Homemade: Kettle Corn

Popcorn used to be my favorite snack as a kid, definitely being eaten daily after school, and sometimes willingly being subbed out for meals. Did anyone else have such an obsession with the kettle corn microwavable packs? Seriously, I love popcorn.

I was heartbroken after reading Food Babe’s article on Why Microwave Popcorn Is An Absolute Health Nightmare, so I quickly made the switch to air popping my own.  It took some time to get used (i.e. burning a lot of batches), but have finally been able to reproduce microwavable kettle corn on a healthier, tastier level.

Popcorn is a great low calorie snack, quick to make, and easy to take on the go or smuggle into movie theaters.  Make sure the kernels you purchase are Non GMO & Organic. Genetically modified corn is a horrendous ingredient and should really be avoided altogether. If you haven’t seen & rented the documentary Genetic Roulette, it’s a must watch.
What a great excuse to eat some popcorn, ay?

Homemade: Kettle Corn Popcorn

Not to mention the kettle corn sold at the fair…. So good, yet I can’t help but think of how sugary each bite of that stuff is. Really, who needs to eat a bag of popcorn 1/3 of their body height anyway?

Using coconut crystals keeps the sugar content low on this kettle corn, with only 4 grams per tablespoon.  Feel free to use more or less, depending on your own body’s response to sugar.
We purchased 3 lbs. for $12, so it’s a pretty inexpensive switch to make in your own kitchen.

Homemade Kettle Corn 

Ingredients:

+  1/3 c. non-gmo popcorn kernels

+  2 tbs. coconut oil  (use more as drizzle after popped, if desired)

+  3-4 tbs. coconut sugar crystals

+  salt, if desired

+ large saucepan & lid

 

1.  Heat coconut oil in pan w/ lid on.

2.  Pour kernels in oil when it starts bubbling.

3.  Wearing oven mitts, hold pan and gently shake the kernels,
making sure they don’t burn.

4.  Continue shaking as they pop.

5.  Turn off heat before the last kernel pops
& drizzle in melted coconut oil or grass fed butter.

6.  Sprinkle coconut crystals and a dash of salt.

7.  Shake some more.

 

Be sure to also try Food Babe’s Superfood Popcorn and let me know what other combinations to try.
Happy Snacking!

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Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

1. My favorite nutritionist, Christa Orecchio, on Boosting Your Metabolism. (http://thewholejourney.com)

2. Ditching eggs for breakfast & eating TOAST– (http://cupcakesandcashmere.com)

3. Morning Meditation: Aliveness.  (meditationoasis.com)

4. California City Guides, to help plan our next trip. (designsponge.com)

5. Learning to trust & heal your gut with Underground Wellness’s Kombucha Kamp Podcast. (undergroundwellness.com)

6. Catching up on my Food To-Eat Pinterest board.

Well Rounded

Balance

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that life is all about finding a balance.  I’ve struggled with the thought of this forever, thinking that if I work hard, play nice, stay healthy, and make the money that I need, that everything should fall into place as it should, I’d be happy, and my life would be balanced

yogaLAB / thekarmaconceptblog

Finding Balance In Life // Life Wheel

But creating a balanced life takes work, and especially, it takes awareness.  Without realizing what’s abundant, what’s weak, or what’s completely missing, we’re just set towards a bumpy road.

I’ve learned the hard way that focusing only on physical things (work, school, physical health) will drive a person to sickness. It has seemed that if something is going really great in life, sooner or later another aspect starts deteriorating. Personally, I start to focus so much on the happiness and fulfillment of the good areas that I don’t nourish the other realms; the areas that may not be holding up so well and the areas that need some attention.

Regarding my own health, it started declining when I thought my career was moving forward at a great speed, and my body was stronger that it ever had been.  I had just moved to a new city and I was so excited to be finishing my degree, working in my field of study, and teaching yoga. Several months into this fulfillment phase, I started feeling like I was blowing out my mind/body/spirit connection.  I started getting chronically fatigued, physically sick for weeks at a time, and finding my body becoming sensitive to certain foods.  I thought I had everything figured out around me, but really I was just hiding from the areas that weren’t so bountiful, and not really considering my whole picture.

