So today I am finally writing about popcorn. I have actually mentioned it in passing in a few of my other posts but I have not yet had the pleasure of expanding on why I love the fluffy white stuff.
First of all let me get one thing straight. The best way (and the only way it is prepared in my household) is on the stove. As counter intuitive as it may seem, one serving of stove top popped popcorn (about 3 tbsp of unpopped kernels worth) is only about 120 calories. What does it take to burn off 120 calories? You will burn 120 calories doing any of the following: 33mins of walking, 14 mins of jogging, 10 mins of swimming or 18 mins of cycling.
Now, depending on how you prepare it it, popcorn (even stove popped) can be relatively healthy or very unhealthy for you. If you are in the habit of pouring on truckloads of salt and butter or margarine on your popcorn, you might as well get into the habit of eating fettuccine alfredo every night of the week while you are at it. I prefer a little sprinkling of salt with some butter. Throwing a little garlic or onion powder on there as well takes popcorn to a whole new level!
But the other reason I love the stuff, is that pound for pound, buying unpopped pop corn is probably the best value snack food there is!
Here is the math:
A bag of no name popcorn kernels usually runs about $1.99 to $2.99 and contains about 6 cups of kernels.
A regular serving of popcorn is about 3 tbsp of kernels, which yields about a liter and a half of popped kernels, which is about the same volume as a bag of chips.
So one bag of popcorn kernels contains 96 tablespoons, which is about 32 servings of popcorn, which works out to roughly 6 to 9 cents a serving!
Try to find a $0.09 bag of chips these days!
One of the advantages of popping corn on the stove is that it also forces you to think twice about whether or not you are really snackish....which also cuts down on the calorie consumption!
So here is the secret to making perfect stove top popcorn:
- First preheat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauce pan on med-low heat
- Next place 3 kernels into heated pan.
- Once the three kernels ave popped the oil is now hot enough to pour in the rest.
- Give the pan a shake to spread the kernels around.
- Once the popping slows to about a couple of seconds between pops, the popcorn is ready!
I recommend salting the popcorn while it is hot, so that the salt sticks to it better. Also try different seasonings, the kids like "All Dressed" popcorn seasoning, I personally, really like adding salt and some freshly ground black pepper!
Just as a point of reference, we make about 1 cup of (unpopped) popcorn at a time, which is more than enough for all the kids to eat and then some!