It’s basic, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway: popcorn. Healthy-style.
The reason I’m sharing this is that this week, when I was working in-house for a London-based client, I overheard some people (OK, really young people) lamenting the price of a packet popcorn at Pret. ‘Didn’t you know you can buy the corn kernels for dead cheap and pop them yourself?’ I asked. ‘No. We didn’t,’ they replied, eyebrows cocked, like, why would we want to do make it ourselves? *what-eva emoji*. It got me wondering how many people don’t know this? Because until about six months ago, truth be told, I was one of them – and I do not have the excuse of youth for this.
ANYWAY, we’ve started doing a Friday night movie night to herald the end of the week, because it feels like a treat, and because we’re all pooped. Once the little one is old enough, I hope this’ll involve old family classics. For now it’s about Pixar. (Hey, I watched Frozen for the first time last week. I GET IT now! It’s so pretty! I live in a male household, so we started it together but I watched the second half – bewitched and unblinking– alone, as everyone else had gradually drifted off to be pretend ninjas or jedis or something).
ANYWAY, I make a HUGE bowl of warm popcorn for us all to share, but since it’s just before bed, I want it to be neither salty (so they’re gasping with thirst just when they should be cutting back on water), nor sugary (to avoid bouncing off the walls when there’s nowhere to go but bed).
As with the Gwyneth Paltrow recipe this is a hack – my hack of the ‘tip’ from the back of a packet of Waitrose LOVE life popcorn maize. The ‘hack’ is all in the oil: I use coconut oil as it tastes sweet and light and puddingy – rather than a bit earthy, as it might with extra virgin olive oil.
Once cooked and while still warm, you quickly drizzle gooey strands of honey over it, mix it fast with your hands, and then sprinkle it with cinnamon and toss it again.
The result is something that’s so delicious we squabble over who holds the bowl. My kids genuinely think it’s a treat and even my youngest will eat it, allowing me to high-five myself because it’s actually made from a vegetable, right?
* 1 tbsp coconut oil
* 100g popcorn maize
* About a teaspoon clear honey – adjust to taste (for Lewes residents, I favour Payne’s Southdown Bee Farms Clear English Honey as it’s local and as close to raw as you can get – find it at Landsdown Health in Cliffe, and Pleasant Stores. I’m sure it’s in other local shops, too)
* Up to a teaspoon ground cinnamon – to taste
1) Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan that comes with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in the popcorn maize and shake to coat with oil.
2) Place the lid on and hold it down. Wait. The corn will start to pop!
3) And pop and pop and pop. Shake it periodically and keep holding the lid on, as if the corn to pan-size ratio isn’t quite right, the popped corn will start to push against it. Once you can’t hear any more popping, remove from the heat (if you leave it on the popcorn will quickly blacken and burn).
4) Quickly tip the warm popcorn into a bowl. Drizzle with the honey and cinnamon – you’ll have to do this by eye/to taste but no need to be too precious about it. Just do it little by little, and keep mixing and trying.
Disclosure: My children love this popcorn and as it’s completely fool proof, instant and easy I thought it worth sharing as part of my new Food for the Fam series. I added some affiliate links to the ingredients at Waitrose after writing it, as it is one of my affiliate partners.
CALL FOR RECIPES
I’d love to have the recipes that work for your family – easy, wholesome, preferably gluten-free and (if you have one) something you’ve managed to get a fussy eater to wolf down.
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