When conducting interviews at work the general rules is that everyone brings something yummy in for the panel to munch on in between interviewing potential future employees….ahhh crap, sugar free vegan doesn’t exactly scream fun and delicious snacks!
Naturally my go to thought was popcorn, my second thought was how can I make it better… Next stop…the internet. Bing bang boom *Maple Popcorn*
It really was delicious, exactly like the sweet popcorn you get at the cinema. I honestly have no idea why they don’t make it this way instead of adding all that refined sugar to it
- popcorn kernels: I used 70g
- maple syrup: I used around 4 tablespoons
Preheat the oven: 180 fan oven
Pop the corn and keep lid on to keep the heat in. Put the maple syrup into a pan and heat until boiling. Keep at boil for around 2-3 minutes. Stir to ensure it doesn’t stick to pan. Pour the crystallised syrup into pan with the pre popped corn and stir. I found that it goes a long way and if you keep stirring it around for a good few minutes you can cover all the corn.
Spread onto a baking tray (which you have already put grease proof paper on) and pop into oven for around 2 minutes. It really doesn’t take long at all. When you take it out you will notices that the popcorn has softened. Leave it to cool and it will harden up again. It will be stuck together so just break it up and it’s done! Next time I may try to compact it more and make popcorn bars 🙂 I might add some raisins, desiccated coconut or similar too! Definitely loads of room to experiment anyway!
Breaking the evening sweet treat routine, usually some sort of cake or chocolate biscuit, was a worry for me. If anything was going to break me, I thought that it would be this. I would happily munch my way through a chocolate orange, some giant chocolate buttons or a piece of carrot cake. Seriously what do people eat as a treat of they’re not eating chocolate or cake?
At first I indulge on dates, porridge covered in honey, banana milkshakes etc. Now whilst all this was added sugar free I was starting to notice I had no concept of when to stop and also dates are not cheap!
So I after some thought ( no thought, just googling) I decided to give popcorn a whirl. I cant remember when I last ate home popped popcorn, I would usually get toffee coated popcorn for a movie night or to take to the cinema. As this is now off limits
I had no choice but to go caveman. Took me a while to find it in the supermarket but once sourced I got to it. The instructions tell you to put oil in the pan first but this isn’t true, (in fact it can remove many of the benefits if you do add it, apparently) you can just add the kernels straight into a heated pan and cover with a lid, turn the heat down though otherwise it’ll burn. I think that one of the best things about home popped popcorn is that your house smells delicious and the “popping” becomes one of the most welcome sounds you can hear. After its popped add whatever you like, I either add salt or stir a teaspoon of honey into it. (Please note the picture my hand posed for, I have about 20 more on my phone with my hand at various stages of hovering over the bowl, to help create the anticipation / excitement of a good old bowl of hand popped popcorn!..did I over think it…100% I did)
Right, real talk, despite the fact that its delicious there are many benefits to eating popcorn
- Its anti-inflammatory! Woohoo!!
- Contains a large amount of antioxidant capacity, which help prevent cancer and prevent ageing,
- Its full of protein. Apparently ounce for ounce more than spinach or eggs. (surprising if true!)
- Low fat. As long as you don’t cook it in oil, and cover in sugar or butter. Yes I sometimes add honey but only around a teaspoon so I think I’ll pass (hope so!).
- Its a wholegrain, so lots of fibre so will improve / is good for your digestion
- May seem obvious but its gluten free
- Cheap! I usually have around 50g (pre popped) a time and there is 500g in my bag, at £2 a bag that’s 20p a serving. You cant even buy a Freddo for 20p these days!
Keeping it “good for you”:
- Don’t add oils or lots of sugar / butter to it,
- Check its organic (mine doesn’t say it is so I am assuming that means its not,
I will look for organic when I restock. Also stay away from microwave popcorn too as there are chemical in the packaging which you can do without.
Disclaimer: I have gathered the above information by searching the web and cross referencing health claims. Obviously I haven’t tested popcorn myself in a lab or conducted my own research / trials so I cannot be 100% sure all of this is true (especially as I am beginning to think that everything we are told is just a conspiracy theory). I hope they are though!