If you’re a popcorn junky like me, sometimes the pre-packaged microwave corn just doesn’t cut it.

As simple as it’s usually served (slathered in mystery butter at the movie theatre), popcorn can be quite a versatile treat. Whether it’s a surprising snack like the “popcorn” shrimp at Home and Away, or the finger-licking truffle butter popcorn appetizer at San Remo, there is a lot you can do with a little kernel of corn.

If you’re making popcorn at home (or maybe want to show off for your guests during a Netflix marathon), here are some ways we like to spice up our popcorn.

The Basics
Everyone has a different technique, but here’s how to make things quick and easy:

1. Grab a large pot with lid. Pour enough olive or coconut oil to just coat the bottom of the pan (over-oiling will leave you with greasy corn!).
2. Turn the heat up to high, and sprinkle two or three kernels in the pan (keeping lid off).
3. Once the first kernel pops, quickly pour in all your kernels, turn down the heat to medium/low-medium, and cover with a lid.
4. Kernels should rapidly begin popping. Shake pot periodically to prevent burning your corn. 5. Wait until popping slows down substantially (around three minutes), and then remove from the heat and pour immediately into a serving bowl.

Have A Sweet Tooth?
Every since kettle corn emerged, people seem to be pleasantly surprised with the sweet and salty popcorn combo. If we had you at kettle corn, it’s really not as complicated to make as you might think: Pop your corn, and while still hot, toss with butter, refined sugar and a touch of salt.

If you want to take things to the next level, there really isn’t much that beats good, sticky caramel popcorn:

1. Preheat the oven to 250º F. Pop a whole lot of corn and spread over a baking sheet.
2. Make a simple caramel sauce; everyone is different here, but all you need is butter and brown sugar (a touch of vanilla is a nice addition!).
3. Coat the popped corn with caramel sauce. Bake for one hour, giving the mixture a quick stir every 15 minutes – and voila, caramel popcorn!

I feel like when you’re eating a S’more, there needs to be camping involved. Luckily, S’more popcorn is something you can eat any place, any time. All you do is:

1. Melt butter, brown sugar and marshmallows in a pan and mix with popped corn.
2. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs all over, let cool, and then mix in your favourite chocolate and mini marshmallows.

Savoury Flavours
I tend to lean a little more towards savoury popcorn myself. And I was quite surprised to discover the variety of savoury recipes!

A staple: cheese popcorn. The trick here is not using grated cheese — that would make an untold mess. Make your popcorn, and then shake with cheddar cheese powder, mustard powder and a bit of salt. Simple as that!

Truffle popcorn has to be an all-time favourite, and it’s super easy to make. You might have to splurge on truffle oil if you don’t already have some, but toss your corn with a little bit of truffle oil (I’m serious – a little goes a long way, in this case), salt and load up with cracked black pepper. Amazing. I sometimes like to toss in a bit of powdered Parmesan cheese — popcorn heaven!

I came across this recipe online and never turned back. For a bit of sourspice, try sriracha lime popcorn. Mix lime juice, sriracha sauce, butter and a bit of salt, and drizzle over popped corn. If you like things spicy, toss in a bit of cayenne powder.

How To Top Your Corn
Not all of us have time to spend hours in the kitchen becoming popcorn connoisseurs, so here is a quick list of ingredients you can toss your popped corn in for a quick, delicious snack. Try:

  •  Parmesan & cooked garlic
  • Dill and lemon zest
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • Pickle juice (we’re serious, it’s surprisingly good!)
  • Salt and vinegar
  • Rosemary and olive oil
  • Chili seasoning

When we’re talking cheese, caramel and S’more popcorn, it’s hard to consider your treat a healthy one. But there are little steps you can take to help:

Use low-sodium salt alternatives or fine pink salt. Same goes for butter — use unsalted, or low-sodium butter. If you’re loading up your popcorn with toppings, try popping with coconut oil instead of olive oil; your corn will be less greasy.

There are a million and one ways to make popcorn, but this should give you some starting tips on how to spice up everyone’s favourite movie snack.

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