Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Garlic Infused Oil, and Why Does Popcorn Pop?

Thanks so much for all your congrats on yesterday's post. I'm EXTREMELY excited about this job because I know it was created for me :) Nick and I celebrated last night with some gelato (you know, that "60 calorie gelato"...haha). We then watched the Bachelorette and I realized why I LOVE the show so much. It lets the world know that men can be just as petty, jealous, emotional, and pathetically "in love" as women! It's GREAT! These men are so vulnerable and with some alcohol, a bunch of guys, a lot of time, and a camera, their true sides really show and it's hilarious (and sometimes really sad). Do you watch the Bachelorette??

Experiments in the Kitchen

According to the FODMAPs diet (the diet I am on to help reduce my symptoms of IBS and fructose malabsorption) I am not allowed to eat garlic. This has been tough for me, but at the same time it's easy because garlic really does cause me to get bloated and gassy! It's crazy. What I can consume, however, is oil infused with garlic (because the part that I malabsorb is not the actual garlic flavor, it's the garlic itself).

So I decided to make my own garlic infused oil......

I wanted to make garlic infused oil for my popcorn (I love garlic-tasting popcorn). Typically garlic infused oil is made with olive oil, but olive oil is sensitive to heat and light (which is why it should be stored in a cool and dark place) and extra virgin olive oil (which comes from the highest quality, hand-picked olives) should only be used in cold dishes likes cold pastas, salads, or dipping oils. I chose canola oil because I wanted to use this to make popcorn. By the way, have you ever been confused about the different terms for olive oil? They are being re-regulated. Check out more information here.

So I chopped up two garlic cloves and dropped them into about 3 T canola oil. I let the chopped garlic sit in the canola oil for ~1 day (24 hours).

Health Benefits of Canola Oil

Canola oil is made from rapeseed. Is is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), which is converted (in very small amounts) to DHA and EPA (the same heart and brain-healthy Omega-3s found in fish). It bears a health claim that says it can help reduce the risk of heart disease due to it's very low concentration of saturated fat. It's also a good source of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat may help reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol, but too much may also reduce your HDL (good) cholesterol. This is just another of the many reasons why my motto is "Everything in moderation". That includes healthy foods. But of course the term "moderation" means something slightly different when you are talking about healthy foods.

So, Why Does Popcorn Pop?

According to the book "Why Does Popcorn Pop", by Don Voorhees, popcorn has a moisture content of about 13.5%. Popcorn also contains a food storage layer (which is found in all whole grains) called the endosperm. This is a tough layer that can resist the buildup of steam pressure within the kernal when heated. It isn't until the kernal reaches about 400 degrees (approximately) that the endosperm ruptures and causes the kernal to expand to about 35 times its size. I don't know though, my popcorn typically expands about ten times its original size, not 35! What about yours?

It's truly amazing. Here is my popcorn (~ 5 T) with my garlic infused canola oil (~ 1 tsp).


Definitely not 35 times the size. Well, maybe, when you look at it as a whole. But each kernal isn't 35 times the size, that's for sure.

I definitely noticed a hint of garlic flavor, but not enough to suit my taste. Next time I plan on adding about four garlic cloves, instead of two. Nick will really love me then! haha

Coming Up
Tomorrow I am giving a presentation at a local business on "Eating Healthy On a Budget"! I'm pretty excited to get out and actually do some work! Tomorrow I will be posting some of the steps I take to be healthy and watch my calories/portions when I eat out. I may also be able to give you more information about my new job. We'll see.

Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great day!


  1. I just watched the Bachelorette for the first time the other night! It was actually pretty entertaining. All the boy drama, and so many studs, and of course the bachelorette is gorgeous!

    Love the idea of infusing popcorn oil with garlic. I definitely want to try this! I always top my popcorn with salt and tons of nutritional yeast. So good!

  2. I made garlic infused olive oil once. Thanks for this post. I was so cautious about making it, because of all the botulism scare. But I got the right technique and it worked.

    Have a great day!

  3. I just ate popcorn last night seasoned with some coconut oil and nutritional yeast. :-)

  4. I would LOVE to eat a popcorn kernel that is 35 times large!

  5. I can't imagine not working...and it's not about the money. It is about the feeling of contribution, of a job well done, of facing a challenge, of marking and being marked. Of interacting. All these things, without work, I do forget all my talents.

    Gina....NO GARLIC? Ya sure Nick isn't a creature of the darkness? How do you keep blood suckers away?

  6. Yess! I am so excited about your job! That's so wonderful :) I'll have to buy you a celebratory drink :) We're working out the details for this weekend, but I'll email you when I know what's going on. Of course there is a dinner with his new boss we have to make. Ugh..

    I love the idea of garlic-infused oil, especially homemade! I can't imagine malabsorbing garlic, though. How unfortunate :( Garlic is a STAPLE in my kitchen!

  7. Gina! I missed your last post about the job! I'm sooooo excited for you! Congrats. You deserve this and I think gelato is the perfect way to celebrate!

  8. Just stopped by to say that I really enjoy your site! I love blogs that fellow RDs write!

  9. i love your take on the bacherette! so great and so happy for you and your job.....can't wait to hear what you will be doing :)

  10. I don't watch the Bachelorette regularly but I've seen episodes here and there... it's fun ! ... Congrats for the job!!! I know someone who does something similar and I think her job is amazing so I hope you find yours to be the same! Interesting info on popcorn... I love to pop mine at home the old fashioned way :)

  11. I stopped watching the bachelorette a while back, but that being said, I don't watch much TV these days! I love popcorn--I've never had garlic popcorn though; sounds good! That presentation sounds fun! Congratulations about the job!!

  12. I tried watching the bachelorette last night but the boy wouldn't let me hahaha. Usually I win with TV but that it one show he just won't watch. The garlic infused oil sounds like a great addition to popcorn! I have both at home...def. might try that out.

  13. I have to say I am guilty of watching the Bachelorette. It sucks you in!!

    I love the sound of garlic infused oil on popcorn. yum!

  14. GINA!! I just caught up with your last post...Oh My GAWD!!! I KNEW you'll get a great job...I just knew it!! Your talents and wisdom and passions will NEVER go to waste! The universe will not allow it!

    And hee, I watched this TV show that was all about popcorn, so I learned why it pops before, but always a good thing to refresh the mind! Now, garlic infused? That's a novel idea...

  15. i wanna have some, and i also wanna pop in a movie right now!!

    totally agree with the commenter about nutritional yeast- that stuff is heaven on popcorn! oh and chili powder and dill too :)

  16. Great info on oils! And I love garlic (as well as herb) infused oils. I haven't made any in a long time...

    Can't wait to hear more about your job (once you can talk about it)! :)

  17. Yay Gina! Congratulations! That sounds like such a perfect job for you! I am so happy for you!

  18. I can't wait to hear more about your new job!

    Today I went to Ihop with my familia and didn't even eat...I already ate at home and didn't feel the need to eat just to socialize and plus I did not want to waste money...you would have been a proud momma lol

  19. huh, I never knew that about popcorn - fun to know!

  20. I love popcorn! But the insoluble fiber does a number on my tummy. Its a rare treat....which is unfortunate since its so good for you.

    Can't wait to hear about the job!!

  21. Congrats on the job Gina!!! That sounds like a perfect fit for you!
    Popcorn with garlic infused oil sounds amazing. I LOVE garlic!

  22. Thanks for sharing that valuable information. It's good to know the health benefits of canola oil.

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