This easy Instant Pot Popcorn packs all the flavor and freshness of homemade popcorn without any of the fuss. It takes only 10 minutes to prepare and combines several anti-inflammatory spices to maximize health benefits and taste– which is why this is my favorite homemade popcorn recipe, ever.
Made with stress-busting turmeric and black pepper, this popcorn also features dulse flakes and nutritional yeast– two powerhouses of flavor that help balance nutrient deficiencies in the body.
Curcumin, the principle antioxidant in turmeric, specifically targets inflammation markers in the brain that are correlated with stress, anxiety, and depression— an effect that is enhanced by black pepper, which is why we include a healthy portion of it in our seasoning.
People also crave carbs when they are stressed, and this healthy, buttery-tasting popcorn is a low calorie way to satisfy that craving. (And since you’re making it yourself, you can avoid the chemicals found in microwave popcorn.)
Nutritional yeast has a delicate “cheesy” flavor that combines with ghee to yield a buttery flavor that reminds me of Smartfood. But the health benefits of nutritional yeast are also well documented: it’s high in Vitamin B12 and B6, which have been shown to ease symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, and chronic fatigue. Dulse seaweed, meanwhile, has a natural umami flavor that is said to reminisce of Bacon.
Because popcorn is gentle on the stomach, this is an excellent snack to eat when you are feeling nervous. I like packing it as an airport snack because it’s lightweight, TSA compliant, and flying makes me anxious. Prepare it for a movie night at the end of a stressful work week, or make it for picky eaters as a way to sneak in extra nutrients. The possibilities are endless when the recipe is this easy.
Instant Pot Popcorn Recipe
This yummy, Instant Pot popcorn is full of anti-inflammatory spices that help combat the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
- 3 heaping Tbsp ghee, divided (For vegan version, use Nutiva’s buttery-flavor coconut oil)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 Tbsp dulse flakes (or any style seaweed flakes)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (about 50 turns from a grinder)
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- Select “Saute” on the Instant Pot and wait for it to say “HOT”. Add oil and 2 Tbsp ghee to hot pot and then mix in popcorn kernels, evenly coating them with oil.
- Rest the IP cover on top of the pot, but don’t close it or lock it in.
- Let pop for up to 8 minutes OR whenever the popping stops. You should hear popping after a minute or two.
- Lift the lid and stir. Not all of the kernels will pop, but about 70% of kernels should. Use salad tongs or a large slotted spoon to transfer popcorn into a large mixing bowl without carrying over the un-popped kernels.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together all of the seasoning ingredients.
- Pour 1 Tbsp melted ghee over the popcorn then sprinkle on the seasoning mixture. The oil will help the seasoning adhere.
- Stir with a wooden spoon or toss the popcorn with your hands to evenly coat with seasoning. It’s best to do this when the popcorn is still warm so that the flavors can meld. (Once popcorn is thoroughly coated, extra seasoning may pool in the bottom of the bowl. Leftover seasoning mixture can be used again or saved for other cooking).
- If desired, add more salt to taste and enjoy!
Store homemade popcorn in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid, like a mason jar, pyrex, or glass flour canister. You can also use a ziplock bag, but something rigid is better.
Popcorn is best consumed within 3-5 days– but mine usually doesn’t last that long. 🙂