There are so many ways to get your popcorn fix. There's basic popcorn with butter, of course, but that can be so booorrriing.
Instead, my family likes experimenting with flavorings or mixing in a sweet treat. You can buy all kinds of pre-made seasonings and popcorn flavors, but I've found it's super easy to make up our own! Just open up your cabinet, and you'll find everything you need from seasonings to mix-ins and toppings.
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Here are some great DIY flavor combo ideas to turn boring popcorn into a can't-miss treat. I intentionally am not including any measurements for the spices — add flavorings until it tastes right to you! I tend to wing it, adding a little of this and a little of that until I find the flavor I am looking for. Mix the seasonings together, then sprinkle on your popcorn:
- Garlic Cheese: garlic powder, salt, and Parmesan cheese
- Pizza: garlic powder, salt, oregano, and Parmesan cheese
- Dill: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground mustard, and dill (fresh if you have it)
- Taco: taco seasoning (purchased or homemade), cumin, and cilantro (fresh if you have it)
- Snickerdoodle: cinnamon and sugar
- Ranch: ranch dressing mix (purchased or homemade)
- Chili Cheese: chili powder, cumin, paprika, and Parmesan cheese (add some cayenne powder if you want an extra kick)
- Italian: Italian seasoning mix (purchased or homemade)
- French Onion: French onion soup/dip mix
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Here's where you can get creative and make some sweet and salty mixes. My favorite as a kid when we went to the drive-in was salty popcorn and sweet chocolate. You can add as many of these mix-ins as you want to come up with a one-of-a-kind family treat:
- Mini marshmallows
- Coconut shavings
- Chocolate (or butterscotch) chips
- Sunflower seeds
- Graham cracker pieces (Just break them apart into pieces, or add Teddy Grahams)
- Heath baking bits
- Caramel baking bits
- Mini peanut butter cups
- Animal crackers
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These toppings can be lightly drizzled on or mixed in to coat every piece. Add some mix-ins too... smaller pieces will stick to the popcorn.
- Melted chocolate
- Melted peanut butter
- Melted marshmallows
Here's how we make one of our favorite toppings — melted marshmallows.
Melt 2 cups of marshmallows with a 1/4 cup of butter and mix till smooth, then pour over about 4 cups of popped popcorn. If you want to add some color and fruit flavor to the marshmallows, add 2 tablespoons of flavored gelatin mix to the melted marshmallows.
The marshmallow and popcorn mixture will easily form into balls or bars!
Popcorn is versatile and an inexpensive snack that is fun for the whole family to experiment with. Take a pop at jazzing up your popcorn on your family's next movie night!
Valarie Fisher is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Roseville-Rocklin-Lincoln, Calif.