When it comes to healthy snacks, popcorn seems to be an all-rounder. It has that rare combination of taste and nutrition that we often long for, especially when on a weight loss diet. The addictive crunchiness of this snack, as well as the utter ease and convenience of preparation, is what makes it so popular. Popcorn is a favoured movie-time snack, but it can be much more than that. You might have read in numerous places that popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks out there. A cup of popcorn eaten between meals can satiate your hunger pangs and can give you the much-needed boost in energy, without overshooting your calorie-budget. But if you’re not on a weight loss diet, you can still find other uses for popcorn in cooking.
Plain popcorn doesn’t have any distinctive taste but come with a whole lot of crunch, which can be a welcome addition in a number of dishes.
We’re here to tell you about some unique ways to utilise leftover popcorn to elevate the crunch-factor of everyday dishes:
1. Add popcorn to bhelpuri
Bhel puri is a much-loved street food that is made from puffed rice, crispy papdi, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and tossed with tamarind chutney, salt and chilli powder. You may add some plain popcorn to your bhel puri instead of the deep-fried papdis. The crunchiness will remain intact, but your bhel will become a tad healthier.
How to use leftover popcorn: Replace papdi with popcorn in bhel puri
2. Add popcorn to fried chicken batter
Grind plain popcorn to get a coarse powder that can be used to coat chicken while making fried chicken. You can use coarsely ground plain popcorn if you don’t have breadcrumbs or panko. The same can be done for any fried meat or cheese of your choice.
3. Add popcorn to granola and granola bars
Plain popcorn can also be added to homemade granola and granola bars. Popcorns are rich in fibre and hence can be used to add some much needed healthy carbs to your granola. A 100 gm of popcorn contains 13 gm of dietary fibre (as per the United States Department of Agriculture data). Fibre is important for keeping you full, regulating hunger and blood sugar levels.
4. Add popcorn to your desserts
Caramelised or chocolate popcorn can be added to chocolate cakes and cheesecakes. The crunch of the popcorn compliments the creamy sweetness of these desserts very well. You may also add ground popcorn to your biscuit base for cakes or simply use it to decorate the cakes. You may also add it to cookie and brownie batter as well as parfaits and puddings to add a unique texture to them.
5. Add popcorn to your salads
This is an innovative way to add crunch and taste to your cold or warm salads. Plain popcorn can be added to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian salads to amp up the taste and nutrition. Popcorn packs in a punch of fibre and protein and hence, can be great additions to your salads.
You can basically add popcorn to any dish that could do with some crunchiness. Once you start experimenting with this snack, you may discover other ways of using up your leftover popcorn in creative ways. Make sure you use only good quality popcorn that is devoid of artificial flavours and does not contain excessive salt.