Happy Friday, friends! Today I'm blogging about a food I have a love/hate relationship with: commercially-prepared microwave popcorn. On the love side: it's convenient, and it's a great, crunchy and low-calorie snack (if you get the light version, as I do). On the hate side: it's spendy and loaded with nasty chemicals and artificial ingredients. I'll be honest - microwave popcorn has been a bugaboo for me for a while. Even though I eschewed artificial stuff in other areas of my life, I was still eating the stuff, especially when strictly watching what I eat (as I am now).
Well, I've decided to get on the wagon and get this junk out of my life. I no longer own an air popper - had one in college and have no idea where it went. I do own a Whirly Pop, which is essentially what my grandparents and parents used to pop corn - but that involves oil (and usually copious amounts of butter and salt), and while delicious, it's not the low-cal snack option I'm looking for often.
A few days ago, I tried popping popcorn in a paper lunch bag, and let me tell you, it's marvelous! I have no idea why it took me so long to get here. Here's what I do. Put 2 tablespoons of kernels in the bag (I get organic popcorn at Whole Foods, but any type will do), fold the top of the bag down twice and secure it with Scotch tape (this is the microwave, so don't get any bright ideas about using paper-clips, people!). Stand it in the microwave, and set your micro to go for 5 minutes. DO NOT let yourself become distracted by children, small animals, or heaps of dishes overflowing from your sink . . . you need to listen to your corn because microwaving times may vary. It'll pop hard for a couple of minutes, and once it slows way down, take it out. Carefully open the bag (hot steam), and you will see a few cups of nice, fluffy corn waiting for you. Consume as-is, or doctor it up with seasonings of your choice . . . . and if you want to indulge a bit, try this recipe for microwave caramel corn.
I'm eating the plain version of this a lot now, and I'm finding that since I'm not eating much junk, I'm tasting and enjoying the nice nutty taste of the corn more than I thought I would. I love the crunch, and the volume. I'm excited because the winter CSA we signed up for says it'll have popcorn as part of the share - it'll be fun to try out different varieties. So while this is not your satisfyingly buttery/salty indulgence, it is a way to get a low-calorie (about 100 calories for those 2 T. of kernels), high fiber, all-natural snack.
Have a great weekend!