The Fine Art of Making Popcorn

Making popcorn is something people are doing all around the world. There are a variety of different ways to prepare popcorn for enjoyment, and no wrong way to go about it. Here are just a few of the methods people use to get their popcorn fix.

Air popping

Popcorn that is air popped is much healthier for you than the kind that is saturated with butter or other oils. Air popped popcorn is completely plain after it is popped, and often becomes a sparkling white color. If you want to make air popped popcorn, you will need a machine in order to do so. Simply dump your raw popcorn into the machine, and hold a bowl under the shoot as air popped corn is blown out the other end. There are many popcorn machines available that are suitable for family homes. You can also try to make it without a machine by putting a few kernels into a paper bag and microwaving it. You’ll need to stay nearby and pull it out when you hear it reducing from several pops a second to one pop every couple of seconds. A paper bag left unattended in the microwave can catch fire, so never leave the vicinity while trying this method.

Microwavable popcorn

This all in one package typically includes a specially made bag with the oil and popcorn already prepared in set amounts. Simply set the popcorn setting on your microwave and wait for delicious popcorn. If you have problems with burning or under popped popcorn, you can ensure delicious popcorn every time using the same method for microwaving air popped popcorn. Listen! When the pops reduce to 1 pop every couple of seconds, it’s ready. No more under popped or over popped corn!

Machine made popcorn

If you are serious about your popcorn than you will love the movie theater quality of machine made popcorn. This is the sort of popcorn you get at the theater, fairs, and other festivals. Machine made popcorn is the best way to make large scale amounts of popcorn, and their automated settings allow for you to never suffer burnt popcorn ever again. You don’t need a huge popcorn maker in order to enjoy machine made popcorn at home—there are small ones available for any household.

Stove top popcorn

You can save money and enjoy healthier snacks by cooking popcorn on the stove. Use coconut oil or other oils with a high smoking point, and just cover the bottom of the pan with the oil. Let it heat up, and then toss a few kernels into the oil. Cover the pan and give it an occasional shake. When those kernels pop, you’ll know the oil is hot enough for the rest of your popcorn kernels. Add the rest, cover so they aren’t popping all over your kitchen, and shake until the popping reduces to 1-2 per second. You’ve made great popcorn with a healthier oil than butter by cooking it on the stove top!

There are a huge variety of ways to make popcorn. Find new ways to mix it up by changing toppings and cooking methods. You’ll always find something new for your favorite snack!

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How Popcorn Came to be a Movie Goers Snack

When we head for the movies, the scent of popcorn, the iconic bags or buckets they come in, and the light crunch of your snack as the big screen starts to play are all entwined together. It’s hard to imagine a movie theater without popcorn, and when we think of popcorn, we inevitably also think of movies. It’s hard to imagine then that our beloved popcorn was not only expressly forbidden in movies, but also greatly disliked by theater owners.

The time before Popcorn

When movies first came out, audio was not available for them. Silent movies didn’t necessarily require a literate audience, since the body language and signs made by the actors carried most of the message, but it was who the theaters catered to. A movie theater was a rich place with plush carpets, crystal chandeliers, and exquisite marble fountains. It was an escape from every day life in location as much as the movie itself, and food and drink were specifically banned.

A few crafty street vendors understood the wants and desires of the guests long before the theaters did, and a few of them began selling popcorn right outside the theaters.

This (unsurprisingly) was a hit, but theaters didn’t see it that way. They instead asked their guests to check their popcorn in with their coats, preventing them from taking it into the theater. If you ever wondered what the first snack craftily sneaked into a theater was, you can guess it was probably popcorn.

The Talkies” Change Everything

With the advent of movies with sound, the opportunity for snacks began to open up a little bit more. While most silent films at least had a piano playing for sound effects, it was often not enough to muffle the loud crunch of snacks in the movie theater. The constant sound offered by talking movies changed that. The opportunity for snacks was ripe, but movie theater owners were still reluctant to make the change.

Still, when the Great Depression struck, movie theaters were forced to choose between surviving and keeping to the old ways. Popcorn was a cheap snack nearly everyone could afford, and their popularity outside of the movie theaters must have gained the attention of the movie theaters. A few of them started allowing vendors the chance to pay for a license that would allow them to sell inside of the movie theaters—the first concession stands if you will.

The movie theaters that added popcorn saw their profits soar, and the ones who didn’t, disappeared.

The rest is history. Eventually owners realized that they didn’t need to bring in vendors to sell popcorn, and began putting in concession stands for themselves. Other snack items were brought in, and the theaters back then began to look very much like the theaters we have today.

It has now been decades since popcorn and the movies have joined in their odd little marriage, but it isn’t going to be changing any time soon. People enjoy popcorn with their movies all over the world, in hundreds of different countries.

