Ready or Not #230: Yummy Popcorn Food Storage

I love food storage.  You can make the best “stuff” if you have stored the right “stuff”.  So I ask, how much thought have you put into what kind of food you store?  I keep seeing boxes of dried food that has enough supplies to feed one person for a month – and, well, I guess that is better than having nothing at all.  But…

If you take the money that you would have spent on the pre-packaged, pre-boxed, need-to-add-water food (have you got your water stored?), you will have enough money to invest in food you know you will like.  And for the same price you will probably be able to buy at least a month’s worth of food that you know you will want to eat, and maybe even a little bit more.

What got me thinking about using food storage to make yummy good eats was my job.  I was in charge of the refreshments for a grand opening/ribbon cutting event for my work and there was going to be a lot of people attend, especially a lot of kids.  I needed to provide something that was healthy, fun to eat and yet inexpensive.

I bought apples and grapes to serve because who doesn’t like a good apple and a nice bunch of sweet grapes.  Both of the apples and grapes can be stored in your food storage either dried, frozen or bottled.

But what turned out to be the biggest hit for the parents and the kids was the popcorn.  You don’t have popcorn in your food storage?  Why not?  I’m not talking about those little two or five pound bags; I’m talking about the 50 pound bags.  I try to keep 50 – 100 pounds of popcorn stored at all times.

You think you won’t use that much popcorn in a lifetime?  Don’t kid yourself.  If you have it stored, you will find ways to incorporate this healthy grain in your diet.  Myself, I like a really good bowl of air-popped popcorn with a bit of butter and a shake or two of salt – boring, but the perfect satisfying standby.  My husband prefers his with a bit of Parmesan on it.  No, I won’t turn that down either.   I also grind my popcorn and it makes the BEST sweetest, moistest, cornbread.  (You have to use an electric grinder because the hand grinder doesn’t grind fast enough to stop it from popping before it is actually ground.)

Back to the grand opening event.

I bought some pre-popped popcorn (I wasn’t going to spend the time popping as much popcorn as I was going to need for work because I just didn’t have the time).  Then, I had some other employees mix together a Sweet Chex Mix mix (I didn’t have the time to actually make it either).  The original recipe called for popcorn, Chex, pretzels and nuts but I left out the Chex and the pretzels.  What I did add in was the popcorn, Peanut M&M’s, and mixed nuts.  Yum!

It was so good, in fact, that I had little kids running home and bringing back one-gallon Zip-lock bags and large bowls to see if they could get some to take home.  I’m such a softie; I filled their containers.

And it was all made from items that should be (or could be) in your food storage!

Like I said, I love food storage.  Now, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t share this delectable snack, but don’t blame me if you suddenly have the urge to run to the store and buy 50 pounds of popcorn, a case of corn syrup, 25 pounds of brown sugar, a gallon of vanilla and pounds and pounds of butter.  It will just be you ramping up the fun in your food storage.

Sweet Chex Mix (or a.k.a. Popcorn and Whatever You Want Mix)

6 cups Chex cereal
6 cups popped popcorn
2 cups pretzels
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon vanilla

Cook together ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup corn syrup, ¼ cup butter.  Cook over medium heat just until it boils – add vanilla.  Pour over Chex mix and mix everything together and make sure that everything is well coated.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and put in oven for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees.

I like it best if you have salted and buttered the popped popcorn first.  If I decide to leave the Chex and pretzels out and just use the popcorn, I then substitute more popcorn with the same measured amounts (cup for cup) as the deleted items.  Adding the mixed nuts and the Peanut M&M’s were a really big hit.

When it comes to popcorn don’t limit yourself to the good old popped popcorn standby.  Think outside the box (or bag) and enjoy this healthy grain in more ways than one.  And have fun doing it!

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