Popcorn is one of my favourite speed snacks. If I'm caught short when entertaining I always reach for the popcorn instead of the crisps, so guests can nibble away whilst I put the finishing touches to dinner. And sometimes the best way to spend a Friday or Saturday evening is a movie night with good friends and of course, popcorn.

Though I'm never a fan of popcorn at the cinema, the limitations of only two flavours, either salted or sweet, I find extremely disappointing. I also like to know exactly what's in my food, so I pretty much exclusively eat homemade popcorn - and considering this healthy wholegrain gluten free snack is incredibly quick and easy to make I think you should too! 

I like to go all out and create my own flavours. Here follows a collection of my choice flavour combos...

To make popcorn at home you will need:

  • 100g popping corn
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid

Heat the oil in the saucepan, place the corn into the pan, followed swiftly by the pan's lid. The corn will start to pop, shake the pan to keep the kernels moving, so they all get access to the heat. Once furious popping turns to a slow pop turn the heat off and let the pan sit until popping ceases entirely. 

At this stage a sprinkle of salt and pepper turns this popcorn into a delicious snack, but if you're after a little more, here are some flavour ideas...

Nut butter and herb popcorn - heat 50g of butter in a pan and cook until golden brown in colour and nutty in aroma, add some finely chopped hard herbs such as rosemary and thyme and drizzle over the popcorn. Mix well and serve.

Smokey chilli popcorn - a personal favourite, drizzle over a little oil, sprinkle a little cayenne pepper and smoked paprika over the corn along with a generous pinch of salt. Mix well and serve.

Umami popcorn - I make my own Umami powder by roasting some mushrooms, garlic and thyme together, then dehydrating (which takes quite a bit of preparation.) But if you don't have a dehydrator, I fully recommend adding a generous sprinkle of Laura Santini's Umami rush powder to liven things up. This is available in most supermarkets.

Dukkah popcorn -This Egyptian dry spice mix traditionally contains cumin, coriander, hazelnut and sesame seeds. Drizzle a little oil over your corn followed by a tablespoon of Dukkah, mix well and serve. Dukkah can be purchased from Ottolenghi's online store, or if you have Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi's cookbook Jerusalem, turn to page 300 to make your own.

I'm open to further suggestions too, what are your favourite popcorn toppings, and your favourite movie night films?