Home Made Microwave Popcorn
04/10/2013 Home Made Microwave Popcorn
I have yet to meet a child who doesn't like popcorn, but lots of children have never made it themselves.
Of course you can buy microwave popcorn packs which are small convenient packs, but (like individual porridge packets) they are a lot more expensive than portioning it for yourself and also tend to be filled with lots of added sugar or salt. And although I love the occasional bag of ready popped toffee popcorn, it really is a very sugary, occasional treat.
Plain popcorn is one of the best snacks for children because it has a lot of fibre per portion and because it is essentially sweetcorn, it also contains much of the antioxidants of other veggie snacks. It only becomes an unhealthy treat when you add stuff to it. Lots of children love it plain, especially when they have made it themselves. And even if you do add some sugar or syrup, you can control the amount you add, and it will almost always be a smaller amount than the shop version.
So if you want your kids to have a go, here is a cool video of one of The Girls Garden girls, Molly, popping her own popcorn in the microwave. She is using strawberry popcorn which she grew in the garden, but you can buy popping corn from most large supermarkets and wholefood stores and it will work just the same way.
Notice Molly's top tips:
- use a glass container, not plastic
- make sure it has a lid or cling film on it
- don't stick to the timing, listen to the popping and stop the cooking when the popping stops
- only put a small amount in at a time, or some will be burned before other bits get popped.
Popcorn doesn't actually need toppings. If your children are making popcorn themselves for the first time, tell them to try it without toppings, because it is naturally sweet. There should be an understanding that popcorn doesn't HAVE TO be drenched in toppings to be yummy.
If you do add toppings, go easy. An amount like Molly made should need less than a teaspoon of topping.
SALTY - If your kids love salty popcorn, be very careful. Children have a very small recommended daily salt intake. Better to dissolve a very small amount of salt in water or oil, or melt a little amount of salted butter and toss the popcorn through it. That way you get the slight salty taste spread evenly through the corn, rather than big grains in one place and none in the other, and you can use less.
SWEET - Again, go for thin spreading rather than sprinkling sugar and you can use less. I like using a little golden syrup, maple syrup or honey, warmed up to make it thinner, or mixed 50/50 with melted butter and spread through.
OTHER IDEAS - get your children to be adventurous and try different flavours. Here are some nice suggestions for unusual toppings.
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