Chili-Lime Popcorn

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Did you know that popcorn has been around since 4700 BCE?  Popcorn sure has a long history, with the knowledge of it having spread north from Guatemala to the Native Americans, who then taught the practice of making popcorn to the English in the 16th century.  Little did they know, back then, how popular popcorn would become; Americans alone shovel in 17 billion quarts of popcorn every year!

I, myself, have a sort of love-hate relationship with popcorn.  I have to really be in the mood for it to actually like it, and you probably wouldn’t find me with a box of popcorn at a movie theater.  Recently, however, I’ve seen a lot of homemade flavored popcorn and I decided to have a crack at it and see what I could come up with.  I first tried cinnamon-flavored popcorn, but we didn’t like it.  For my next go, I decided to go all out with a flavor that would have its own bite – chili and lime!

This was also a perfect opportunity to try out and review my new Microplane zester that Kitchenware Direct sent me last week!  I’ve never owned a real zester before and have been barely scraping by (so to speak) with a dull $2 grater.  Microplane boasts a range of graters to deal with any kind of grating, shredding or zesting you may need to do.  They’re pretty much top of the line and sharper than any grater you’d find at the dollar store.


I was awed by how easy it was to zest this lime, compared to my old, dull grater.  In fact, I kind of zested my thumbnail a little (oops).


Chili and lime is one of my favorite combinations, and really make a batch of popcorn come to life.  It’s much healthier than a lot of other flavored popcorn out there, as it is coated with a sprinkling of olive oil, rather than soaked in melted butter.

Popping your own popcorn at home is actually really easy.  I use my biggest stainless steel pan to cook it in, and just as cooking it in the microwave, it only takes a few minutes.  You’ll end up with 8 cups or so of an empty canvas where you can create any flavor combination you currently desire.  It’ll also be healthier because there won’t be any additives, preservatives or a sinful amount of butter.


A bit of lime zest, easily sprinkled on top with my new zester (minus fingernails), completed this healthy snack.


In conclusion, this post contains two wonderful things – delicious popcorn and a very useful kitchen tool.  I’m now sold on Microplane and look forward to many zestings in the future; it’ll also prove to be a big help with my favorite citrus French toast!  Note to self: cut fingernails before zesting.


A big thank you to Brad from Kitchenware Direct for sending me the Microplane classic zester!


Chili-Lime Popcorn
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious and healthy popcorn with a bite of its own.
Serves: 4-8
  • 8 cups of plain popped popcorn
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons ground sea salt
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (more, if desired)
  1. Cook popcorn according to package instructions, or to your preference.
  2. While popcorn is still warm, drizzle over 1½ teaspoons olive oil and toss well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin powder, chili powder and lime juice and drizzled over the popcorn while tossing the popcorn to evenly coat it. I just used my hand to gently toss it.
  4. Transfer the popcorn to serving bowls and sprinkle lime zest on top just before serving.
  5. Serve fresh and warm!


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