How to Make Popped Quinoa

Over the years I have come across many different ways of cooking quinoa. The most unusual is that of popping. I have also seen this described as toasted quinoa. There a number of things you can do once you have toasted it but first let me describe the best way to pop your quinoa.

Popping Your Quinoa

Take a small amount of vegetable oil and warm it in a pan on the hob. Some cooks say you do not need the oil but in my experience using just a teaspoonful makes all the difference. Once the oil is warm put a cup of quinoa grain in the pan and heat it up. Always keep the grains moving. After a minute or so you will start to see the grains start popping in the pan. They can jump up a couple of inches and make the same sound a popcorn popping.

When the quinoa grains start to turn light brown they are ready to remove from the pan. Take care not to over cook the grains as this can happen very quickly. Cool the grains on a plate for 30 minutes and they are ready to eat. They taste a bit like peanuts and popcorn mixed together.

What To Do With The Popped Grains

I have mixed the popped quinoa with some toasted brown flax seed to make the most exquisite mix of flavours. With popped flax you have to cover the pan with a lid and shake it during cooking. This is because the flax grains jump up high enough to jump out of the pan.

With pop quinoa and pop flax, some added nuts and raisins you have one of the healthiest snacks you could imagine. It also tastes completely delicious. Once you have made a batch you can store it for a few days in an airtight container. I guarantee it won’t last that long because you will eat it.

A second thing to do once you have popped your quinoa is to add 2 cups of water and boil it in the usual way. The seeds will absorb all the water and there is the extra nutty taste to go with whatever recipe you are making.

The final thing you can try is sprinkling the toasted quinoa over your breakfast porridge. It tastes good with quinoa flakes and the traditional oat porridge flakes. It also makes the porridge a highly nutritious and substantial start to the day.

Source by Ken H Jones

Commercial Popcorn Machines – Tips on How To Operate and Use Them for Fun and Profit

Popcorn is very healthy and easy to make and fun to eat! And today more people than ever before own a commercial popcorn machine. Commercial style popcorn machines make popping theater style popcorn a breeze…tender, fluffy and very delicious.

Looking for some tips and secrets on how to use a commercial popcorn machine and to how keep it running great for years to come, and without constant maintenance and repairs? Then read below for some advice on how to operate a commercial popcorn machine. Whether you are using your commercial popcorn machine for fun or for profit, you will find tips here that you will not find anywhere else.

Commercial Popcorn Machines normally feature three operating controls or buttons. Most times you will find three switches at or near the top front of the popcorn machine . The front meaning the side with the two plexus-glass doors that pull open . The first button normally is the heat switch, or sometimes referred to as the kettle heat switch. This button is your most important button. Once you activate this button, it allows the kettle to heat up quickly up to 350 to 400 degrees F.

The most important thing to remember with this switch is to turn the heat switch to the off position when your popcorn popping is nearing completion. In other words, when you decide you have popped enough popcorn for the moment, and as you hear the kernels winding down in popping intensity, turn off the heat kettle switch.

This action prevents your popcorn from burning and keeps the internal parts of the kettle called the heating elements and thermostats from burning out themselves. And don’t worry if you will have enough heat to complete your popping; at this point the kettle is very hot and has sufficient heat to complete the process.

The second button is normally the motor button. This button activates the motor that turns the agitator to keep your popcorn, oil, and salt in constant motion in the kettle so your popcorn does not burn. Activate that button after activating your heat switch.

The third button controls the heat lamp. It is the heat lamp bulb in the upper right or upper left rear corner in your popcorn machine. You can activate the heat lamp when you activate the kettle heat and motor switch. The lamp will help keep your popcorn warm and fresh after you have popped your popcorn.

How long do you wait before you add your popcorn, oil, and salt to the kettle? General rule is about 30 seconds before you add your oil, but not more that one minute.

You NEVER want to have an empty popcorn kettle on for too long once you have activated the heat switch. As we discussed earlier, you will quickly burn out the internal parts in your popcorn kettle if you activate the heat switch without the oil and popcorn.

What ingredient do I put in first? You always want to put in the oil first. Especially if you are using coconut oil, wait about 10 seconds after putting the oil in, this will give the coconut oil a few seconds to melt first. If you are using portion pack popcorn paks, cut off the top part of the package with the oil side first. It’s important to always having a scissors around for this assignment. Once you have the top open on the coconut or canola oil side, slowly squeeze the oil up like you would be squeezing toothpaste. Then cut the top off the rest of the package that includes the popcorn and salt, and carefully proceed to pour the rest of the packet into the kettle.

