass destruction". It alters the food and isn't good for you. What do you think about it?

on November 30, 2011

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