Monday, April 11, 2011

Popcorn, Candy and the Movies

As much as I’m swearing off sugar and moving towards a healthier lifestyle, sometimes I really miss candy.  Even before all the allergies, I very rarely allowed myself to indulge in a candy bar.  I thought about how bad it was for you, how many grams of fat each bite cost, and how long I would need to run on the treadmill after eating it.  The guilt was always too much to bear and I usually passed up any candy opportunities.  Strangely enough, the movie theatre was the only place where I allowed myself to go crazy and eat as much candy, popcorn and fat as I wanted.  In general, I don’t really like watching movies or going to the theatre, but my girlfriend would go every weekend if she could.  With the promise of Reese’s Pieces, Heath Bars and Movie Theatre popcorn, I allowed myself to be dragged along.
I haven’t been to the theatre since I found out about my allergies.  Without popcorn and candy, what’s the point?  Note that Reese’s Pieces and Heath Bars are gluten free, but unfortunately contain dairy.  Most movie theatre popcorn is gluten free, but there’s always the risk that a gluten containing seasoning was used and it may contain dairy if real butter is used (as if!).  Since I know my girlfriend will eventually wear me down and get me out to the theatre, I thought I’d take a proactive step in finding some candy and popcorn replacements.
For popcorn, I love Angie’s Kettle Corn which has the perfect blend of salty and sweet and is made with no artificial preservatives or chemicals.  It’s also certified gluten free and made in a facility completely free of nut and wheat products.  In the Midwest, it can be purchased at Costco and a bulk bag is definitely needed – this stuff goes fast!
My favorite candy is Chocolate Covered Raisins, but even the dark chocolate brands I’ve found contain milk.  So, I made my own.  It was really easy and delicious.  The first batch I made was gone before the chocolate dried (not gonna lie - I ate them all...).  One layer of chocolate was acceptable, but next time I’m going to do a double layer which I can’t stop thinking about.  Now all I need to do is practice enough self control and wait for the chocolate to dry before I eat them all!  Here’s the recipe, which takes less than 10 minutes, if you don’t count the waiting time…
Chocolate Covered Raisins
½ cup dairy free Chocolate Chips (try Whole Food’s 365 Every Day Value Dark Chocolate Chunks)
½ Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 cup raisins (make sure no sugar is added to raisins)

Melt chocolate and coconut oil using double boiler.  I don't have a double boiler, so I used a metal bowl over a pot filled with water.  When chocolate is fully melted, stir in raisins.   Spread mixture on wax paper and put in refrigerator for 15 minutes until chocolate is hard.  If you can wait, try adding a second layer of chocolate.

Now that I've got the popcorn and candy covered, I guess it's time to head to the movies...

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