Tag Archives: organic

Sea Salt & Caramel Sticky Popcorn

So I was at my best friends house when she decided to try a new recipe she received from one of the parents she teaches who have a lot of expertise in heating healthy.  She shared she was making a healthy dessert option, popcorn; she got out kernels, a pot, and some oil.  I was baffled and just continued to stare strangely.  When she started her burner and began to pour the oil in the pot with a few kernels I was really concerned and decided to speak up and ask “ummm what are you doing”? Boy was that a moment of pride thinking I knew best; little did I know she was about to blow my mind, also referred to as a light bulb moment!  All my life I thought you either had to have a popcorn maker or buy pre-packed popcorn to cook most commonly in the microwave or those special stove top packages.  I can’t believe how simple it is to make popcorn without these “special tools”.  This moment confirmed for me why I am making in this blog, why do we need to complicate everything!  How could I go through my entire life and not ever see one person make popcorn in a pot (with a lid on of course)!  She summed it up best “What else have these big corporations stolen from us”.  It is cheaper to make popcorn yourself, it really doesn’t take that much more time, and you can make it all naturally with the oil of your choice!  You also benefit the environment by avoiding all the packaging that is used for ready to heat packaged popcorn, and likely the thrown out appliance in the landfill if you happened to buy your own popcorn maker.  Sorry for the rant but I really did feel stolen from and very humbled that simple concepts like making your own popcorn was so hard to grasp.

We sat down to eat the popcorn after it finished popping on the stove and she finished making a caramel sauce to pour on top, again out of a few simple ingredients.  After both trying some our eyes lit up and we were speechless.  It was sooo delicious!  I had to get the recipe to share on this blog and to enjoy it for myself.  I also do not know where this recipe originated from to give credit but just sharing I certainly cannot take the credit for this one.

The recipe calls for simple ingredients.  Keep in mind even though this recipe can be made organically with pure ingredients it still involves sugar.  So this dish does have calories you need to be mindful of especially if you eat the entire serving to yourself – which is possible because it is that good!  As with most deserts, even the healthy ones, eat this in moderation, but enjoy it when you need a special sweet treat, as it is likely a much better option than many other things out there.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of popped popcorn
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of molasses OR organic sugar
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon OR 1 tbsp of the powdered form
  • Sea Salt

Steps:

  1. Make your popped popcorn, if you have your own method go for it, if not feel free to leverage the steps in the following post “Making your own Popcorn” https://prayseekfind.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/making-your-own-popcorn/.
  2. To make the caramel sauce you will need a small pot
  3. Add the coconut oil to the small sauce pot and put the heat on to a medium to high level
  4. Add the maple syrup, molasses or sugar, and cinnamon to the pot and wait for it to boil
  5. Once boiled wait a few minutes for it to caramelize, the first time I tried this recipe myself at our families Easter gathering I did not wait long enough!  My step mom showed me this handy trick…fill a glass with cold water, take a spoon and scoop out a small amount of the sauce, drip the sauce on the spoon into the water.  If it turns into caramel you are done!  If it doesn’t keep on waiting a couple more mins.  I find if you wait 5 mins it should be ready but I would recommend you check on your first time making the sauce as everyone’s oven / stove are different.
  6. Put the popped popcorn into a bowl
  7. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top
  8. Mix the popcorn to ensure as many pieces get covered by the caramel
  9. If you are not watching your sodium intake add some sea salt on top and mix again!

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For those who like sweet and salty this is a great treat!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: For 4 servings

Calories 170; Total Fat 10g; Saturated Fat 6.4g; Sodium 139.2mg; Potassium 106.5mg; Carbohydrates 21.5; Fiber 2g; Sugars 13g; Protein 1.1g; Iron 8.1%; Maganese 22.8%;

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Cooking Dried Beans

There are many opinions on-line on the best way to cook beans.  You can buy at least canned or dried beans,  As long as you find canned beans with no added salt I think both options are great!  However for me personally it comes down to prep time, if I have the time I prefer to cook dried beans.  There are many reasons that dried beans have some added benefits to their canned counterparts but only if you take the time to pre-soak them.

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Pre-soaking dried beans claims to have many benefits, below you can find a few:

  • Less cooking time is required after pre-soaking which can help save more nutrients and the cost of energy required when cooking.
  • According to the California Dry Bean Advisory Board it also helps increase your bodies ability to digest beans, as pre-soaking removes complex sugars which can help cause gas if your body is sensitive to fibre or you have recently introduced beans into your diet. For more information click here.
  • Any dirt on the beans will likely be removed after pre-soaking and a few rinses before cooking.
  • Lastly pre-soaking causes beans to start sprouting (when I first read this I was pretty sceptical but as you can see in my picture above, it is no joke!).  According to Wikipedia, sprouts are said to have more nutritional benefits (for more information click here).

There are many different methods for pre-soaking your beans, all methods suggest the longer the soak the better.  Most people recommend soaking overnight.  It is also important that you shouldn’t let them soak too long either as the beans soak up a lot of water so if any parts are no longer covered they can begin to allow mould or other bacteria to grow!  I have learned that the hard way as well, so take it from my wasted bag of dried beans that it is no myth.

Preparation:

  1. Add your desired amount of dried beans to a bowl (or pot if you want to do a hot pre soak)
  2. Remove any shrivled beans or other matter that doesn’t look like it belongs
  3. Add enough water to cover your beans by at least half of your first finger (a couple of inches)
  4. If you are doing a cold water overnight soak just leave the beans as is and wait, and wait some more.  If you prefer to do a hot soak you can bring your water and beans to a boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat and let soak covered overnight.
  5. Rinse your beans after the pre-soak to remove the water and any remaining residue.  Do not use the remaining water for any of your cooking, dispose of it!  The water contains many of the complex sugars that you will want removed to avoid excess gas!
  6. Your beans are ready to cook!  I often enjoy throwing mine into a crock, pot after to cook on low heat for a few hours until I am ready to prepare a snack or dinner later on that day.

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I was up earlier than I expected this morning and found that I had left my sprouted beans for too long (over 24 hours) and had to re-soak another batch.  I decided to take my pictures for the post as well so you could all see what they looked like.  I figured I could edit the pictures during some point of our family Easter get together when I needed a break from all the conversation and yummy eats.  Apparently others took notice!  My brother decided to post an edited pic of me editing my pictures for this blog, check it out below and stay thirsty my friends 😉

photo

Clean Fifteen

Yesterday I listed all the fruits and veggies that you really should try to buy organically because they are the top 12 pieces of produce that contain the most pesticides.  Today I will share the positive side of the story…not only is there 12 fruits and veggies BUT 16 that you can likely get away with buying in the regular produce aisle!  This can help you SAVE $$$ and spend the extra on buying organic for the dirty dozen for more effective results for Eating Clean!

The Clean 16 Fruits/Veggies with the least amount of pesticide residue:

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweat Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Domestic Cantaloupe
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

Source:

EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™