About a month ago, my mother called me and talked to me about a YouTube video that she had watched that day by Adrienne Bailon discussing her weight loss. As you know l have been on a weight loss journey for close to 2 years now and it has been slow but steady. My brother says I’m not slim fast, but slim slow. My mother is also conscience about her weight in that she wants to maintain the weight that she lost and at the same time come off some of the medications that she takes that she feels is a result of some of her eating habits. For me, it is important to be able to change my eating habits so that it becomes more of an eating lifestyle change and NOT a diet.
I’m getting off topic. One of the things that my mother asked me about was a snack that Adrienne mentioned called AsaPop. Because I am always looking for a “healthy” snack, my mother wondered if I had ever heard of it. I had not. My mother then was asking where I thought I could find something like that. Ok….one thing I know is that we live in a land-locked state (Indiana) that is near a major metropolis (Chicago), but we don’t have access to a lot of things like people in that major metropolis even leaving if I live in a large city. The things that people find easily on the west coast and east coast and even Chicago, we are mostly likely not going to be able to find it readily here. I did some research and found out that AsaPop is a name brand snack that is made from cooked Water Lily Seeds. It is flavored with different spices and is very popular in Asian cultures. I also found out that you can order the brand AsaPop online for the low low price of about $4.99 for a one ounce package (that low low price reference was full of sarcasm). I was not about to pay that. So more research revealed that you could make “AsaPop” at home if you have the correct ingredients.
The main ingredient you need is Makhana, which is actually a water lily seed has been processed. I then had to find where I could purchase Makhana. My first thought was our local International grocery store, Saraga.
Makhana is something that is commonly eaten by the Indian community and I know if there is something that I want to find that is common in another country or culture then I need to get to Saraga. When I went to Saraga, I initially tried to see if I could see if I could find makhana that had already been flavored. That was a bust. Then I walked the aisles looking for plain makhana, on my third pass I found phool makhana.
I bought two bags and went home to attempt to make this healthy snack. I was told that you can roast the makhana either on the stovetop or in the oven. I tried out both options and quickly discovered that I like cook it on top of the stove. I also read that when you are toasting it on the stovetop that a small amount of oil (olive, ghee, etc.) is used. I tried this the first time, but found that I prefer to toast it dry. I tasted the makhana before I started because I was curious and so that I could have a reference for when it was done. Raw, it taste like how you would think the packing peanuts would taste. I’ve never tasted packing peanuts; if you have and can describe it let me know. When it is completely toasted, it has the same texture as popcorn. I think for the size pan that I used, it took about 15 minutes when the temperature is on low and I suggest that you toast it on low and shake the pan occasionally to move the makhana around and toast evenly.
Once the makhana was toasted, I used avocado cooking spray or spray “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” to mist the makhana and sprinkled the seasoning mix of choice. For the savory seasonings I used the avocado spray and the sweet seasonings I used the “I Can’t Believe It”.
I’ve tried a few different savory seasonings and the one that has stuck is a barbeque seasoning that I got online for making homemade barbeque chips. The sweet makhana that I have made has been a lemon version, chocolate, chocolate coconut, and caramel. The lemon and caramel are huge hits with Babydoll and my mother (I really like them too). The barbeque is so good; you can eat it all in one sitting if you aren’t conscious of how much you’re eating.
I calculated the WW point for the barbeque, lemon and chocolate versions and 1 ounce is around 3 pts and the caramel is 2 pts . I used a caramel recipe that uses no butter, the main ingredients are maple syrup and nut butter (sing hallelujah for no refined sugars). I usually make a batch every couple of weeks. We bag it up and take it to the movies, I have it specifically on the days that I’m eating grain/starch free or whenever the mood hits me.
If you have an international grocery story, I would highly suggest you purchase some phool makhana and attempt these recipes for one of the best tasting, healthiest snacks around. Have you heard of or tried AsaPop or other flavored makhana snack? Comment below to let me know. If you try either of these recipes, I would love to hear about it.
Until next time,