Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things You Should Make Yourself - Popcorn

mmmm.. there is nothing quite like the smell of freshly popped popcorn, huh? Nothing quite like dipping your hand into a big bowl as you settle in for a movie on the couch! The crunch and the saltiness .... However... please, stop eating microwaved popcorn. It’s usually full of trans fat and sodium and if it isn’t, cooking food in a bag with radiation can’t be ok.


I'm sure there are lots of studies about how bad microwaves are but I won't bore you with them.. go Google if you must.  Right now, we are talking about how popcorn is a really healthy snack!

Popcorn is a whole grain with 1 g of fiber per cup. Popcorn provides minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and manganese. Just take it easy on the added salt and oil.

 We bought the Whirley Pop years and years and years ago and have really enjoyed having popcorn on a regular basis. There are some weeks we have it every night.  One great benefit is that everyone can season their own popcorn to their tastes.

Equipment/ingredients needed:

Popcorn maker – you can get a Whirley Pop, an air popper (your healthiest choice) or do it the old fashioned way , use a pan with a lid! Just skip those microwave poppers... cooking things you eat in a microwave just isn't healthy.

Popcorn – we prefer white corn to yellow corn. Try them all to see what you like best!

Oil – we have tried making popcorn with various types of oils and we prefer canola or coconut but use whatever you like. Coconut oil is the oil you'll want to use if you want movie theatre style popcorn. If you like the buttery flavor, use vegan 'butter' along with the oil as you are popping it.

Seasonings – salt, flavored salts or powders like onion or garlic, herb blends, nutritional yeast, melted Earth Balance spread, whatever you like on popcorn! (see below for a recipe!), If you want movie theatre style, get the bright orange salt they sell and use more than you really should. You need to add the salt while popping, not on top afterwards.

Cost:  cheap! A 2 pound bag of white popcorn is just a couple bucks.

Shelly's Vegan Mixed Nut 'Parmesan'

I use this blend on popcorn and pasta! It's really yummy.

1/3 c raw walnuts
1/3 c raw cashews
3 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
1 - 2 Tbsp flax seed (to your taste)
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1/4 c roasted sesame seeds (or gomashio but if you use gomashio, cut the salt out)
1 tsp sea salt

Blend in a food processor until it resembles parmesan cheese. Store in a glass shaker container.

You can also mess around with it and add in garlic powder or onion powder.. whatever you like.

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