One special note: in order to prevent the burning of your hands, always try to place a part of the plastic package on the kettle and not your hand.

What do I do when the popcorn has finished popping? Don’t turn off the motor yet, only the heat button if you are not planning to pop another batch of popcorn. Usually you dump the popcorn out using the

popcorn kettle handle. Read your operating instruction manual for this operation. Each manufacturer has designed the kettle handle and kettle uniquely. The important thing to remember is to dump out the popcorn gently from the kettle. DO NOT Bang the kettle or swing the kettle hard trying to get out that last kernel. Use your popcorn scoop while your kettle is in the open and in the down position to clean out the last of the popcorn kernels or seeds. There are wires inside the kettle and in the neck of the kettle, and they can break with excessive force or swinging. Then it is off to the repair shop if they break.

One final note on how much popcorn and oil you need to add to your popcorn kettle….. The quantity of popcorn you can put in the kettle is measured by the size of the kettles. For 4 oz kettles, you can put 4 oz. of raw popcorn seed. For small families or groups, a four once (110 grams) should work out fine. For six ounce kettles, you can put in 6 Oz. of popcorn seed and so on.

If you follow these guidelines when operating your commercial popcorn machine, your popcorn machine will serve you well with fewer break downs, and fewer trips to the repair shop. And fewer breakdowns will save you money and headaches no matter if you are using your commercial popcorn machine for fun or profit.

Source by Mark Schneider

Hot Air Popcorn Poppers: A Review of Pros and Cons

If you have not been familiar with hot air popcorn poppers until now, you might be confused on whether they are actually handy small appliances. This article reviews the pros and cons of these devices by comparing them with other methods of making popcorn.

The key difference between the conventional methods of making popcorn and hot air popping is that you do not need to add any oil when doing the latter. This gives you unparalleled control over the calories you take and you can avoid eating burnt oil that often results from using it for cooking. As for the taste, while no fat is certainly the best choice for your health, some may find it too bland. However, this is hardly a problem because you can always add some butter or spray some olive oil on it after it comes out of the unit. This is definitely healthier than using the oil to fry the corn and as most people would agree, it is tastier.

Another good thing about a hot air popcorn popper is how quick and simple it is. All you have to do is to fill the unit with some corn and plug the unit in. It does need some supervision as it does its job but that will not take more than a few minutes. Moreover, it needs little if any cleaning afterwards.

People often end up heating corn in a pan or microwave because they do not want to spend money on a hot air popcorn popper they will use only rarely. What they forget is that these devices help you save on ingredients and energy. To make popcorn in a microwave, you need to buy special corn sealed in paper bags with oil and other ingredients, which costs more than plain corn. As for the pan, you waste a lot of heat when heating the corn in it on the stove, which will add to your bills. A popcorn maker that costs $20 can let you save a few pennies every time you make yourself a snack. Indeed, there is good reason to think that this very cheap device will pay for itself over time.

One of the tops arguments against hot air poppers is that they are plastic and may contain Bisphenol A, which is a chemical hazardous to health. This is not a just argument because the plastic parts of the unit almost never comes into contact with the corn. Moreover, some there are models that contain strictly no Bisphenol A and that should reassure people with concerns.

In short, a comparison of different methods of making popcorn shows us that hot air popcorn poppers have significant advantages. One of these little electric devices can let you make a delicious snack within minutes without adding any high-calorie ingredients.

Source by Sol A Patria

Tips on Prepping Your Home for a Popcorn Ceiling Removal Project

Popcorn ceilings were pretty popular back between the 1950s and the 1980s. They were affordable, and they were rather easy to install. It was pretty much the standard in homes back then, especially in hallways and bedrooms.

Not only were they cost-effective and easily installed, popcorn ceilings were also opted for because they easily hid imperfections. There was no need to smooth out any flaws in the ceiling since the sprayed-on material essentially covered it. Popcorn ceilings also have acoustical traits and are able to keep sound from traveling, which is why they were pretty popular in bedrooms.

