Monday, April 8, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday: Microwave Popcorn

My older son is in kindergarten.  I get daily reports as a part of a behavior plan for him (I may have mentioned before, but he has Asperger's Syndrome).  If he does well, he gets a special snack when he gets home.

He always selects popcorn as a snack.  Always.

We've been stocking up on microwave popcorn, which is both expensive, and kind of slimy and gross.

I was looking into getting an air popper (mine died years ago), but I came across a few people in a post board saying that I could air pop corn in a microwave.

I asked my sister (a font of culinary knowledge) and she pops her in paper bags in the microwave - no oil or other sliminess required.

I have no paper bags, but no worries.  According to the internet I can do this in a covered bowl.

Here's what we need:
A microwave safe bowl
A microwave safe cover for the bowl (I used a plate)
1/4 cup popcorn kernels

Pour the popcorn in the bowl

Cover and microwave.  

I put this on for 3 minutes and stopped it when I heard the pops slow down.  (If the time is running out and the popping sounds are still going, just add time).

VERY CAREFULLY take the cover off.  It's HOT.

If it's so hot, why not let the bowl and plate cool before touching them?  Because ...SCIENCE!  Corn pops when the water in the kernel turns to steam, expands, and ruptures the hard outer layer of the kernel.  The soft starch inside the kernel then expands to make the fluffy part.

What does this have to do with removing the cover?  Simple.  The steam that just left the kernel is going to condense back into water and drip on your popcorn if you wait for it to cool before uncovering it.  And who wants wet popcorn?  Honestly.

What are the benefits of this?
1) It's delicious.
2) It's healthy.
3) It costs pennies per serving.
4) Cleanup is a dream (pretty much rinsing the bowl and plate).
5) If you put the unpopped kernels in a second time, they POP.  So there's no waste.
6) You don't actually have to measure, since you're just listening to the pops to see when it's done.
7) You can make any serving size you want, as often as you want.
8) If your bowl is clear, you can watch it pop, and dance around to the popping sounds like we did.

I'm looking forward to a lot of popcorn afternoons.

1 comment:

  1. I've done microwave popcorn with just the kernels in brown paper lunch bag. That works, although your method is less waste.