Homemade popcorn recipe

popcorn3I love homemade popcorn, it’s quick and easy to make. It also has a nice slightly, roasted flavor and is very fresh.

If you have an air popper that is definitely the easiest way to make popcorn, but the “old school” method of cooking it in a saucepan is also easy and fun. It’s without a doubt healthier than microwave popcorn (although I love microwave popcorn also…no judgments).

One of my favorite things about homemade popcorn is that it’s an awesome frugal snack! I bought a nearly 2 pound bag of popcorn kernels for $1.75 and it’s lasted for a really long time. I only use a couple of tablespoons of seeds every time I make popcorn, I haven’t done the math but it’s probably around 5-10 cents for a full serving of popcorn. Compared to microwave popcorn: I usually get three bags of popcorn to a box for about $2.50. That means each full serving is about 83 cents. It doesn’t break the bank of course but 10 cents is certainly better!

Popcorn is a great canvas for flavors. I like mine pretty basic with just oil (or butter) and salt, but you can get really creative and add herbs, spices, cheeses (parmesan is a good one), nuts, wasabi, sriracha, hot sauce, chocolate, dried fruit, and more. Here are a few more fun ideas.

  1. How I make my popcorn: First things first, be very careful!! Never open the saucepan lid facing towards you in case a hot kernel flies into your eye! I always wear clear glasses, or even sunglasses.
  2. In a cold saucepan add about a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil (mmm…olive oil…). Next, add about 2-3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels. Put the lid on.
  3. Turn the heat onto medium and as the oil is heating gently shake the popcorn so that the kernels get coated in oil.
  4. As the kernels begin to pop shake the saucepan gently when needed. You can give the popcorn a little air by lifting the the lid slightly facing away from you.
  5. When the kernels are all popped, pour into a bowl and dress the popcorn how you like!! 🙂 Just be sure to be careful of “late popping kernels” — watch your eyes!
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Sunflower seeds: A good alternative to peanuts?

peanutandsunflowerThe other day I bought a bag of roasted sunflower seeds and I’ve really been enjoying them. It got me thinking: would sunflower seeds be a good alternative to peanuts?*

They both share some positive similarities:

  • They each have a good amount of protein. Peanuts have about 7 grams per ounce, and sunflower seeds 5 grams per ounce.
  • They are inexpensive and frugal: I can generally buy 1 pound of either peanuts or sunflower seeds for $1.99-$2.50. Many other nuts such as almonds, cashews and pecans can easily cost $4-8 per pound (or more!).
  • They both make good snacks and mix well with other nuts, dried fruit and chocolate.

Although peanuts are delicious, they are also famously problematic for causing allergies that can be very severe. I love the taste of peanuts but after much trial and error I’ve come to realize that I have a sensitivity to them but not a full-on allergy. When I eat peanut butter I start to quickly not feel quite right; not massively ill but I get indigestion and fatigue.

Because of this I’ve had to pretty much let go of peanuts, especially peanut butter. Not 100% but they are not an every day player in my diet.

The other tough thing about peanut butter for me is that if I’m not careful I will just keep eating it; and all of a sudden half the jar is gone. It’s not an ideal food with my eating disorder.

Which leads me to sunflower seeds!

So far sunflower seeds are looking good: when I eat them I feel fine, which is very nice. I appreciate that they make a good snack and are also frugal. They are available as a seed butter, but it’s not as common as peanut butter and is almost always more expensive.

I’d like to experiment more with using sunflower seeds in savory dishes, such as sprinkling them on top of stir fries instead of peanuts, and adding them to salads for extra crunch and depth of flavor.

To conclude, I’m all for sunflower seeds these days and will continue to use them as a healthy and tasty alternative to peanuts.

How do you feel about peanuts vs. sunflower seeds (or other nuts/seeds)?

*Of course if you’re allergic/sensitive to sunflower seeds please don’t eat them 🙂

Lunch and a food update for the day

Gosh I feel like I’ve been busy all day! It’s nice to sit down and write for a bit.

Today my eating was pretty ok. My social anxiety wasn’t overly triggered despite being around friends for a couple of hours. That is good progress.

I do feel however like I ate my afternoon snack about an hour too early, which isn’t all that great because a) I wasn’t hungry b) Timing my meals is very important c) My snack wasn’t super healthy, it was about 1/2 chocolate & 1/2 peanuts. Binges can be easily triggered for me and eating too close to a main meal is definitely one of them. I function best with structure and spacing my meals right.

Lunch today: Turkey sandwich and salad

  • 1/2 gluten-free bagel with turkey, mustard and vegan butter
  • Small salad with balsamic dressing and 1/2 ounce feta cheese
  • Not shown: 6-8 corn chips

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Dinner: Turkey meatballs and rice 

I totally forgot to photograph this! But it looked pretty nice 🙂

  • 3 turkey meatballs
  • 2/3 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup brown rice with vegan butter
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables
  • About 6-7 corn chips because I was still a little hungry

I also walked 5000 steps today so that was good. I really try and exercise as much as I can.