It finally felt like fall this weekend. I hope it did where you are, too! I spotted patches of red and orange in otherwise bright green trees. We lit a fire inside and even needed hoodies to go outside. For the first time since the official first day of fall, it felt crunchy. That’s my word to describe fall – crunchy. Which is appropriate, because one of my favorite fall snacks is popcorn.
My other favorite fall flavor is cinnamon. I don’t care if it’s on a cinnamon roll, toast, oatmeal, cookies, applesauce, topping my yogurt, or wafting from a candle, my nose simply cannot get enough of this scent. So on a recent trip to the McCormick spice headquarters, as part of the Fitbloggin’ conference, outside of Baltimore, Maryland, I found myself in cinnamon-loving heaven.
We went through some of their consumer research experiments, one of which had us tasting traditional ground cinnamon next to Saigon cinnamon. I would have said cinnamon is cinnamon before that afternoon. But the ground cinnamon that I add to French toast every Saturday morning suddenly tasted like red hots candies compared to the earthy, warm, woodsy flavor that came from the McCormick Saigon cinnamon. I fell in love with cinnamon all over again.
As soon as I returned home, making something with that cinnamon was all I could think about. With the fall season in full swing, and McCormick encouraging us to freshen up one of our recipes, the only logical choice was marrying cinnamon and popcorn. Maybe some raisins, too. Cinnamon Raisin Popcorn sounds like a pretty incredible fall snack, doesn’t it?
Now, microwave popcorn is just highly processed, greasy junk food. That’s not worthy of my Saigon cinnamon. But wait! Did you know you can make microwave popcorn yourself without all the chemicals and magic bags? Well, you can. You need a brown paper sack and popcorn kernels. That’s it!
Any brown paper sack with a flat bottom will do. I used a bag from the bakery; your classic lunch sack will work just fine, too. Drop in 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels and fold the top of the bag over a couple of times. Put the bag in the microwave and cook on high for about two or three minutes. And just like you would any other microwave popcorn, when the popping becomes more sporadic it’s time to pull out the bag.
Now, anyone else would just pour on some butter and plop down in front of a movie. Not me. I like my popcorn airy and light – exactly as this microwave popcorn came out. Only this time I tossed the popcorn with McCormick’s Saigon cinnamon and plump raisins to create a snack fit for fall.
This is a snack you can’t go wrong with. It’s got big, warm flavor, it’s satisfying and filling, and clicks in at only 89 calories per serving! You can scoop this in to snack bags for a school Halloween party, fill a big bowl to share with the family around a movie, or munch on it during a fall hay ride or parade.
Creating exciting new recipes doesn’t have to be complicated. A few very simple ingredients, and some with very big flavor, it’s rather easy to makeover a classic recipe.
1 flat-bottomed brown bag
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup raisins
1 tsp. McCormick Saigon cinnamon
1. Place popcorn kernels in any flat-bottomed brown bag you have. Fold over twice and tape to secure (tape is optional). Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes – this will vary depending on the microwave. Just make sure to stop when you hear only sporadic pops.
2. Open bag, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with cinnamon and raisins. Divide into four servings and enjoy.
Yields 4 generous servings; per serving: 89 Calories, 0.7g Fat, 1mg Sodium, 22.5g Carbohydrates, 3.1g Fiber, 7.2g Sugar, 2.1g Protein
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