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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Simple Solutions Saturday- Popcorn at Home

Back to Basics Stainless-Steel Stove-Top Popcorn Popper
I love popcorn. Its the perfect snack, and can be as low or high calorie as you'd like.
Popcorn can be pretty cheap, or it can be moderately expensive.
Today's simple solution is- don't get microwave popcorn. Looking at prices on netgrocer.com (because I realize that my local prices do not accurately reflect the prices that people are paying all over the world), I've discovered that for a 3 pack of microwave popcorn, it costs $4.10 for a 3 pack of microwave popcorn.
Each microwave pack is 2.86 oz and costs $1.36.
On the other hand, you can easily make popcorn at home by yourself. A 32 oz package of popcorn kernels costs only $1.69.
Doing the math, if you would make the same 2.86 oz amount of popcorn from these kernels, you'd only be paying 14 cents for that popcorn instead of $1.36.

Making popcorn at home is quite simple. You can either pop it in a covered saucepan with a bit of oil, with a stovetop popcorn popper, or an electric popcorn popper.
If you're specifically looking for a low calorie, low fat snack, you'd want to go with an electric hot air popper, because that doesn't use any oil. I don't suggest low fat diets because I think that they are counter productive to losing weight; eating fat will make you feel full so you consume fewer calories altogether (see how I lost 15 pounds without dieting).
If you're looking for a higher fat popcorn, or just don't mind a bit of fat here and there, stick with the stovetop popcorn, as using your gas stove is cheaper than using the electricity of a hot air popcorn popper.
If, however, you're looking for the ease of microwave popcorn, you can mix your popcorn kernels with oil, put them in a brown paper bag, and microwave them until they finish popping. (I'm still undecided about the health issues with microwaves. I still own one, but am avoiding using it because I'm trying to cut back on my use of electrical appliances.)

Once popped, you can top your popcorn with whatever seasoning you like.
You can melt some butter, coconut oil, ghee, or any other fat of your choice in the pot that is still hot from popping your popcorn (you want to pour the ready popcorn into another dish or bag so that it doesn't burn from the heat retained in the pot).
Then, you can add any or all of the following:
Salt
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Cayenne pepper
Paprika
Spirulina
Brewer's yeast/nutritional yeast
... and much else

My favorite topping for popcorn is this:
I put soy sauce in a spray bottle (I have a spray bottle that I reserve for food purposes, bought expressly for that purpose) and spray the popcorn. This allows me to get soy sauce everywhere while not making the popcorn soggy.
Then, I sprinkle a bit of spirulina (a highly nutritious algae powder, full of protein and nearly every vitamin and mineral) and brewer's yeast (I was told that this is probably nutritional yeast, because of translation issues because I don't live in an English speaking country, but I can't confirm it one way or another). The wetness of the soy sauce helps the powders stick to the popcorn.
This results in a green and brown popcorn that is so delicious, nutritious and filling. Its such a delicious snack that I constantly am bombarded with requests to make "green popcorn".

Do you eat popcorn? How do you make it? What toppings do you like on your popcorn?

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