Organic Coconut Popcorn

Organic non-gmo tri-colored corn kernelsDo you know what’s in that bag of popcorn you put in the microwave? Are you ready for the answer?

1. Diacetyl: It is used a s a flavoring in microwave popcorn. It can obliterate the airways, and lungs if exposed to too much. It was used in World War I, to do exactly that. Factory works who are exposed to the chemical have irreversible lung damage.

Brown University documented three cases of bronchiolitis obliterans (caused by diacetyl) in microwave popcorn lovers. One man, 47, ate three bags a day, and needed a lung transplant. A 56 year old coughed up blood one day, and he ate 3 bags of microwave popcorn a day.

The University of Minnesota reported that the chemical diacetyl, can pass the blood-brain barrier, and weaken the brain’s defenses against the formation of amyloid plaques, causing Alzheimer’s.

2. Perfluorooctanoic Acid: Most manufacturer’s  line the microwave popcorn bags with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to keep grease from leaking out. When the bags are heated, they leach the PFOA into the popcorn.

3. Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): This chemical is made from butane, a known toxic gas. Medical studies have reported that just eating 1 gram could cause ADHD in children, asthma, allergies, dermatitis, and dizziness. It’s been associated with stomach cancer in laboratory animals.

Most of the corn in the U.S.A., about 86% is harvested from GMO seeds. We also noted, microwavable popcorn is not sold in health food stores. But you can buy lose non-gmo corn kernels, or in jars, and that brings us to our featured recipe: Organic Coconut Popcorn. Here is what you will need.

heating coconut oil

Heat 3 tablespoons of refined coconut oil in a 3 quart pan over medium heat. Let oil solids melt. From 1/3 cup of organic popcorn kernels, add 4 kernels to heated oil and cover pan with lid. When the kernels pop, remove pan from heat and add the 1/3 cup of kernels to pan in an even layer. Return lid to pan and count to 30. Return pan to heat and wait for kernels to start popping. Once they do, gently shake pan over heat. When you no longer hear any popping remove pan from heat and add popcorn to a serving bowl.

melting butterWith pan still hot, add organic pasture fed cows butter or organic virgin coconut oil, and melt. Next pour over popcorn and mix in. You can also add Himalayan salt, organic smoked paprika, or organic Parmesan cheese.

Organic Coconut Popcornpopcorn pan not burned using coconut oilFollow this method and ever kernel of popcorn will always pop evenly and not burn, not even the pan. You can never say that about those chemical filled microwave popcorn bags.

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National Popcorn Day 2015

National Popcorn Day 2015The Washington Post say, “The powers that pop have decreed that Monday is National Popcorn Day. Though the origins of the “holiday” are unclear…”

Popcorn also called by popping corn, is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up or pops when heated. The kernel can pop because it has a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. As it is heated, pressure builds up within the kernel, and a small explosion is the result. Some varieties of corn are now cultivated specifically as popping corns, and we say Ya!! The more popcorn, the more we can eat on this day National Popcorn Day.

During the Great Depression, popcorn was really cheap at about 5 cents a bag. While other businesses failed during the Depression, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers. During World War II, candy production went down because of sugar rations, and Americans compensated by eating three times as much popcorn as they had before.

national-popcorn-day-2015-popcorn-served-at-the-movies-since-1912Popcorn is a popular snack food at sporting events and in cinemas, where it has been served since 1912 (USA).

Depending on how popcorn is prepared or cooked, it can be considered a health food. Make sure though, if possible to use non GMO popcorn. You can find some non GMO popcorn here on-line at Tropical Traditions.

Bob’s Red Mill (a national famous organic food brand) also offers packaged organic non GMO popcorn.

Our favorite popcorn is Caramel Popcorn. We found this recipe that goes a bit further and adds apples. We found this recipe at Cookies and Cups .

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Makes about 14 cups caramel corn

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Photo Credit: Cookies and Cups

1 cup unpopped corn kernels

2 (2.5 oz) bags of apple chips

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

½ cup butter

1 tsp salt

1 (14 oz ) can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 250°

In an air popper, pop your kernels into a large bowl. Pick out any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Heat until melted and begins to boil. Once boiling, pour in your can of sweetened condensed milk and stir continuously for 5 minutes, to prevent burning.

Remove from heat and pour directly over popcorn and apples, stirring until coated evenly.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to cook evenly.

Remove from oven, break into pieces and allow to cool.

Notes from Cookies and Cups:

Store in an airtight container for about a week.

You don’t have to bake this caramel corn if you prefer it softer and chewier. But if you don’t bake it, it will remain fairly sticky.

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