November 9, 2010

Snack - Pop Pop Pop Popcorn!

Score major parent points by sending your child to school with a small bag of popcorn for snack time!  It's a high fibre, nut-free snack that they will ask for again and again.  Just make sure that they are able to eat it safely without choking, and remind them to take their time while eating it!

  • Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories and 1/2 gram of fat per cup
  • Popcorn is a whole-grain snack that is high in dietary fibre
  • Studies are being done to measure the levels of antioxidants in whole grains, including popcorn, comparing the health benefits to fruits and vegetables
  • Fun fact: A single kernel can pop up to 3 feet in the air!

An air popper is one of those single-use appliances that I just can't live without!  We used to make microwave popcorn, but since receiving our air popper as a gift (thx sis!), we have yet to go back to the microwave version.  We make it a family occasion, but are always cautious of flying hot kernels.  The kids don't get too close.  It's the most exciting part of our weekend movie night!

While Big-A can devour a large bowl of popcorn (I'm constantly telling him to eat only a couple of pieces at a time!), we don't allow Lil-J to eat it yet.  It is a major choking hazard in young children and at 18-months old, he's just too young.

One of my favourite things about popcorn is that it's a blank canvas - you can add your favourite spicy or sweet flavours to it to make it even yummier!  Here are some delicious recipes, all based on 8 cups of air popped popcorn.

Parmesan Popcorn
Melt 1 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, pour over popcorn and mix well.  Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese over popcorn and mix well to coat.

Spicy Popcorn
Melt 1 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, pour over popcorn and mix well.  Sprinkle 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp chili powder over popcorn and mix well to coat.

Cajun Popcorn
Pour 1/4 cup melted butter over popcorn, mix well.  Sprinkle 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning over popcorn and mix well to coat.

Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn (a yummy weekend treat!)
Ingredients: 1/4 cup vegetable oil; 1/2 cup popcorn kernels; 1/4 cup sugar; 1 tsp coarse salt
Directions: In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the popcorn.  When the oil sizzles, sprinkle the sugar over the kernels.  Cover and shake the pot until the popping slows down, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and toss with salt.  Serve.

Movie theatre employees may not approve of this, but the extremely fattening, unhealthy popcorn available at theatres has left me with no other option.  Pop some popcorn, use any of the recipes above, and fill sandwich bags with the finished product.  Homemade popcorn is a much healthier movie snack!

Pop some popcorn for your kiddies tonight and have a little dance-a-thon to "Popcorn" by Hot Butter!.

Have fun :)

Click here for a printable version of this recipe!


Kailin said...

I shouldn't have read this before lunch *drool*.

Shauna MacKenzie said...

My tummy's rumblin for some kettle corn...mmmmm!