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The cloudy rainy morning turned into a gorgeous bright afternoon.  I feel like the most amazing weather always happens after downpours or thunderstorms or tornadoes (lies I’ve never experienced a tornado). I bet Noah experienced a few good days after the whole arc drama.

You know whats great about rainy mornings though? It’s a great excuse to dig into those pantries and explore. That evaporated milk you got hidden back in there or the dried beans you never remember buying.  Take them out (check the expiration date) and see what you can see. This week I discovered those old forgotten Orville Redenbacher kernels.  

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Ahh popcorn.  It reminds me of slumber parties, movie theaters, Jack Sparrow and Lord of the Rings.  Those kernels that can be covered in butter and salt or doused in caramel just make movies all the sweeter.  And these little kernels are nutritious fireworks. 1 cup of air popped kernels provides 1 gram of fiber and a mere 30 calories.  Popcorn is a whole grain that has as many anti-oxidants as most fruits and vegetables. And I quote from an article on Livestrong.com written by Molly Mc Adams, “According to a study published in the May 2008 issue of the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association,” popcorn eaters consume more than twice as many whole grains and more than 22 percent more fiber than people who don’t eat popcorn.”

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/97610-nutritional-value-popcorn/#ixzz23B6SkBBp

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Hurray! I love it when delicious foods are good for you. Alright so we already know that popcorn can be made sweet, salty but what about into muffins? Yes. Popcorn muffins. Actually Cherry Pecan Popcorn Muffins (try saying that one 3 times fast)

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Cherry Pecan Popcorn Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

Muffin

  • 5 cups of popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt

Topping

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 Tbs butter, melted

Directions

Muffins

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Rub butter along the muffin tin to ensure the muffins won’t stick when baking
  3. Blend popcorn in a food processor or a blender
  4. Combine ground popcorn, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cherries, set aside
  5. Beat milk, egg, oil, vanilla extract and yogurt together and pour over dry ingredients, stir until combined
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tins until about half full

Topping

  1. Mix all ingredients together until well combined
  2. Crumble evenly on top all muffins
  3. Bake muffins 15-18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned

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Usually now I would say enjoy, or good luck, or have fun baking! But not today! You guys, I’ve got another recipe! (I have a lot of time on my hands) Another truly delectable sweet addition to normal everyday popcorn. 

Glazed Lemon and Flaxseed Popcorn

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Ingredients

  • 4 quarts air-popped popcorn
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp Flaxseed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or buttered aluminum foil
  3. Spread popcorn onto sheet
  4. In a small bowl whisk together egg white, guar, salt lemon extract and lemon zest until foamy*
  5. Pour mixture over popcorn and sprinkle with the flaxseed
  6. Bake for 20 minutes stirring once halfway through baking
  7. Let cool completely, to finish hardening process, before eating/storing**

Notes

  •  *This step took a little elbow grease, don’t fret if you don’t get white peaks just a little froth will be fine
  • ** I let the mixture sit in the oven after I turned it off for 1/2 hour after the baking.  It helped it harden up (like caramel corn) but I wouldn’t recommend leaving it for much longer than that or you will end up with dry shriveled up bits of yet again forgotten kernels
  • Both of these recipes are adapted from Health Quarterly, a section of The Record/Herald newspaper published on August 9th, 2012
  • The original recipe Glazed Lemon and Flaxseed Popcorn called for Poppy seeds instead of flaxseed. I think poppy seed would be delicious however I only had flaxseed. you know how these things go.

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Alright well there ya go.  2 recipes for the price of one. Both, as Alton Brown would say, are good eats! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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