Supersnack – Spirulina Popcorn

superpopcorn
Spirulina Popcorn

I recently hosted my first workshop on “healthy eating made simple” sharing my learnings so far from the nutrition course I’m taking. At first I was stumped on what to focus on, but finally decided on the topic of simplifying healthy eating. I personally found it to be confusing and overwhelming to keep up with what exactly was the best diet for me and my family’s health!

Going back to the basics by adding more vegetables into every meal and reducing processed foods can add so much of the nutrients missing from our current American diet. One of the ways I’ve been heeding my own advice is in the snacking arena. With two small kids, snacking can be an all day obsession – whether to keep boredom at bay, to distract from a tantrum, to bribe for good behavior, to simply satiate to stave off hanger. So much power in these in between bites!

There are a lot of default kid snacks – much of which are made with refined flours and loaded with sugars. They’re easy and convenient and the kids love them – but there’s absolutely no nutritional value to them and these simple carbs turn into sugar after we digest them. Plus I tend to overeat these snacks when I’m hungry and then end up feeling really sluggish and generally crappy afterwards. wonk wonk.

To avoid them I’ve eliminated things like crackers, pretzels, chips, cereal, etc. (which are all of my weaknesses too!) from my shopping cart altogether and instead (still working on) filling the cupboard with healthier alternatives, one of which are organic popcorn kernels. 

They’re cheap, and so easy to pop at home for homemade popcorn to top with whatever spice you choose. Popcorn is also a whole grain and low in calories and most importantly for me, satisfies the crunch and salty umami cravings with the flavor toppings I choose.

I’ve been making popcorn in a large pot and sprinkling seasonings like old-bay, seasoned salt, furikake, nutritional yeast, and topping off with spirulina for its powers as a protein-filled, antioxidant-boosting superfood – because why not make your popcorn a vehicle for some nutritious goodness too??

Here’s an official recipe for a popcorn seasoning that I’ve free-handed for a while until I googled for some real measurements.


 

Spirulina Popcorn

adapted from Goop.com

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup non-GMO popping corn
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina
  • 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large metal pasta pot (or similar) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add two corn kernels, cover with the lid leaving it slightly ajar, and cook until the kernels pop.
  3. Add the ¼ cup of corn and cook with the lid slightly ajar, shaking the pot every 30 seconds or so, until almost all of the corn has popped (you’ll know because there will suddenly be much longer breaks between popping sounds). Cover with the lid and turn off the heat while you prepare the seasoning.
  4. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, spirulina, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and cayenne in a large bowl and mix together with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add the popped corn and toss with the spatula (or your hands) to evenly distribute the seasoning.

Note:

One of my favorite things to do at a local movie theater we used to live near is to concoct my own mix of flavorings with the popcorn spices the theater provided. I would spend ten minutes sprinkling and shaking while my husband would save me a seat for the movie. If you’re wondering where this was – it’s the Sunshine theater in downtown NY – not sure if they still do this though – plus I would now bring my own nutritional yeast 🙂 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting veggies first – a mini tip

greens

It’s been a busy summer so far with kids out of school and getting distracted by all the fun summer activities to be had here in NYC. I’ve also been diving into a holistic nutrition course to educate myself on a topic that I’ve been passionate about. The course has given me the focus I need and so far it’s been enlightening and inspiring. I hope to incorporate more of what I learn here!

Eating more greens and vegetables is a no brainer for optimal health – and is a common denominator in most dietary theories. As I’m trying to be more intentional about incorporating vegetables at the family dinner table I find that I need a better strategy than habitually keeping greens an afterthought, scrambling together a crudite platter for dinner. Nothing wrong with some raw veggies and dip, but I know I can do better.

With two little kids, there is a very small and unforgiving window of feeding time, as many parents know. So my goal is to have the veggies ready along with everything else served up for dinner – instead of finishing up the salad or roasted veggies halfway through the rest of their dinner.

One day I started dinner prep with vegetables in mind and found everything else fell into place.

Light bulb moment.

Start with the veggies.

I found that this simple mental shift was helpful in ensuring I prioritized greens to have ready right at dinner time.

So, I put veggies first.

I get the produce out of the fridge so that it’s visible. Get the peeling, washing, chopping, drying, etc. out of the way.

I admit this is not revolutionary or maybe not a real cooking tip, but for me the  just taking the time be intentional about something revealed an easy solution that starts with a shift in perspective.

Ideally I’d like to get to the point where I’m a meal planning machine – churning out meals planned well in advance, always having frozen back up meals stocked, not having to rely on pizza delivery (is it just me?) but this baby step – considering vegetables first before I start cooking – will one day take me closer to achieving meal prep glory.

Please share any of your tips for getting more vegetables on your dinner table. I’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

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