Healthy Oil Free Popcorn

Oil Free Popcorn

There’s lots of things I love about this healthy, homemade, oil free popcorn.

Firstly, it’s super easy to make. Heat up a frying pan, chuck some kernels in, swish it around and voila.

Simple, easy, fast.

Oil Free Popcorn

Secondly, it’s an incredibly healthy version of the usual salt-laden, butter-coated popcorn.

No oil or salt in sight for these perfectly popped babies.

Just pure, puffed corn. Completely natural.

Oil Free Popcorn

Thirdly, no greasy fingers.

For someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen, I’m surprisingly unkeen about having grubby fingers.

Maybe it’s good hygiene. Maybe it interferes with my finger food senses, who knows. But I do like to keep my hands clean.

So I love that I can grab a big fat handful of these babies and come away with mostly clean hands.

No oily residue. No salty crumbs. Wonderful.

Oil Free Popcorn

Fourth, it’s vegan and a whole food. Nothing added, nothing taken away.

I used to think of popcorn as an unhealthy snack, but now I realise that’s because of all the junk that’s normally added.

Once I realised that it was possible to make whole food, oil free popcorn, I was sold on the idea.

Oil Free Popcorn

Fifth. It’s such a convenient snack food.

It keeps really well, it’s easy to cart around, or pack in school lunches, and it’s popular with my kids.

What more could I ask?

Oil Free Popcorn

Sixth. It tastes delicious.

I have to admit to eating this oil free popcorn by the handful.

It’s filling and tasty, without needing to add anything to it.

Why spoil something so tasty?

A big thank you to The Vegan Ronin for showing me that it was possible to make oil free popcorn.

And here’s my version of their recipe.

Healthy Oil Free Popcorn
Diets: Raw, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, salt-free, nut-free
‘Cook’ time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 2 cups
  • 2 tbsp* (40ml / 50g) popping corn kernels
  1. Heat a flat bottomed frying pan on medium heat.
  2. Add corn kernels to pan, cover with lid and continue heating, shaking pan gently every 20-30s.
  3. Once kernels start popping, shake pan gently every 5-10s.
  4. As soon as popping slows, turn heat off.
  5. Allow kernels to cool and serve.
Before: -
During: 5m
After: -
Need: Non-stick frying pan with a lid, stove
Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 95

*Australian tablespoon (20ml)


  • Try to find organic popping corn, and GMO-free as well, if you can manage it.
  • If you have a frying pan with a glass lid, this can make it 10 times more fun to watch.
  • The kernels will go a little brown as you heat them. This is perfectly normal.
  • Gently shaking (or swirling) the pan helps to heat the kernels evenly, and reduces the chance of burning.
  • I used my hoovy-groovy infra-red thermometer to test the heat of my pan, and discovered that the ideal temperature is just over 200°C. If you don’t have one of these awesome kitchen gadgets (and I highly recommend them), then use the rate of popping to guide you – too lethargic and you need to turn the heat up a bit. On the other hand, if your kernels start to burn (or blacken) too much, turn the heat down. A little bit is OK.
  • Make sure that you turn the heat off as soon as the popping slows down. I always feel the temptation to leave it for  “just a little bit more”, but you don’t want to risk burning your perfectly popped oil free popcorn.
  • The corn will continue to pop after you take it off the heat, so leave the lid on for a minute or so to avoid very hot pieces of popcorn flying at you.
  • I pick my popcorn out of the pan with tongs for two reasons: 1. it’s hot 2. it leaves the unpopped kernels in the pan, which can be really bad for your teeth if you accidentally bite into one.
  • Make sure you leave the popcorn to cool before serving. Using my awesome infra-red thermometer, I discovered that they’re at about 60-70°C when you take them out of the pan, which is a sure-fire recipe for a burned mouth. Not good.
  • You can add toppings to your homemade oil free popcorn if you like. I like my plain, but I understand they’re also nice with nutritional yeast flakes, curry, salt or your favourite spices. It’s your call, but try them plain first. You might just like them that way.

My inspiration

I was at an information session for my 4yo daughter’s school transition program, and popcorn was on the list of suggested healthy snacks for school, which sounded like a great idea.

I haven’t made popcorn for years, and the last time I made it I used oil. But I wanted a healthier version, so I went searching for oil free popcorn and came across this great recipe by The Vegan Ronin.

It was the best of the recipes I came across, so I pretty much followed their process, and it turned out great. I was actually surprised at how easy and low-fuss it was. Not to mention delicious.

And it’s so much fun for the kids to watch as well.

Give it a try.

And have an awesome day!

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2 Responses to “Healthy Oil Free Popcorn”

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  1. Fred says:

    Hmmm, much as I enjoy popcorn (especially dusted with some nutritional yeast) I never thought of it as being raw in the usual sense of the term. Not to say it isn’t healthy otherwise (acrylamides?) but raw???

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Fred,

      Nope, this popcorn isn’t raw. Not even close. But it is vegan, and it is a wholefood, and that’s what I’m all about. Exploring food, seeing how close I can get, and what I can get my kids to eat ;)

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