Popcorn is an amazingly versatile grain. With a little imagination and some common household ingredients, you can make tasty and original snacks in no time at all.
Here are some great reason’s to enjoy popcorn as a healthy snack.
- Air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 35 calories per cup
- When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 80 calories per cup
- Popcorn is a whole grain, making it a good-for-you food
- Popcorn provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates
- Popcorn contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet
- Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories
- Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives, and is sugar-free
- Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil the appetite
- 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group
- Here are some great recipes to try with popcorn
Celebrate National Popcorn Day
Here’s a spicy popcorn snack with peanuts and a kicking smoky adobe coating.
Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn
4 quarts popcorn, no butter or salt, air popped or see here the perfect way to make popcorn Organic Coconut Popcorn
1/4 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread popcorn and peanuts onto prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg white, sugar, adobo sauce and salt until foamy. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat evenly.
Bake 20 minutes, stirring once midway through baking time. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Popcorn happens to be one American’s oldest foods whose roots reach back thousands of years. Some of the oldest ears of popcorn were found in 1948 in west central New Mexico. These ears were proven to be about 4,000 years old.
Early American settlers learned from the natives how to make popcorn. They threw the kernels directly into a fire or heated sand. Once the corn was popped it was pounded into a fine, powdery meal and later mixed with water for eating.
Tex Mex Mix Popcorn
2 quarts popcorn popped in oil
2 teaspoons ground chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese (about 1/4 inch cubes)
Keep popped popcorn warm. Mix seasonings together and toss with popcorn.
Add cheese and mix thoroughly.
Here’s a great way to have a healthy snack.
Power Packed Popcorn Cookies
1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flaked coconut
3 cups popped popcorn
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together and add egg and vanilla, and mix well. Stir in flour mixture and wheat germ and oatmeal until well blended.
Next add coconut, popcorn, raisins and sunflower seeds, if desired, and mix until well blended.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet, allowing 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading.
Bake 7–8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Allow cookies to cool on pan 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely. Recipe yields 4 dozen cookies.
READ MORE: Smart Snacking For Better Health
Here’s one for the kids to enjoy.
Popcorn Crusted Macaroni and Cheese
8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1-8 oz. (2 cups) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
5 cups popped popcorn
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter an 8×8-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.
Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour, mustard, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Whisk in milk and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens; about 10 minutes.
Stir in cheese until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
Stir macaroni into sauce; pour macaroni mixture into prepared pan.
Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and toss with popcorn and parsley flakes.
Spread popcorn over macaroni and bake 10 minutes.
Images and Recipes Adapted From: Popcorn.org giving all people ways and reasons to enjoy popcorn.
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