But popcorn ceilings are no longer favored by homeowners and buyers. In fact, popcorn ceilings are now considered unattractive, which is a big reason why many homeowners have been steadily removing them from their homes since the 1980s. And the fact that asbestos is often found in this material makes the removal of popcorn ceilings even more important.

If you’re like many other homeowners out there who still have popcorn ceilings in your home, you’ve probably decided that it’s time for them to go. If so, it’s essential that you bring in professionals in the realm of popcorn ceiling removal to have this material removed in favor of a much smoother, more aesthetically appealing finish.

To make this job more effective, there are some things you can do as a homeowner to prepare your home for popcorn ceiling removal.

Seal Off the Floors

Let’s face it. Popcorn ceiling removal is extremely messy. All that material that is being scraped off turns into minuscule dust particles that can get everywhere, including your ducts.

Before the popcorn ceilings are removed, the floors must be completely covered from wall to wall. To do that, you will need thick plastic sheets that are then going to be taped down at every wall so the floors are entirely covered. Then, you will use contractor paper to add another layer on top of the thick plastic so that there’s no chance of slipping while working in the area.

The paper is also placed because it will absorb any moisture that can accumulate in the area. In order to remove popcorn ceiling material using the scraping method, water will need to be sprayed on top of the material to soften it. Doing so will make it a lot easier to scrape the material off. But spraying water on the ceiling also means that water will eventually fall onto the floor. By having paper laid on top of the plastic sheet, the water will be effectively absorbed.

Close Off Doorways

In order to prevent the popcorn ceiling material from making its way into the hallway and other parts of your home, you may want to close off any doorways that lead outside of the room. This will help to make the cleanup job much easier once the material has been removed from your ceiling.

Cover Your Furniture

If you plan to leave the furniture in the rooms where the popcorn ceilings are being removed, you will definitely want to protect them from all those dust particles.

As such, it is important that you cover every furniture piece. Get yourself some transparent plastic sheets and cover each piece entirely, including the back. Once you do, push each piece against the wall.

You’re then going to take another sheet and cover them in a second layer, but this next one is going to cover the furniture just in the front. The top of the plastic sheet will be taped to the wall just above the furniture in order to prevent any popcorn ceiling material from falling behind the furniture as it is being removed.

Make sure that both sheets of plastic completely cover the furniture and go right to the bottom. By covering your furniture in this way, any popcorn ceiling material will just slide right off each piece and onto the floor, containing the material and protecting your furniture at the same time.

Gather the Necessary Tools

As we just mentioned, large sheets of plastic, contractor paper, and painter’s tape (to tape down the plastic and paper) are needed to cover the floor and the furniture in the room where the popcorn ceiling material is being removed. But in addition to these items, you will need to gather a few other tools to get the job done, including:

• Bucket of water – As mentioned above, water is necessary to help soften the sprayed-on material and make it easier to remove it. As such, a water source will be required.

• Garden sprayer – In order to apply the water to the ceiling, a garden sprayer will be required to apply the water in an even layer across the ceiling, which will be done in patches.

• Utility knife – The material will need to be scraped, and a utility knife will be required to physically scrape the material off of the ceiling.

• Ladder – In order to reach the ceiling, a ladder will be required to help get to the surface when scraping off the material.

• Cross bench – These help to provide a surface upon which to stand when large pieces of furniture remain in the room, such as beds. The cross bench can be laid across the bed and affixed to a ladder on each side to provide a surface to stand on above the furniture.

While prepping your home for the removal of your popcorn ceiling material is certainly helpful, the actual job itself should be left to the experts. This job is a messy and labor-intensive one, and it can be a lot harder than it sounds. Even after the material has been removed, there will likely be imperfections left behind from all that scraping. Not only that, but there may be asbestos present in the material, which will make the job a lot more intricate.

Either way, having professionals in popcorn ceiling removal will make things a lot easier for you and will ensure that you’re left with nothing but a smooth, attractive ceiling that not only looks better, but can even boost the value of your home.

Source by Louie Tzat

An Introduction To Popcorn

Popcorn has been a perfect snack for most families to have while watching TV. It is available in many flavors such as caramel, plain salted, tomato, cheese, Dill Pickle, Salt and Vinegar, Cheese, White Cheddar, Holiday Corn, and White Popcorn.

