Do you enjoy popcorn? Just say the word and I am taken back to childhood; my Mom heating oil in the pan and popping corn on the stove, then adding lots of butter and salt. There isn’t a better movie snack than popcorn with that satisfying crunch.
Done right popcorn is a healthy, nutritious snack. Popcorn is high in fibre and polyphenols which are a group of antioxidants that protect the heart and reduce the risk of cancer. Popcorn popped at home has no preservatives or artificial flavours and you can control the amount of butter and salt which are added. Recipe follows!
Microwave popcorn, on the other hand, has a dark side. Yes, you can get low fat, low salt, buttery popcorn, but it comes at a price. The bags of microwave popcorn are often lined with chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is also used in Teflon and other materials such as pizza boxes. It is linked to liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer and infertility. The chemicals in the bag lining vaporize and migrate into the popcorn while it is in the microwave.
As if that isn’t bad enough, popcorn with artificial flavouring is also a concern. Diacetyl is one such chemical used for its artificial butter flavour. Diacetyl is known to cause a rare type of lung disease among workers in microwave popcorn factories. While many manufacturers no longer use diacetyl in their products, it is replaced with other artificial flavours which can be just as harmful. Gotta love that buttery smell!
Why take your chances? Make your own popcorn: do it the old-fashioned way my mother did; use an air-popper; or if you want the convenience of microwave popcorn try this:
In a brown paper lunch bag, combine ¼ cup organic popping corn with ¼ tsp of sea salt, you can add butter or oil at this time or after cooking (the bag will become greasy, if added now). Fold the top of the bag a couple of times. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sound of popping slows, being careful not to let the popcorn burn. Open the bag carefully, because steam will have built up.
If you haven’t added butter, coconut oil or olive oil, add it now. Change up your popcorn up by adding spices to it: cinnamon, chili powder, curry or dill all give popcorn their unique flavours. Enjoy!