Popped Sorghum – A Great Popcorn Alternative

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I finally found a substitute for popcorn!  Popped sorghum!!!

In my family, we have been corn-free for several years now. Although corn is inherently gluten-free, we feel better without it. I believe it is due, in part, to the fact that much of the corn in the United States is genetically modified (GM). Even what is deemed “organic” is often tainted, since corn can easily be cross pollinated across different farms and fields. (A GMO corn crop can taint a non-GMO crop up to 15 miles away.)

The proteins in corn are also hard to digest. That is why you tend to see pieces of your corn on the cob come out the other end the next day. 🙂

The one time we splurge is when it is corn season in Tennessee. When I can get freshly picked sweet corn on the cob from a local organic farmer that I trust, we eat it a few times during the season.

Otherwise, we do not miss it much. We have found substitutes like bean chips instead of corn chips and ground millet instead of corn meal. However, the popcorn was hard to reproduce, until now.

Surprisingly, popped sorghum grains tastes a lot like popcorn. It is prepared a little differently than popcorn and the kernels are smaller, but it is worth making it when you need a popped treat. (Do not use an air popper.)

Here is how I did it:

Popped Sorghum

1/2 cup organic sorghum grain
2 -3 tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil
Himalayan salt to taste

Be sure to start with organic sorghum grains (see link above). Like many grains, sorghum is often sprayed with the pesticide glyphosate right before harvest. This dries the crop for easier harvesting, but it also means you get a direct hit of pesticides when you eat it.

To prepare the popped sorghum, use a large stock pot on top of your oven. Turn the burner to medium high and add the coconut oil. Watch the oil carefully, about 2 minutes. You want it to get it hot enough where the oil shimmers and has a slight bubble when you stir it, but not too hot. (If it goes past its smoke point, it will not smell or taste good and it is not good for you.)

Once the oil is at that point, add the sorghum kernels and start stirring. I like using a wooden spoon. Keep the pot’s lid handy to protect yourself and contain the kernels as they start popping. However, keep stirring the entire time. Continue until most of the popping stops and remove from the heat source.

Not all the kernels will pop, but don’t worry. Unlike corn kernels, these kernels are soft and easy to eat. Add the salt, stir, and pour both the popped and unpopped kernels into your bowl to enjoy.

Since these kernels are much smaller, you will feel like you need to make another batch. Try it first. Since you also eat the kernels, I have found this amount to be quite filling, at least as a snack for two people.

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