Being around naturopathic doctors and holistic health counselors has taught me to look at the bigger picture.  By studying your life in all aspects and taking small steps to improve what is running low, it’s easy to boost your overall health.

conjourneo life wheel // thekarmaconceptblog

The Life Wheel is something health counselors have used for years, and some versions even date back to ancient Buddhism.  I like to use the site Cojourneo to analyze where I am in my holistic health circle and see what needs improving.  This site also gives you tips to boosting what is low, and management sources for each category.  I’ve posted my own circle above, and plan to update it here quarterly, as a way to look back to see where I have improved and hold myself accountable to my own personal changes.

Although these aspects can change on a weekly or daily basis, I think it’s good to see where you have come from and where you are going with your own health and happiness. You might be surprised and inspired to start taking steps to a more balanced life.

Once your through and have your wheel in front of you, view each area like spokes on a bicycle.  If this wheel were on your bike would it be wobbly? Or is it pretty well balanced and just lacking adequate inflation?  The goal is to create a round circle first, so your bike can ride smoothly and then begin filling the circle in so the whole wheel is colorful, centered, and makes your bike easy to ride.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.39.40 AM

source

It’s not about finding balance, but creating balance in your life.

What does your circle look like? What areas do you need help improving? What ideas do you have to create more balance in your life?

Namaste,
Leah

Veggie Blend Pizza Crust

Gluten Free Pizza. Cauliflower, Almond Flour, & Kale Crust. { thekarmaconcept }

Going on a heavy veggie lifestyle change has created a need for creative carb alternative food.  In my previous posts, I explained how much I loved bread products, and with this recipe, you can hardly tell its free from wheat & gluten!  It’s also a wonderful way to hide extra veggies in your kids’ and husbands’ food. 😉  My boyfriend can’t stand the taste of kale, and its the only way I’ve found to get him to eat this superfood.

 I’d experimented with many cauliflower crust recipes, and while they all tasted great, they could never stand up to the “hold test”, no matter how long I cooked it for.  My toppings were always falling off and I never had the same satisfaction eating pizza with a fork… This recipe blends 3 ingredients in the crust, resulting in a pizza you can grab with one hand without the toppings falling off.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cauliflower crumbles (about one medium cauliflower head)
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • handful of kale, finely chopped

Oven @ 450 degrees F

Gluten Free Pizza. Cauliflower, Almond Flour, & Kale Crust. { thekarmaconcept }

Directions:

(To make cauliflower crumbles, slowly add small pieces of cauliflower into food processor or blender on chop mode.)

1. Microwave cauliflower for 5 minutes. Let cool. Strain using cheesecloth or thin dish towel.  The more water you can release, the better.

2. Mix all ingredients together, until well blended. (If it seems a little too wet, add a bit of almond flour. This depends on how much water you were able to strain from cauliflower.)

3. Roll mixture into a ball and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

4. Lightly wet your hands and begin to spread dough into pizza shape, 1/4″ thick. ( I find you have to keep pressing in the sides so there are no cracks in the dough.)

5. Brush olive oil on perimeter area, if desired.

6. Bake dough for 15-20 minutes @ 450 degrees F.

7. Add desired toppings & bake for 10-15 more minutes.  This just depends on toppings used, and how well done you like your veggies and crust.

The toppings on this pizza include (more) kale, asparagus, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms.

8. Let cool & enjoy!

* I love using pesto instead of pizza sauce because there is no sugar and I find that it somehow has the taste of cheese.  I opt to not include cheese on my pizzas at all, to keep the recipe dairy free.

* I also recommend always using organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

Let me know what you think and what toppings you like to include on your pizzas!

-Leah