Adventures in Jetlag \\ Spicy Popcorn

Hello friends! As it were, I have had quite an eventful January. I was fortunate to travel to Germany for a few weeks to study introductory German language, culture and society courses. It was so much fun – I learnt heaps, met loads of lovely people and ate a lot of food. 😀 😉

hauptbahnhof.JPG

Here is a picture of Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to prove I left my house this summer

The downside is that I am now a combination of jet-lagged, not yet re-acclimatised to the Queensland heat, and am recovering from a cold. So I’m going with a really simple recipe this week, since I unfortunately didn’t schedule enough posts to see me through before I left Australia. Maybe in a few weeks I will try my hand at cooking German food, even if it ends up being just a sausage in (wholegrain) bread. 😉

Popcorn is a wholegrain

I’ve probably banged on about why wholegrains are good several times before, so this works in well with my desire to not have to put tonnes of research into this post (because I’d rather sleep tbh).Popcorn in pot.JPG

I remember when I first started studying nutrition, we had to write a bunch of meal plans for assessment. Air-popped popcorn would be my go to choice for a snack every time, because of it being a wholegrain rather than an extra as per the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Later in my studies we learnt quite thoroughly that strict meal plans don’t really work – trying to stick to a meal plan is really hard, and it’s more sustainable to learn some healthy tips and skills, be flexible, and forgive yourself for the occasional treat!

So if you’re a fan of chips and other savoury snacks, give popcorn a go instead – you can get some already air-popped in most supermarkets, or you can try popping some yourself with or without a little vegetable oil and whatever spices and flavourings you like (like in my recipe below).

How does it compare?

Here’s the nutritional information for my spicy popcorn recipe, compared with your average chips or snack crackers (via AUSNUT 2011-13 Database):

spicy-popcorn-info

Note that popcorn is very light, and weighs about half as much as the same volume of potato chips. So whilst the energy is a little higher, 100g of popcorn would be about 8 cups, which is quite a lot, especially compared with the 3.6 cups of plain chips you get per 100g (based on AUSNUT 2011–13 food measures database). And the fibre content is high, which means it’ll keep you fuller.

The recipe – Spicy Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (e.g. canola)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt (1/4 tsp) & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup popping corn

popcorn-spices-and-oil

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add spices, salt/pepper and popping corn.
  3. Cover, and shake pan until popping finishes.
  4. Remove from heat.

Impressions:

I think I burnt the spices by cooking them for too long before adding the popping corn, so it turned out kind of bland and bitter. For this reason I’ve written in the recipe to add the spices at the same time as the popping corn, in hopes it’ll turn out a little nicer. I’m not sure whether to call this a failure – it’s not inedible, but it’s not incredible either.

P1010207.JPG

Sizzling spices and burnt pan bottoms

 

I’m hoping try again in different flavours throughout the year – I’d love to get it right to have a quick and easy snack on hand. Regardless of the questionable success of the recipe, I’m posting it because I refuse to break my New Year’s resolution deadline this early!

What are some fun flavour combos you’d like to try?

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