Get Your Snack On

The Super Bowl is over, but snacking is forever. Most people fall into either the sweet snacks camp or the salty snacks camp. Some of us are happy in either camp, depending on our mood.

Popcorn is one of the most popular snack foods in America. It’s a North American native. It’s believed that it was first domesticated in Mexico thousands of years ago. The Europeans first encountered popcorn when they came to America. The Native Americans are said to have brought it to the first Thanksgiving. Now, it probably wouldn’t pass our taste test today. It likely was several days old and without salt or butter. That doesn’t sound appetizing. Does it?

But today we have lots of delicious popcorn options. I prefer stove-popped popcorn, but I’ll pop it in the microwave if I don’t want to babysit it. I have a couple of microwave popcorn poppers that work beautifully.

I thought I’d share two popcorn recipes today. One is very sweet, the other a bit more savory. They’re Pampered Chef recipes, so one mentions using the Pampered Chef Microwave Popcorn Maker, but you can make the popcorn however you like. If you use a bag of microwave popcorn, be sure to use an un-buttered or natural variety.

If you’d like to check out more recipes, I invite you to visit my website and click on Recipes.

May your week ahead be filled with sunshine.


Caramel Corn Snack Mix

8 cups popped popcorn
4 cups oven-toasted rice cereal squares
2 cups miniature pretzel twists
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Combine popcorn, cereal, pretzels and pecans in Rectangular Lid/Bowl. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in (2-qt.) Saucepan. Cook and stir with Bamboo Spoon over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil over entire surface.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook without stirring 5 minutes. (Mixture should continue to bubble gently over surface.)

Remove saucepan from heat. Quickly stir in vanilla and baking soda, stirring carefully. Pour over popcorn mixture in Lid/Bowl, stirring until well coated. Bake 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Transfer popcorn mixture to large piece of Parchment Paper. Cool completely, breaking mixture into clusters as it cools.

15 cups servings of 1 cup
Nutrients per serving:
Calories 220, Fat 11 g, Sodium 290 mg, Dietary Fiber less than 1 g

Cook's Tips:
If you don’t have the Rectangle Baker, you may use a 9” x 13” pan.

Homemade Kettle Corn

3 tbsp (45 mL) coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) popcorn kernels (2 of the red cups)

Add oil, sugar, salt, and popcorn kernels to bottom of the Family-Size Microwave Popcorn Maker. Cover with the lid, and leave the cup cover open to vent. Place the popper offset in the microwave.

Microwave for 4–5 minutes, or until popping slows to about 1–2 seconds between pops.

Let popcorn stand for 1–2 minutes to let the mixture crisp.

4 servings
Nutrients per serving:
U.S. Nutrients per Serving (about 2½ cups/625 mL): Calories 200, Total Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 290 mg, Carbohydrate 23 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugar 7 g, Protein 2 g

Cook's Tips:
Coconut oil is great for popping popcorn because it can take high heat. It adds a slight coconut flavor to the popcorn, but it isn’t overwhelming. You can use canola oil if you don’t have coconut oil.