Many people consider popcorn a diet food since it does not contain sugar, is light, fluffy, and easily digestible. Popcorn contains healthy carbohydrates, which makes it a good source of energy. Popcorn is a whole grain food and a wholesome source of fiber. Popcorn is a great option that works to restrain hunger between meals. People can feast on popcorn instead of starving and staying hungry until the next meal.

Popcorn is available in two varieties, buttered and unbuttered. Large buttered movie popcorn normally contains 1500 calories a cup. However, for diet conscious people, unbuttered popcorn is available that contains only about 50 calories per cup.

Unbuttered popcorn is a good staple for low-calorie diet. Unbuttered popcorn can become boring and tasteless after some time. There are many things people can do to make unbuttered popcorn a tastier snack. A dash of cinnamon, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and onion salt, peanuts and raisins can add to the flavor. These are options that make unbuttered popcorn a little sweeter or a savory to suit the palate.

People can make popcorn at home or purchase it ready made from local stores. There are grocery stores that sell sugar-free, reduced calorie caramel corn, plain salted unbuttered instant popcorn and many other varieties. Corn kernels are also available that can be popped at home. People can also choose from many different colors and types of popcorn and popcorn oils from grocery shops. However, all varieties of colored popcorn pop a shade of white, but each color does have its own exclusive appearance, texture and most importantly flavor.

Source by Elizabeth Morgan

How To Remove Popcorn Ceilings

It’s something that buyers cringe seeing when previewing homes for sale. The dreaded (and dated) popcorn ceiling. It’s a job that, with a little time and effort, can easily be tackled by a homeowner. But, can also be hired out at a reasonable price to a professional. Having a smooth ceiling can make a big difference in any room. A do-it-yourselfer can easily tackle the popcorn ceiling removal, but it will take some time, manual labor and also a variety of supplies. The hardest part about the job is usually looking up at the ceiling for an extended period of time.

One problem that may come up when investigating the removal of a popcorn ceiling is if the ceiling has been painted over. If paint has been applied to the popcorn ceiling texture, then it will prevent water from being absorbed into the texture (making removal more difficult). Additional items may be used to aid in the removal of the popcorn texture. Usually, a chemical stripper applied to the area will aid in the breakdown of the paint barrier.

If you decide to remove the popcorn ceilings yourself, then make sure to wear a respirator or dust mask as well as eye protection. Keeping the section that you are working on damp will aid in reducing the dust created by the removal of the popcorn ceiling.

Here are 7 Steps to Help in Removing Popcorn Ceilings:

Step 1: Before tackling the project of removing popcorn ceilings, it must be determined if it contains asbestos. If the home was built before 1978, then sending off a few samples for testing is a must. Any EPA certified testing lab should be able to test the samples. Keep in mind that the popcorn texture that contained asbestos could still be purchased off of store shelves even into the 1980’s. Should your ceiling contain asbestos, then a certified asbestos removal contractor should be hired to complete the job. Keep in mind that by law, any material that contains over 1 percent asbestos must be removed by an asbestos removal professional. Leaving an asbestos ceiling in place doesn’t inflict much harm, it’s when the asbestos is disturbed that it poses a greater health risk.

Step 2: The next step of the project is to prepare the room. To do this, all light fixtures should be removed (but make sure to turn off the power before this is done). If any furniture is in the room, then it can be either removed or covered. Next, put up plastic sheeting on the walls and flooring attached with painters tape to catch all of the popcorn ceiling residue.

Step 3: Begin to wet the ceiling. A garden sprayer is a perfect tool for this step as you work in an area of 4 to 5 square feet at a time. Just be careful not to over-wet the ceiling area.

Step 4: Scrape, scrape, scrape. The ‘popcorn’ like material can be removed by scraping the ceiling with a joint knife or another similar tool. If an area presents difficulty in removing the popcorn ceiling, then additional water may be needed to wet the area more thoroughly.

Step 5: Cover any nail holes or bare joints with joint compound. Then, sand the ceiling in preparation for priming and painting.

Step 6: Paint or texture coat the ceiling. Visit a paint store professional for suggestions on paint. Most professionals will suggest a drywall primer to be applied first followed by a ceiling paint or conventional paint. Keep in mind that a flat finish usually hides imperfections better than other types of paint finishes.

Step 7: Clean up! The chances are that the space is dramatically updated by the removal of the popcorn ceiling. Now it’s time to clean up and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The removal of dated popcorn ceilings can make a big difference in just about any space and the smooth ceiling will add value to the home.

