Now that my kids are teenagers, I have less packed lunches and trips to the zoo, and more time playing Uber and Masterchef. Or not…
With teenage kids coming in and out of the house, always hungry, it’s hard to keep offering snacks that aren’t full of rubbish.
Yesterday, with four 15-year olds lying on my lounge, I was so glad we all could all agree that popcorn was best and most underrated snack going.
And I don’t mean those wretched microwave pop bags!
Microwave popcorn contains more inflammatory vegetable oils than I want my kids to eat, and a bucket load more salt too. Most contain other preservatives and colourings. Even some of the natural additives are questionable - linked to allergies and mood disturbance in kids. That’s no fun.
Popcorn at the movies? Also high in hydrogenated fats , salt and often high in sugar too.
Good news: More and more brands of great quality popcorn are ‘popping’ up all over the place. Better news: Making it yourself is really quick, really easy, really fun to watch. Best news: Home made pop corn is really good for you!
It’s extremely high in fibre. This is great for bowel movements, detoxification, increasing fullness, improving gut bacterial balance and helping move cholesterol out of the body.
Popcorn is low in calories - A serving is said to be 3 cups. Popped in oil that’s about 165 calories and air-popped it’s about 95. But seriously, I don’t think you could eat that much!
It’s a low GI wholegrain - In fact, popcorn is sugar free. Combined with the fibre, this is great news for moderating blood sugars and insulin control.
It contains a good blend of B vitamins, alkalising minerals and antioxidants.
This is how I make our popcorn - with deliciously healthy twist at the end.
WHAT YOU NEED:
3 TBS Organic coconut oil
3/4 cup organic popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp seasalt
1-2 TBS nutritional yeast
WHAT TO DO:
Heat the coconut oil in a small pot. Once melted, the oil should cover the whole base of the pot at about 0.5cm deep.
Put 1 or two kernels into the pot, lid on, and wait for them to pop.
When they pop, your oil is hot enough. Add the rest of the popcorn and quickly get that lid back on!
Watch it pop! That’s the fun bit. Our stainless steel pots have glass lids so we love watching the kernels explode as the pot fills with fluffy white popcorn.
The popping action will slowly start to calm down and you’ll hear just one or two pops every now and then. Turn off the heat before it complete stops. Give it a moment or so to finish.
Add the salt and nutritional yeast. Put the lid back on and shake it up super well.
Transfer to your bowl and snack out!
*What is nutritional yeast?
This is an amazing wholefood popular with vegans, because it adds a cheese like flavour to food, as well as a bunch of important nutrients that are harder to find on a vegan diet; specifically Vitamin B12 and Zinc. It also contains good levels of other B Vitamins, is dairy free, gluten free, and with all 9 essential amino acids, it’s considered to be a complete protein.
Nutritional yeast is a delicious and ultra healthy addition to your home-made popped corn. Buy it at pretty much any health food store. Learn more about nutritional yeast and other 'weird' healthy functional foods in my guide: The Whole Guide to Whole Foods.