Skip the Package and High Cost by Making Your Own!
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One of my coworkers was telling me how her kids went through an entire package of microwave popcorn in one day. It made me think about two things: cost and chemicals.
Many nutritionists warn that microwave popcorn can be one of the most unhealthy things you could consume. It’s no so much the popcorn as it is the chemicals used in those handy little bags and the unhealthy oils.
Some of the chemicals lining those handy packages, when heated, are thought to become carcinogenic. Aside from the bag, you also get a huge serving of partially hydrogented oils, trans fats, preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings, and a host of other substances one wouldn’t associate with popcorn – or even FOOD!
For about the same cost of four bags of microwave popcorn in a pretty little box, you could buy a HUGE amount of organic popcorn, in a bag or jar.
When I was a kid, we either popped our corn on the stovetop, or in an air popper. That was in the days before microwave ovens were in nearly every household. I’m personally not a huge microwave user but I do love the convenience of popping some organic corn.
Here’s a little life hack I like to use when I have a hankering for a little snack of popcorn:
Microwave Popcorn without the Bag
- Start with a microwave-safe bowl, preferably not plastic.
- Add just a touch of butter (REAL butter) or a little drizzle of olive oil. You could also use coconut oil or flavored oils. Go sparingly or use no oil at all.
- Add a pinch of salt to taste (I like pink Himalayan). You can also add other ingredients to make your popcorn sweet or savory. I’ll sometimes add a sprinkle of garlic powder, a good-quality powdered cheddar cheese (Cabot Creamery makes one to die for) or cumin, or sometimes a touch of sugar for a kettlecorn taste.
- Barely cover the bottom of the bowl with the popcorn kernels. Keep in mind popcorn can expand up to 40 times its size when popped. About two tablespoons of unpopped corn equates to about four cups when popped. If your bowl is too big, you risk burning the popcorn. If it’s too small, it will spill over. I generally just place enough kernels in my bowl to cover the bottom in a single layer.
- Toss the unpopped kernels in the bowl to get them covered with your ingredients.
- Cover your bowl. I like to use an inverted plate.
- Not all microwaves are created equal, nor are all popcorn kernels! The popcorn setting on your microwave may not be enough to get most of the kernels popped. Play around with your settings and you’ll find the perfect one for your microwave. When the popping slows to about 1-2 pops per second, stop your microwave.
- WAIT!! That bowl is going to be piping hot! Don’t Touch it yet! Let it rest for a couple minutes to cool down and allow the heat in the bowl to continue popping kernels. Not all the kernels are going to pop.
- Enjoy your popcorn without all the artificial additives!
Skip the Bowl and Use a Bag
Another trick I like to use, when skipping the butter or oil, is to place the unpopped kernels and a pinch of salt in a brown paper bag. Roll the bag up so it won’t come open during the popping. Remember not to put too much in the bag – two tablespoons unpopped turns into four cups of popped!
Thanks for popping in!