Great Alternative Uses for Popped Popcorn
Popped popcorn is a great snack, loved by many worldwide, being tremendously popular because it’s affordable, simple to prepare, and has an addictive crunch.
What’s very interesting is how useful popcorn can be beyond your standard butter and salt. Here are some great alternative ways to use popcorn:
- Use them as a dessert. After popping kernels in a popcorn popper, they can be changed into sweet desserts. For instance, you can use caramel syrup and other signature blends like blue raspberry flavors sprinkled on top of the popcorns to make an incredible sweet and savory dessert enjoyed after dinner.
- Add to fried chicken breading. You can grind your popped popcorn into a coarse powder and use it to coat your fried chicken breading. You can do the same to other fried meats of your choice – even onion rings are a great choice!
- Make healthy treats. You can use popped popcorn to make homemade popcorn granola bars. Since it’s rich in fiber, it’s great for healthy carbs for anyone needing to regulate their blood sugar levels.
- Add it to your salads. Whether or not you’re a vegetarian, salads are a great way of maintaining a healthy diet. In addition to adding fruits and vegetables to your salad, add some popped popcorn for a nice crunch and taste to your meal. Popcorn’s a good source of fiber and proteins, by the way.
What Can You Do With Unpopped Popcorn Kernels?
It can be pretty disappointing when you’re left with unpopped popcorn kernels. Although they seem like a waste, the good news is there are several things you can do with them to make good use.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use the kernels:
- Create mini beanbags. Making mini bean bags using unpopped popcorn kernels is easy and fun. The beanbag game is quite popular, especially among kids. With a little creativity you can make your own Cornhole game for outdoor use, too.
- Make a door stopper. Is there a gap between your entrance door and the floor where dust and cold air enters your room? If so, consider making an inexpensive DIY door stopper filled with unpopped popcorn kernels.
- Make an ice pack. After an injury, you might have considered using a bag of frozen peas. Unfortnately those start to melt and become mushy after a while. To avoid leaving a mess behind, consider putting unpopped popcorn kernels in a Ziplock bag and placing it in a freezer to use as an ice pack when you need one.
- Make a noise shaker. Suppose you have a toddler that likes a noise shaker. Instead of buying one from a store, you can build your own DIY noise shaker using unpopped popcorn kernels in a sealed container, jar, or even just a small cup with a top. They’re also good as a noise maker for music too much like Caracas.
How Long Does Unpopped Popcorn Last?
Typical popcorn packages have around a one-year expiration date from the time of production.
Popped popcorn, if left sealed, can last for two to four weeks, while an opened package’s shelf life decreases to one to two weeks. It’s worse if exposed to air to it’s important to always seal the container or bag up as much as possible.
How Do You Refresh Stale Popcorn?
Instead of throwing out stale popcorn, you can refresh it using an oven or air fryer:
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the stale popcorn evenly on a baking sheet.
- Place it on a baking pan and put it in the oven for about five minutes.
- Check periodically to see if it’s warm, crispy, and palatable; if not, place them back in the oven and give it a few more minutes. If it’s okay, place the refreshed popcorn in a bowl and enjoy!
Similarly, you can do the same if you have an air fryer, using about the same temperature. Again, always check it periodically to make sure you don’t overdo it or burn it.
Can You Save Popcorn for Later?
Absolutely! You can save your leftover popcorn by placing it in the freezer or an airtight, sealed container. Bags will work but aren’t recommended because some air almost always leaks in.
Note that popcorn never freezes or becomes stale while stored in the freezer. It can remain fresh for up to two weeks. Do be aware, however, that its taste and flavor can deteriorate with time.
How Do You Reuse Soggy Popcorn?
Did you know freshly popped popcorn can absorb humidity when left open? Yep, it can, and unfortunately can become chewy and lose its crispy crunch.
Here’s a few ways to deal with soggy popcorn:
- Baking cookies. If you love baked goodies, consider making some healthy cookies using soggy popcorn. Add it to the cookie dough to get delicious and healthy popcorn cookies.
- Make scrambled eggs. Sometimes frying a plain ‘ole egg becomes boring. Consider mixing in your popcorn alongside other ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, black pepper, and salt to make scrambled egg treat. You can do it with omelletes, too!
- Make popcorn balls. Though a bit soggy, you can round them up into small balls and mix them with caramelized honey. You’ll get a delicious sweet and sticky popcorn balls for a delightful dessert. Kids love them, too.
Should You Keep Popcorn in the Freezer?
You can keep popped kernels in the freezer but it’s not a good idea to keep unpopped kernels frozen as it can cause problems with the internal moisture needed for popping.
In that case, it’s best to keep unpopped popcorn kernels in an airtight container at room temperature or slightly cool.