With palms so sweaty I could barely grip my mouse, on Friday afternoon I submitted my dietetic internship application with a single click. Which means I should be celebrating, right?
Instead, honestly, I’m freaking out a little bit. I just sent all of my academic and professional accomplishments off to be judged by people with the power to decide my future. And despite the good grades and experiences I’ve tried to accumulate, questions still niggle at me: Did I get everything right? Do I have what they’re looking for?
What if I’m not good enough?
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve wrangled A’s in some seriously challenging science classes. I’ve gotten a decent amount of clinical experience. And I’ve learned a heck of a lot about healthy recipe development right here on Veggie Quest.
But I’m passionate about nutrition. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than help people heal themselves with food. And yet only 50% of those who apply for a dietetic internship are accepted—and even fewer get into the internships I’m interested in. Since I’d really, really like to be one of those people—well, I guess it makes sense that I’m nervous.
Anyhow, until I hear back about interviews—or not, if they’re just not that into me—I’m going to distract myself by doing what I love best: blogging here at Veggie Quest! Starting with one of the coolest hacks I’ve learned in a long time: how to make popcorn in your microwave, minus the store-bought bags.
The trouble with store-bought microwave popcorn
I confess, until late last year, I was still making microwave popcorn in pre-fab bags. Little did I know that store-bought microwave popcorn spells trouble in two different ways:
1. Costs 6 times as much as homemade
Well, actually more than that. Here’s the breakdown:
Since I eat a lot of popcorn, I was paying way too much for way too long.
2. May contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (try saying that three times fast) is found in the lining of some microwave popcorn bags. However, it’s not the number of syllables in perfluorooctanoic acid that troubles me. It’s that in 2006, the EPA’s Science Advisory Board evaluated PFOA and suggested that it is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”1
Now, I don’t think there’s any data proving that the amount of PFOA in popcorn bags causes cancer, but why risk it when making your own popcorn is so darned easy?
How to make fat free popcorn in your microwave
Making popcorn in the microwave is so simple that when I came across this hack in a McDougall Diet Facebook group, at first I didn’t believe it. I mean, why would they even sell microwave popcorn in special bags if you can make it yourself for pennies?
Anyway, now that I know how to make my own light, crispy popcorn in the microwave—without oil, no less—I’m never going back. Here’s how to do it for yourself:
- Grab a large microwave-safe container (not plastic) with a lid (also preferably not plastic—do as I say, not as I do) 😉
- Pour 1/4 cup of popcorn in the bottom. Leave your kernels plenty of room to breathe, or they’ll stick together.
- Cover, venting slightly.
- Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, or until popping slows to once every 1-2 seconds. (Mine went 4½ minutes; you’ll have to play with your microwave to see how long is best for you.) Note that DIY popcorn takes longer than bagged popcorn to get going (1½ minutes for the first kernel to pop for me). So don’t worry if it takes a little while—it’s working.
- Season and enjoy! I like my popcorn with a spritz of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or a quick shake of popcorn salt and nutritional yeast.
- ¼ c unpopped popcorn
- Pour ¼ cup of popcorn in the bottom of a large microwave-safe container (not plastic) with a lid.
- Cover, venting slightly.
- Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, or until popping slows to once every 1-2 seconds. Note that homemade popcorn takes longer than bagged popcorn to get going (1½ minutes for the first kernel to pop for me). Don't worry if it takes awhile—it's working.
- Season and enjoy! I like mine with a spritz of Bragg's Liquid Aminos or a sprinkle of popcorn salt and nutritional yeast.
- Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-04/documents/factsheet_contaminant_pfos_pfoa_march2014.pdf
Shared on Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Tasty Tuesday, Plant-Based Potluck Party, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Healthy Living Link Party, and Healthy Vegan Fridays.
- Have you ever made DIY microwave popcorn? How did it go?
- How do you unwind when you’re waiting to hear back about a job, internship, or school decision?