We are definitely popcorn lovers in this house! Actually, we enjoy it so much that we usually have a "popcorn for dinner" night once every week or two. Our love for popcorn wasn't always so. After giving up popcorn for many years, our relationship rekindled once Camille got pregnant.
Somewhere along the lines, I saw popcorn as a junk food. A microwaveable feast of chemicals and processed ingredients. Although quick and mindless, the idea of cooking anything in a microwave for me is simply unfathomable. Other then possibly sanitizing your scrubbies or breaking the id chip in your passport (shhhh), I just can't justify the use of a microwave for creating high quality meals at home.
Popcorn is light, fluffy, and a great delivery system for high quality fats and seasonings. I love popcorn because it allows you to put away the utensils and eat with your fingers, creating a more personalized touch to snack time.
Fun Facts About Popcorn
- Out of the 6 varieties of corn, only popcorn pops.
- Americans consume 16 billion quarts of popcorn a year.
- In popcorn jargon, a popped kernel is known as a "flake". Look for "butterfly" flakes which yield the best mouthfeel and "mushroom" shaped flakes that are less delicate!
3 Ways to Upgrade Your Popcorn Program!
1. Upgrade your Source
Fortunately, popcorn is not a GMO product, so I feel safe knowing that popcorn has not been tainted as most of the corn in our modern food supply has in that regards. However, there are certainly better quality options on the market. We love the heirloom rainbow kernels from Purcell Organic Mountain Farms and that's pretty much the only corn that pops off at Three Lily Farm.
2. Upgrade the Quality of Fats
Fat is an integral part of an excellent batch of popcorn. It is even beneficial to use it liberally as the fat helps to blunt the body's absorption of carbohydrate, lessening the blow to your blood sugar. You don't want to find yourself pumping away at the movie theater butter-squirters though! Those are full of hydrogenated, rancid corn and soy oils that have been dyed and chemically flavored by food scientists. We like to keep it simple around here using a nice heat stable, saturated fat for our popcorn nights like:
- Ghee or Grass Fed Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Bacon Fat
- Beef Tallow
When using an animal source for fat, it is most optimal to choose products from pastured and grass fed sources... If the animals were fed corn and soy, their fat is made of corn and soy and were back to where we started st the butter-squirters!
3. Upgrade the Seasonings
Good news folks- salt is our friend! Sodium is an important electrolyte that is essential to our health, and essential to great popcorn.
You don't want to reach for shakers at your average restaurant as whats inside them can cause a host of problems:
- Table salt is iodized salt which is devoid of minerals that the body needs, and full of chemical fillers.
- Eating table salt can further dis-regulate your body's signalling as chemical foods trick the taste buds into thinking that essential nutrients are being acquired.
- When the body detects it's not absorbing usable nutrients, it signals us to keep eating, and eating, and eating, and eating... That is how we can become obese and malnourished at the same time!
To avoid this scenario all together, reach for natural salts and dulse flakes for iodine. They have a much higher mineral content, and pack a much larger flavor punch, and therefor require less salt to achieve excellent flavor. Opt for Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt. Around here, I like to get mine locally from a company that harvests salt from the chilly Atlantic ocean off the coast of Maine.
We don't stop at salt for flavorings however! We like to make a "Super Food Gomasio" with dulse, sesame seeds, and spirulina! Get creative here with all the flavor combinations. You could go sweet with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, or savory with garlic and onion, there really are endless possibilities. Heck, sometimes we get crazy and make chocolate covered popcorn! Here at Three Lilly we make sure organic, non-GMO spices are always on hand for whatever we might be craving.
And a final few words on popcorn.. Don't f**kn microwave it!!!!