Here a pop, there a pop … October is National Popcorn Poppin Month! This month-long celebration gives us thirty-one days to celebrate with this popular “poppable” snack. The Popcorn Board claims that Americans eat 16 billion quarts of popcorn a year. That’s approximately 51 quarts per man, woman and child.
Not only inexpensive, this treat is low-fat, high in fiber and low in calories. Air popped popcorn has a mere 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped popcorn moves up to 55 calories per cup and buttered popcorn weighs in with the most calories, 133 per cup.
For a zesty zip and different flavor, sprinkle this herbal mixture, from Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook, over your popped popcorn. Combine ½ tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¾ tsp dried oregano, and ¼ tsp dried basil. Play with various seasonings and herbs to create your own favorite popcorn seasoning. Myself, I don’t care for chili flavor so much and I love onion flavors. So on mine, I either cut out the chili, or reduce it down to ¼ tsp and I add ½ tsp onion powder. A little parmesan cheese added to the mix is good too.
Written reports of popcorn date back hundreds of years. The Popcorn Board reports that the Spaniard Cobo, wrote of the Peruvian Indians in 1650, “They toast a certain kind of corn until it bursts. They call it pisancalla, and they use it as a confection.” The oldest ears of popcorn were discovered in a cave inNew Mexicoin 1948 and 1950. The ears of corn found in theNew Mexico Bat Cave are estimated to be about 4,000 years old.
Celebrate life! Have a popcorn party tonight. Check out www.popcorn.org for popcorn recipes, printable coloring pages and popcorn games. There are many recipes on the site. The two recipes I really want to try are Cinnamon-Spice Berry Popcorn and Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn.
Cinnamon-Spice Berry Popcorn
6 cups air-popped popcorn
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 tbsp. light margarine
1/2 cup Craisins
• Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, spices, and margarine in microwave-safe bowl; cook on HIGH heat for 2 1/2 minutes until bubbly hot.
• Add Craisins to popcorn; toss with hot sugar mixture until well coated. Cool mixture before serving or store in airtight container. Serves: 4
Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice mix
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
5 cups popped popcorn
• In a large saucepan or pot, heat brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice mix over medium heat. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling. Stir in butter until melted and well blended. Add pecans, if desired, and popcorn and stir until well coated.
• Allow mixture to cool before serving. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Yield: 5 cups
Thanks to Louise at www.monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com for encouraging posts with recipes to celebrate foods this month. Go check out her blog and you’ll discover a world filled with food celebrations, cookbooks and recipes!