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Family Times
Healthier Microwave Popcorn!
CEA-FCS
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 • Posted February 20, 2013

I have long been a fan of popping your own popcorn on the stove as an easy, filling, inexpensive and healthy (it’s whole grain) snack. But now I found directions on popping it in the MICROWAVE!!! This allows you to make it the way you want it (i.e. without the hydrogenated oil found in a lot of commercial microwave popcorn) and add the flavor/seasonings before you pop it. If you do really want to drizzle it with melted butter then you can still do that after you pop it. At least you will get to control the amount!

Paper Bag Popcorn Method:

    * Step One: Measure 1/4 cup popcorn kernels into a lunchbox-sized paper bag. * Step Two: Loosely fold just the very top of the bag over so the kernels don’t spill out. * Step Three: Microwave until there are more than 3 seconds between popping sounds. (In my 1000-watt microwave, this took 2 minutes and 10 seconds.) * Step Four: Carefully remove bag and enjoy!

Note: If you want flavored popcorn, toss the kernels in 1 tsp oil, scant 1/8 tsp salt, and desired seasonings—such as cinnamon or garlic powder—before popping. Brooke and I like ranch seasoning or taco seasoning (if you use packaged seasonings DON’T add any extra salt, they have salt in them).

It’s fun to make the popcorn into trail mixes. Just mix in some cereal, pretzels, chocolate chips, raisins, or whatever you like and pack them into little sandwich bags. If you let kids help you pop the corn and help pick what to put in it the trail mix, they will be much more likely to eat it!

Here’s one more option-

Caramel Popcorn

(or homemade Cracker Jacks)

• 4 T. unpopped popcorn

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 cup honey or corn syrup

• scant 1/4 t. salt

• optional for a richer caramel flavor: 2 T. butter or margarine

• optional: roasted peanuts, dark chocolate chips, etc.

Pop the kernels, either on the stove or using the Microwave Popcorn Trick. Then transfer to a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and honey (and the butter, if using) and heat on low—stirring occasionally—until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture over the popped corn and stir to coat. Much of the sauce will fall to the bottom of the bowl, so be sure to scoop it up and keep stirring for a full 2 minutes. Sprinkle on the salt (don’t forget!) and add chocolate chips, or nuts, or dried fruit if you wish. These recipes are adapted from a fun healthy eating blog called Chocolate Covered Katie!

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