Popcorn can be both a frugal blogger and healthy eater wanna be's dream. Let's start on the frugal side. You can gt a huge 2 pound bag of kernels for just a few bucks, enough to pop up and feed a whole troop of teens for movie and popcorn night. My favorite way to make it is with a little vegetable oil on the pan, heating the oil with just three kernels, listening for the pop, pop, pop to tell me the oil is ready. In goes another 1/3 cup of kernels and a lid to cover, I gently shake over the stove until the magic happens. My favorite then is to melt a couple tablespoons of butter to light coat the fluffy kernels I've poured into a big roasting pan, and gently toss the whole lot with popcorn salt. The stove top method and using a roaster were ingrained from childhood and Sunday night popcorn night. The roaster was deep enough to hold two batches, and long and wide enough for lots of hands.
As for the healthy side, air popped will yield cups of kernels for virtually calorie free munching. I'd personally rather take a few extra calories and do the stove top and have a bit less, but even that method is far healthier than a bag of potato chips. The added fiber and lightly salted crunch leave me feeling satisfied better than another snack food. On my recent road trip for work, our car load skipped dinner and opted for just getting a snack. All three of us picked popcorn for our munching pleasure.
Recently I was contacted by SkinnyPop, who make all sorts of healthy popcorn, to write about my favorite flavor or recipe combinations for popcorn. While I think it is a pretty darn good snack alone, popcorn makes an incredible base to turn up the snacking a notch. I sampled a bit in my kitchen with both flavors known to me, and some new combinations. Just about any seasonings you like will work. As I still like a sweet treat every now and again, I thought I'd give a try with a salty sweet combo that reminds me of my college study cramming nights where I'd have a bowl of popcorn and a bowl of M&M's. Here is my favorite.
Sweet and Salty Popcorn Snack mix
6 Cups plain popped popcorn-store bought already made, air popped, or stove/popper will work
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 tsp popcorn salt
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup broken pretzel pieces
Combine pretzels and chocolate chips and toss with the teaspoon of sugar. Melt butter and stir in the sunflower seeds, then pour both over the popcorn in a large bowl and gently toss, distributing the seeds and butter throughout the popcorn. Add the chocolate chips and pretzel mixture and toss all together.
For full disclosure, this is not a sponsored post nor did I receive any compensation or free product, However, I might have this recipe part of a recipe card series and I thought that might be sort of neat. Any other popcorn fiends out there?