Friday, 19 July 2013

Favorite Thing Friday: Air Popped Popcorn

Lucky for me, popcorn is one of my favourite snacks. I would choose it over potatoe chips or pepperoni sticks any day. I eat it often - a couple of times a week - and have tried all sorts of different flavours.

I say "lucky for me" because as part of my health living journey I am trying to make healthy food choices more often, and I don't feel like I am making any sacrifices when I choose to treat myself and snack on popcorn. I've read that popcorn is naturally high in dietary fibre, low in calories and fat, and free of sugar and sodium. So not only do I enjoy it, but I don't feel too guilty when I indulge.

I've recently discovered a new way to make popcorn. I like it because not only is it a nice change from eating microwave bag popcorn, but it's the most delicious, easy and healthy way to eat popcorn. If you haven't tried it yet, you must. Anyone can make it and it only takes about 5 - 10 minutes:

Buy a bag of popcorn kernels.
You can pick these up anywhere. Try Wal-Mart or your local grocery store. A two-pound bag of kernels are only about $2. I like the brand Jolly Time because I find they pop the best, but I'm not too picky either. I'll pretty much buy any. They are all good.

Open the bag carefully and have a twist tie or bag clip handy. Nothing is worse than spilling a bag of popcorn kernels and having to push all of your appliances from off against the wall to clean to clean them up in your kitchen.

Turn your stove burner on High and add half a tablespoon of oil to a large pot.
You can use as little or as much oil as you like, but I recommend about one tablespoon. I like Crisco vegetable oil, but I know it's not the healthiest, so for the purpose of this post and my new healthy living commitments I am going to recommend using coconut oil instead. You can use coconut oil that has the natural flavour stripped from it, but it does not change the flavour very much either way.

I suggest not to use olive oil. You need to make this at a high heat and olive oil doesn't work well with that.

Also, make sure that the pot you choose is a faire size and that it has a lid. I like to use one of my favourite pots that has a clear, glass lid. It's fun to watch the kernels pop and easier to keep track of how much is being made.

Add about 1/3 of a cup of kernels or enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
The kernels will start to make a sizzling sound. Give the pot a couple of shakes to make sure all the kernels are covered in oil. As soon as it gets hot enough the kernels will start to pop. Once the popping has ceased for about 10 second intervals, turn off the burner and remove the pot.

Pour it into a bowl.
Ideally, you don't add any butter and only a little bit of salt to keep the snack healthy. Remember that the oil adds flavour too, so it should be good either way. You can, of course, add a little bit of butter if you would like to.

You have to try making this snack. It's healthier and cheaper than microwave popcorn and you feel a lot better after eating it than you do if you were to spin around a plastic bag in a radiation box for a couple of minutes.

For more information about the health benefits of popcorn, read here.

For other healthy snack options, view this PDF.

I hope you like it!

Thanks for reading,