Part of summertime fun is seeing lots of blockbuster movies, having friends over for a swim, and then relaxing in front of the television for a comedy or action-packed flick. Well, I don’t know about you, but when we were little my mother would pop fresh popcorn, place it in a huge bowl in the middle of the room, and we would lay on the floor and munch away with friends and family while we were enjoying our show. Little has changed in my house since I was a kid, and the summertime fun still looks much the same, but with a raw twist: now I make cauliflower “popcorn,” and we are all the better for it.
Promise me that you aren’t still making microwave popcorn … It’s not that I’m passing judgment; I mean, I used to buy the large cases of microwave popcorn from my discount warehouse store and pop a few bags in a week. I mean, how convenient was that? A minute and 30 seconds away from munchy fun.
Microwaving anything, even water (especially water), is an extremely toxic and overall damaging process to your body, mind, and the world. But microwave popcorn takes the danger to an even more serious degree. The chemical coating used in microwave popcorn bags is so toxic, as it breaks down when heated, it turns into a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA), a major carcinogen. The butter flavoring that we all love causes even more damage. The fake butter flavor is actually an FDA-approved chemical called diacetyl that causes debilitating respiratory disease, affectionately known as “popcorn workers lungs.” The medical name for this condition is “bronchiolitis obliterans,” suffered by those who work in the factory that packages microwave popcorn. Since discovering the butter-flavored disease, many companies have discontinued the product. But many have not. So if you want to make popcorn, air pop it or jostle it over a hot kettle and enjoy it the old-fashioned way.
If you want to try something new and RAW, adding great health benefits as well as a cheesy delight, try making cauliflower popcorn. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Chipotle Cheese Popcorn
I always make a few batches at a time, as they are gobbled up so fast.
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup walnuts or raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
Place cauliflower florets into a large Ziplock bag and coat with olive oil. In food processor, blender, or nut & spice grinder, add nuts or seeds, nutritional yeast, chipotle powder, and sea salt and process until finely ground. Pour over florets and close top. Shake bag until cauliflower is well coated. Cauliflower may be eaten RAW, or place on dehydrator rack on a grid and paraflexx sheet.
Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 2 hours for moist, 6 hours for slightly crunchy, and 10 hours plus for harder consistency. If fully dehydrated, it will have a 1-week shelf life!