Tuesday, September 21, 2010

POPCORN!


Popcorn is my all time favorite snack. One of my best friends, Natalie and I have this in common (this may be why we have stayed friends for 15+ years!). I love it plain, salty, sugary, just about anyway you can make it, I’ll eat it!

The problem with popcorn is that most of us are eating microwave popcorn. ICK! First of all, the bag that your microwave popcorn is sitting in, is lined with Perfluorooctanoic acid (try saying that three times fast!), which is a CARCINOGEN (which causes cancer).

Secondly, the substance that they use to make the “buttery flavor”, Diacetyl, when heated to high temperatures, releases a toxic vapor, that, with prolonged exposure, causes severe respiratory problems (I may not have prolong exposure to it, but I want to avoid that at all cost!).

Thirdly, all bagged popcorn is extremely high in sodium, calories and cholesterol. They are also packed with artificial ingredients, chemicals and the like.

But fear not, there is a healthy popcorn alternative. There are two actually.

1.)    Buy an air popper. You can find these at a thrift store, or stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, for fairly cheap. Then buy some popcorn kernels and get to popping!


2.)    (My family’s preferred method) Pop it on the Stove – this is how popcorn has been made for centuries, and it is still the best way! Its really simple too:


a.       Heat about 3 Tbps of Coconut oil in a skillet until bubbly hot.
b.      Add 2 big handfuls of popcorn (I never measure), and cover with a lid
c.       The popcorn will slowly start popping. Once a dozen or so have “popped” light shake the pan back and forth (to keep from sticking and burning) and keep doing that until its all popped. Usually a few minutes.
d.      Top with your flavor of choice.

Not only are these methods MUCH better for your health, they are super healthy and frugal too! You can get organic popcorn kernels at the Co-Op for under $ 2.00 a lb. And the toppings we use, we always have stocked in our house!

Here are some of our favorite Popcorn Toppings:

Peanut Butter Popcorn

½ Cup Organic Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
3 Tbps Sucanat
3 Tbps Coconut Oil
3 Tbps Honey
Salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until all ingredients are well combined. Toss over popped popcorn. Then sprinkle popcorn with salt to taste! makes enough for about 6-8 cups of popped popcorn!

Kettle Corn

3 Tbps Coconut Oil
3 Tbps Sucanat or other unprocessed sugar
2-3 Handfulls of popcorn kernals
Salt to taste

Heat the Coconut Oil over medium high heat until hot. Add popcorn kernels and sucanat. Let the popcorn begin popping, then lightly shake the pan until all popcorn is popped. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt to taste.


Favorite Popcorn Seasonings:
Coconut oil (melted, in place of butter)
Extra virgin Olive Oil (in place of butter)
Garlic Salt
Sea Salt and PEPPER! (So delicious!)
Cajun Seasoning


Be Creative, look around your cupboards and see what sounds good to you! You really can’t go wrong!

I'm sharing this post on Real Food Wednesdays! 

7 comments:

  1. I've been craving popcorn! And was just wondering how easy it is to make kettle corn. Thanks! I usually use our air popper with organic popcorn, real butter and sea salt. I'll have to try it in a skillet sometime.

    My only issue...I seem to have a hard time digesting it often. Do you have problems with it? Maybe I'm just eating too much :P

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  2. I do have problems digesting popcorn. My stomach does get a bit upset if I eat too much. I find that if I eat it slow enough (chew it enough times)and watch my consumption, I am fine.

    I did find this article: http://www.thatsfit.com/2007/02/25/popcorn-for-people-with-digestion-problems/

    which talks about people having issues digesting the hull of the popcorn. Interesting!

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  3. Great recipe and variety of popcorn flavors!!!

    I'd love for you to stop by What's Cooking Wednesday (http://thekingscourt4.blogspot.com/search/label/What%27s%20Cooking%20Wednesday) to share a recipe each week! Hope to see you there :)

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  4. peanut butter popcorn! me want!

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  5. Yeah, I know it's the hull that causes me problems. I try to take it off for any pieces I give my daughter (since she's only 2). But I only give her a few here and there. I don't have the patience to do that for myself :P

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  6. Mary- My husband has always had difficulty digesting popcorn and I began to have the same problem about a year ago. I've found that if I use enough fat, neither of us have any digestion problems, or very little. I've basically tripled the amount of coconut oil that I used to use (I used to use olive oil, though, until I found out that my popper is well over the smoking point for that), and I've at least doubled the butter, and only use real butter or ghee. I also use considerably more salt since I've switched to sea salt.

    Salt stimulates bile which aids in digestion, and high quality fat aids digestion. We don't have problems any more! (I used to love un-buttered popcorn with nutritional yeast as a topping, but now I make a point to use coconut oil or butter before applying the yeast- I need it to not get an upset stomach, and it helps to keep the nutritional yeast on).

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  7. Interesting. I always use my air popper to make popcorn (out of convenience), so it doesn't cook it fat. But I do always add plenty of real butter and unrefined sea salt. I think today I'll try making some popcorn on the stove with coconut oil. See how it goes. I am 7 weeks pregnant and not feeling very good. I crave salt. Sweets sound nauseating. So I'm trying to come up with snacks that are somewhat healthy that I can stomach right now. Hopefully adding more fat will help with the popcorn.

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