Source by Rick Toney

How to Color Microwave Popcorn?

Making popcorn in the microwave is so easy that at times it can be boring to eat the same type of popcorn over and over again. However, you can now be a little creative and use some simple ingredients in your kitchen to make color microwave popcorn. This is also easy, but at least you will not be bored eating the same colored popcorn whilst sitting in front of your favorite television show.

Prepare microwave popcorn like you normally would. If you want to use butter as a part of the coloring process, opt for butter-free popcorn brand. Once you have finished popping the corn kernels, empty the packet into a bowl.

At this point you may get tempted to much on a few. Stop that temptation at once, as you will have more fun eating colored microwave popcorn.

Use the food coloring of your choice and then match the coloring with a corresponding dried herb or spice from your kitchen. For instance, you can match the red food coloring with paprika, green with dried chives or parsley and yellow with curry powder. If you like sweet popcorn, you can use Jell-O or drink mixes to make your popcorn sweet and also give it different colors, such as purple, pink or lime green.

Melt the required amount of butter in a pan and add a couple of drops of the food coloring into it. Make sure that the butter is unsalted. Stir well. Pour the colored butter onto the popcorn. Toss the popcorn well to ensure that it get covered with the butter. Sprinkle some of the corresponding herb or spice to add a unique flavor to your colored popcorn. Check the intensity of the color. If it is too light, add some more melted butter with food coloring or a little more the spice or herb.

Be careful while adding the food coloring to the melted butter, as adding too much will make your microwave popcorn inedible. Go easy with it. Also, it is best to used freshly minced or ground herbs instead of dried herbs. When using flavored drink mixes or Jell-O, go easy with the amount you use to ensure that the popcorn does not turn out too sweet. Add the mix gradually and keep tasting the butter until you get the desired color and taste.

As you can see, it is very easy to make colored microwave popcorn. All you need is some time to make this unique and delicious snack.

Source by Kum Martin

The History of Popcorn Balls and How to Make Them

The winter holidays always bring images of popcorn to mind. Whether you are stringing it up on the tree or eating it out of a festive popcorn tin at Grandma’s, it is definitely an American comfort food that is a warm treat during cold weather. One of the most popular forms of popcorn eaten during the holiday season is the popcorn ball– some people would even say that they are a popular holiday food because you can eat them or use them as a Christmas ornament. Although for most Americans popcorn balls are associated with winter, according to legend they got their start during the summer.

Where did the idea for popcorn balls come from?
If you believe Nebraskan myth, popcorn balls just happened naturally. On a hot and rainy summer day, legend has it that two Nebraska fields were experiencing different extremes in weather. In a field where sugar cane was growing, the crop was being treated to a deluge of warm rain. Next door, a corn field was in direct sunlight being scorched by the summer sun. The rain washed the sugar cane downhill toward the neighboring cornfield, where the heat was so blistering that the corn was popping off the stalks! The syrupy sugar cane washed over the exploding corn kernels, rolling it into balls as it went. But then, grasshoppers ate all of the balls, so the farmers were forced to try to recreate the phenomenon– making the snack we know now!

Obviously, this is myth is pretty far fetched. But no matter how these treats got started, Americans sure do love to eat them. Luckily, they are readily available for purchase but are also fairly easy to make at home.

How do you make popcorn balls?
There are many different ways to create the sticky treat. You can make them with simple syrup for a kettle corn-like popcorn ball or with caramel for an even stickier treat. Here’s the easiest and quickest way to whip up some popcorn balls on short notice.

1. Pop a bowl of popcorn in the microwave or on the stove.
2. Melt 26 caramel candies with 2 teaspoons of water in the microwave or on a double-boiler.
3. Pour the candy over your popcorn.
4. Mix gently and form into balls.
5. Place the balls on a cookie sheet or wax paper to cool and harden.

You can also decorate the treats with sprinkles, add food coloring for assorted colors of balls, or form them around popsicle sticks to provide a convenient way to eat the sticky suckers. You can also add nuts, chocolate or candy to the mix, for variety.

No matter how you choose to prepare your popcorn balls, have fun preparing them! They are an American holiday tradition that has been in families for generations and is sure to stick around.

Source by Hayley Wells