Monday, April 30, 2012

Nutritious Faux "cheesy" popcorn

Today, I am going to be sharing a favorite recipe of mine and my kiddos love it too! And you know what is so awesome about it? It's super healthy and low calorie! Woo hoo! Perfect for when you need a "salty" fix!

For starters, you need popcorn kernels and an air popping machine. If you don't have an air popper, you need one for sure! Air popped popcorn is so much healthier and lower in calories (you know, not being popped in oil and all). This part is so much funner with a little helper! My kids LOVE watching that popcorn start exploding out the top! On this day I took pictures, my Kelsie Lou was the only one here and/or awake, so she was my most awesome helper!

After you get your corn popped, you'll need some olive oil. A little bit of facts about olive oil:
  • It's a healthy or "good" fat, which helps aid in digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients from other foods!
  • It can help improve cholesterol levels
  • It's still a "fat" food, so moderation is key in order to gain the health benefits! Remember, a serving size is only 2 teaspoons!
So, you are going to lightly drizzle your popcorn with the olive oil and I like to use a spoon to stir it around so all the kernels get lightly coated to help our other toppings stick! (If you have distributed your olive oil but are still feeling the need to add more for sticking factor, I use nonstick cooking spray (it's fat free). That way, I avoid adding those extra calories and fat.

After you get your olive oil, you are going to salt your popcorn. Now, here is where I can misbehave a bit, I like my popcorn salty! Ha ha ...But I use RealSalt. What is RealSalt you ask? It is salt with no heat processing, chemicals, or additives. But what is DOES have is many trace minerals still intact, including iodine. It is delicious too! So sprinkle away I say!

The next topping to sprinkle that will give you the "cheesy" flavor is nutritional yeast. I grew up stirring this power food in my orange juice, but it tastes so delicious with salty foods! It has a unique, nutty cheesy flavor. Makes it sound yucky to add to orange juice when I describe it that way, but I still love it in my juice. You can buy this in the health section of your grocer or I now buy it in bulk from Winco. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber and rich in vitamins, especially the B vitamins and folic acid. Anywho, take those flakes between your fingers and squash them as you sprinkle so it's more powdery. Make sure you annihilate those flakes extra well if you have picky eaters that have an aversion to odd new additions to food! Ha ha. Anyway, I sprinkle a lot, but do as much as you like here. My Kelsie Lou licked that yeast right off her fingers after helping with the sprinkling!

Now you are ready to eat your delicious, healthy snack! Enjoy!

Additional tips for using yeast: I also sprinkle this on buttered whole wheat toast (my baby's favorite), stir it in spaghetti sauce or drink it in my juice, as I mentioned before. I have recently read to sprinkle it on garlic bread, I bet that's delicious!

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