Living microwave free – The Popcorn Edition

A few years ago we made the decision to live microwave free. We had one… rarely used it.. so it was the obvious decision.

I’m sure I could go on and on citing a trillion different articles as to why using a microwave is bad for you etc etc. But I’m not gonna. Google it my friends.

That being said there were a few adjustments. Like my favorite Whole Foods Market frozen rice. 😢 just not the same without a microwave…

And those awesome microwaveable scented pad things that you can put on your shoulders and neck. They’re delightful… But what to do when you don’t have a microwave?

One thing that’s MUCH better? POPCORN! Nothing beats stovetop popcorn… My popcorn could kick microwave popcorn’s ass. Maybe even that neat silver JiffyPop we all have fond childhood memories of.

Step 1 – use a large pot – like that you would use for pasta. Give those kernels some room to grow why dontcha?!

Step 2 – pick the right oil. Again there are a million different articles as to why one oil is better than another. Not going there. I choose Coconut. It leaves a very faint coconut flavor, isn’t over oily when popped and has some health benefits.

Step 3 – heat the oil at medium heat. Drop a couple kernels into the melting oil and cover. When those babies pop.. You know it’s time.

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Step 4 – pour about 1/4 – 1/2 cup into the pan depending on number of servings you require I’ve been making it so long I know that if I cover the bottom of my pan it’s approx 10 servings. Know your oil and know your pan. I usually add a bit more oil at this stage for a kick of flavor and benefits.

Step 5 – Put a lid on it! No seriously. And keep it slightly vented to let steam out.

TADA! Delish, healthy stovetop popcorn. No microwave needed. 😊

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I typically just throw some sea salt on but tonight I went all out. I threw on some Penzey’s Spicy 4/S salt. It is now my fave popcorn topping!

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***** What items did you re-learn to cool when you ditched your microwave? Leave me a comment! ***

xoxo
Sarah

Next up – Monk Fruit in the Raw

Thanks to the kind folks at Green Moms Meet and In The Raw I was able to try the new Monk Fruit in the Raw. Most people are familiar with the Sugar in the Raw… turbinado sugar. What the heck is Monk Fruit??

monk fruit

Monk Fruit aka Luo Han Guo hails from Asia. Super sweet like sugar.. none of those pesky calories. Having diabetic family members – I was pretty psyched to try this too! It has less than 1 carb and low glycemic impact. Both very attractive to those that watch their carb intake for dietary reasons. Can you say JUST IN TIME FOR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!!??

So how does it taste? Sweet! I am always hesitant to try sugar alternatives. Why? I blame Stevia. I find Stevia to be very bitter and not enjoyable at all. No matter what the product I can tell if it’s in there. However Monk Fruit in the Raw flies under the radar. I tried it in my tea.. perfectly sweet.

Oh and it measures cup for cup for regular sugar. Only difference.. its SUPER lightweight. I almost threw the bag across the room the first time I picked it up! I used it in my Christmas sugar cookies too! No one could tell the difference. Want the recipe? Head over to see a bunch of other good ones too.. like the Peppermint Brownie Cookies.

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Classic Sugar Cookies (from the In the Raw website)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted sweet butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Monk Fruit In The Raw® Bakers Bag
1/3 cup Sugar In The Raw®, for decoration

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to beat the butter until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture for 3 minutes. Add the egg, then the yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions. Add the Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag and beat until just combined. Reduce the beater speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until the mixture is clumpy. Stop blending and use a flexible spatula to complete mixing the dough by hand.

Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. The dough will be soft and sticky. Shape each half into a log 6-inches long and 2-inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.

To bake the cookies, center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the Sugar In The Raw in a small bowl.

With a sharp, thin knife, cut each log into 1/4-inch slices. If the logs have flattened on one side, use your fingers to gently shape the slices into rounds.  One at a time, lightly press one side of the cookies into the Sugar In The Raw, then place it sugar-side up on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving 1 1/2-inches between cookies.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are firm when pressed in the center and evenly pale gold in color. Let the cookies rest for 1 minute on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Keep the Sugar Cookies tightly covered in a tin, for up to 1 week.

Per serving: 120 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 8 g sugar, 2 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 38 mg sodium, 15mg cholesterol

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What else do I love about it? Well.. the obvious! Bright orange packaging! Oh and it’s GLUTEN FREE!

If you’re like myself and watch your sugar intake, I definitely recommend giving this lovely Luo Han Guo fruit a shot. Head here for some pretty awesome coupons!

xoxo

Sarah

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Science fiction? Nope. Just freeze dried goodness – Frontier Soups review & special discount!

Thanks to my lovely friends at Moms Meet I was lucky enough to try some Frontier Soups. Their lovely gift set included – Chicken Noodle, Red Pepper Corn Chowder, Tomato Basil, Tortilla Soup, Alphabet Soup and Kale & Quinoa Vegetable Soup. All the soups they sent me (except the Alphabet Soup) are certified Gluten Free! All Frontier Soups are free of preservatives, use non-GMO corn and even contain some organic ingredients.

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We’ve all seen em at the grocery store – those little cellophane bags with tiny dried veggies. I’m not a soup aficionado or anything but they just seem like a lot of work right?? I couldn’t have been more wrong. How long does it usually take you to make dinner? I swear with all the prep work and my kids distracting me it feels like hours. With Frontier Soups you’re looking at 15-20 minutes TOPS. Add some warm bread, a small salad. DONE.

My kids are hard pressed to eat soup. They’re 4 & 5. They don’t get it. Do we drink it? Do we chew it? confusing! I made the Alphabet Soup and nothing changed. They totally thought it was awesome that it had letters..score! However it wouldn’t be cool enough for them to actually eat it. Anyways.. I was psyched because it was DELISH AND ALL MINE.

alphabet soup

Vegetable Soup –

1 package Frontier Alphabet Soup mix

6 cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked chicken

You can add what you like which is the best part! I’m usually wary of soups because of their high salt content. Ask me what the Alphabet Soup mix has? 30mg. (Did I mention they don’t add any salt to their mixes?) Not sure how salty most canned soups are? Head to your pantry… right.. now!

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Do you believe me now??! 500mg or higher I bet! This doesn’t mean I don’t want ANY salt. So what I did was add half no sodium stock and half normal stock. For the cooked chicken part.. I grabbed some off my local salad bar. Could it be any easier? And there isn’t any sacrificing of flavor. All the soups I tried were perfectly and expertly seasoned. Those ladies at Frontier sure know what they’re doing. Check out their story.

My total favorite – Red Pepper Corn Chowder. With this soup you start with a broth and then a little cream. The best part – it totally has some heat. I added some kielbasa to mine so it was this great smoky, spicy flavor. OMG I need to buy more STAT!

corn chowder

The Ladies at Frontier were nice enough to extend a discount to my readers and Green Moms Meet members. You can order the same 6 pack I received for $28.80. That’s savings of $7.20!! They’re basically hooking you up with 1 free soup AND free shipping. Do it. now. now. now! Check out the Moms Meet Soup 6-pack here.

Oliver says – TRY THEM NOW!!!

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Do me a solid and check out some social media sites:

Frontier

Facebook

Twitter

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I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product