Do you love popcorn? If so, you are not alone.

Popcorn is so popular –  January 19th, is National Popcorn Day!

About 17 billion quarts of popcorn are consumed by American every year. That breaks down to 68 quarts per person!

Two tablespoons of unpopped popcorn will make approximately one quart of popcorn.

How does popcorn pop?

Popcorn is made with a special variety of corn with a tough shell. When the kernels are heated, water vapor pressure builds inside the kernel, causing it to POP its shell. The starch and proteins that were inside, now form the soft, white part of the popcorn.

Popcorn became increasingly popular in the 1800s. Charles Cretor, from Chicago, invented the street cart popcorn machine adding to its accessibility and popularity. During the great depression, popcorn was sold for 5-10 cents a bag and became a thriving business for struggling farmers. During WWII Americans ate three times as much popcorn as they had before, due to food rations.

Popcorn became a popular snack in theaters, much to the owners’ initial displeasure. Owners thought it would detract from the films, but their minds quickly changed when popcorn machines were installed in the theater lobbies and proved a financial success!

 

Popcorn is fun, and it can be a healthful way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of corn!

There are many ways to enjoy popcorn, and popcorn, without anything added, proves to be a very nutritious food. However, it can quickly become unhealthy when we add too much fat, sugar, and salt. Unpopped popcorn is considered to be non-perishable if kept in ideal conditions, (cool and dry).

Popcorn is a whole grain.

Whole grains can help control or lower risks for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and many other chronic degenerative diseases. Popcorn is naturally high in fiber, antioxidants, such as polyphenols and it also contains iron. Popcorn all by itself is low in calories, fat, and sodium.

All popcorn to date remains GMO-free!

The nutritional value of Air-Popped Popcorn, plain (with nothing added) for 3 cups (1 carbohydrate exchange) is as follows:

Calories: 92
Carbohydrate: 19 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 3 grams
What we add to popcorn may change the nutritional value drastically.

Your typical theater popcorn with butter, small (7 cups) paints a very different picture:

Calories: 630
Carbohydrate: 37 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Fat: 50 grams
Sodium: 550 mg
Protein: 3 grams

— Click here for our tasty yet healthy Savory Popcorn Recipe on Tasty Tuesday —