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Spirulina Popcorn

July 27, 2012

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Popcorn is an excellent snack, it’s an irrefutable fact. We love it in our household, and nothing shouts PARTY like a big bowl of popped fluffy kernels. Well, almost nothing.

But is popcorn really healthy? Alone, yes. And with Spirulina sprinkled on top? Double yes. What is spirulina? Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It contains nutrients, including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid) [1]. You can also add spirulina to a favorite juice or smoothie.

Quite commonly for the sake of flavor, large amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium are often added to prepared popcorn, which quickly converts it to a very poor snack choice. One particularly notorious example of this first came to public attention in the mid-1990s, when the Center for Science in the Public Interest produced a report about “Movie Popcorn”, which became the subject of a widespread publicity campaign. The movie theaters surveyed used coconut oil to pop the corn, and then topped it with butter or margarine. “A medium-size buttered popcorn”, the report said, “contains more fat than a breakfast of bacon and eggs, a Big Mac and fries, and a steak dinner combined.” The practice continues today. For example, according to DietFacts.com, a small popcorn from Regal Cinema Group (the largest theater chain in the United States) still contains 29 g of saturated fat, as much as three Big Macs and the equivalent of a full day-and-a-half’s reference daily intake. (Source: Wikipedia). Moral of the story, just say no to movie popcorn. [2]

This isn’t the kind of popcorn we’re talking about. No way! We’re talking about the very essence of what popcorn is, we want to go back to the neighborhood where popcorn grew up, to it’s humble beginnings. Simple is almost always better.

So, what do we actually mean? Well, let me break it down like a fraction, well actually a recipe. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments. Thanks!

Recipe:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
Sea salt, to taste
Spirulina powder to taste – We buy ours from Amazon

Directions:
Heat the oil in a 3 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add 4-5 kernels of popcorn and wait until they pop. Add the remaining popcorn kernels and cover. Wait 30 seconds.

Return the pan to the stovetop and cook over medium-high heat. As popcorn begins popping, gently shake the pan back and forth. Keep the lid slightly tilted to allow steam to escape. Continue shaking the pan and cook until popping slows down and most the kernels have popped. Pour into a large bowl.

Sprinkle on salt and spirulina! Green fingers and lips really are cool.

Sources and more info:
[1] University of Maryland school of medicine
[2] Wikipedia – Popcorn
[3] Wikipedia – Spirulina

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Matthew Turner permalink
    July 27, 2012 12:38 pm

    Wow! What a great idea. Have you tried the hawaiian spirulina from Nutrex? I noticed the one you like to claims to be organic, which Nutrex does not. Thanks!

    • July 27, 2012 12:58 pm

      Glad you like it Matthew! We hope that you can enjoy it soon! You’re right, the powder we use does claim organic. Some interesting tidbits about that. Until recently, much spirulina was certified organic. In 2002, the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board voted to disallow the use of Chilean nitrate. (source Wikipedia). Also, check out this very helpful article if you’d like to learn more.

      • Matthew Turner permalink
        July 27, 2012 2:09 pm

        That is really interesting… The organic one you link to looks good. I’ll go with that!

      • July 27, 2012 2:54 pm

        Excellent! We hope you enjoy it!

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