I’ve been making spicy popcorn for a while. This isn’t for the faint of heart or those who shy away from heat, but it is perfect for anyone seeking delicious spicy popcorn without the unhealthy attributes of classic cinema or microwave popcorn.

Back in 2016, I documented a less-than-successful attempt at creating a healthier popcorn alternative. I tried using potassium chloride for its salt-like flavour without the sodium but it was a total failure.

Since then, I’ve fine-tuned the blend of sodium chloride and potassium chloride, enriching the taste profile with a variety of spices.

Nutritional comparison

Here is a nutritional comparison between my recipe and traditional cinema-style popcorn, courtesy of an LLM (ChatGPT).

Nutritional comparison:
Ryan’s homemade spicy popcorn would generally be healthier than traditional cinema-style popcorn for the following reasons:

  • Oil: Sunflower oil is typically lower in saturated fats compared to the butter or coconut oil often used in cinema popcorn.
  • Salt: Ryan’s spicy popcorn is much lower in table salt, resulting in significantly less sodium. A salt substitute, potassium chloride, helps balance what sodium is present, significantly reducing the negative effects associated with table salt.
  • Spices: Cayenne and Carolina Reaper powders add flavour without adding sugar or fats.
  • No Cheese or Caramel: Cinema popcorn often comes in high-calorie flavours like cheese or caramel.
  • No Artificial Additives: Ryan’s spicy popcorn avoids all artificial flavours or preservatives. However, the spices make it much spicier than regular cinema popcorn, which may not be to everyone’s taste.

Ryan’s home made spicy popcorn recipe

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 0.25 tsp carolina reaper powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp potassium chloride