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Popcorn: A Diet Safe Snack

If you’ve ever endured a diet for any length of time, you know how it feels to long for a snack and have to lock the chips up for your own safety. Dieting can be a difficult time, but it gets worse when you realize the only way to keep the pounds off is through lifestyle change.

If you’re enduring diet changes and have visions of any snack that doesn’t involve carrots or fruit, have no fear. There is a familiar snack you know and love that will not only satisfy those cravings, but nourish your body at the same time.

Popcorn may seem like a pound packing, but oh so satisfying snack, but it’s actually a diet friendly and extremely healthy food. Popcorn itself has only 31 calories per cup. It’s all the butter and oils we like to add in when we cook it that really pack on those calories.

Popcorn is packed with antioxidants

Popcorn has more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, and has trace amounts of minerals such as magnesium and iron. While you shouldn’t try replacing all your daily fruits and vegetables with a bowl of popcorn, adding it in can be beneficial to your health.

Enjoy your popcorn and have some flavor too

Air popped corn has a delightful crunch to it, but not very much flavor by itself. Fortunately, there are plenty of light seasoning options that will add flavor to your popcorn without too many extra calories. Try dusting your popcorn with Italian seasoning, curry powder, lemon-pepper, jerk seasoning, and other simple powdered seasonings. These seasonings usually have very little in the way of calories, but pack a big punch in the way of flavor.

Popcorn can help you lose weight

While the key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume, achieving that can be very difficult. Your body sends you signals to let you know you are starving (after all, in order to burn calories you are indeed running a deficit.) The longer you go without food, the more often you make poor food choices when you finally break down and eat.

Lose weight with Popcorn

The trick isn’t in manifesting some huge amount of willpower, but in making sure you don’t get that hungry in the first place. Having a daily popcorn snack can really help here, because it is not very calorie dense, and studies have shown leave you more satisfied than a bag of potato chips despite the chips having more calories.

After a nice filling snack, you’ll be much less likely to binge on that huge pile of cookies someone brought into work, and you’ll be able to get to your lean and healthy dinner with your diet still intact.

If you are putting together a new diet or lifestyle change, consider adding popcorn to your regimen. You’ll love having a little flavor to look forward to each day, and you’ll be doing both your mind and your body a service through the power of popcorns antioxidants.

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How to Make Tasty Popcorn

Everyone loves chowing down on an awesome snack of fresh, delicious popcorn. It’s even better when it is transformed from a heavy, oily snack to a light and healthy one using an air-popper or other butter-free method of popping.

Still, the discerning popcorn lover knows that not all popcorn is created equal. Making a bowl of perfect popcorn is a skill that some master, and some don’t. If you want to learn how to make perfect and delicious popcorn no matter what, here are our tips for tasty popcorn:

Worried about overcooking or undercooking?

If you’re not sure whether popcorn is done, listen. Popcorn that has finished popping will slow from the sound of each piece popping several times per second, to maybe one every 1-3 seconds. When you hear them slowing down to this rate, the popcorn is done. If you wait until you hear no more popcorn thuds, you’re going to have burnt popcorn.

Making it by hand?

Even if you don’t have the convenience of an air popper or other machine to help you make popcorn, you can make some on your stove top easily. You’ll need about ¼ cup of raw popcorn, a sauce pan with a lid, and a little oil. Choose an oil with a high smoke point such as grapeseed oil or coconut oil. You don’t want your butter burning before the popcorn has finished popping!

Put your oil in the saucepan first, and begin heating it. You can test it to see if it is ready by throwing a kernel or two in and covering it. Once they pop, you’ll know the oil is hot enough. When that happens go ahead and add the rest of your kernels, and let them pop. You’ll want to shake them occasionally to make sure nothing sticks, and stop popping when the sound goes down to 1-3 seconds, same as before.

Have an air popper?

Air poppers are a fantastic method for giving yourself light and delicious snacks. As an added bonus, they are a lot more convenient and easy to use. All you need to do is plug it in, wait a minute or two, and feed the recommended amounts (usually about half a cup) into the machine.

Stick a bowl under the shoot to catch your popcorn, and enjoy delicious air popped goodness.

Air pop in your microwave for the same great popcorn

You can make air-popped popcorn without a machine with a little ingenuity. Simply put a few kernels in a paper bag, place it in the microwave, and hit your microwaves popcorn setting. You’ll have to stay and pay close attention to it, and remove it as soon as you hear the popping slow down, but you won’t need oil to make this popcorn method work.

Making popcorn is a fun and delightful past time, and there are a number of ways to do it. You can even make popcorn right off the cob! Keep exploring the world and trying this ancient snack in new fun ways.

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History of Popcorn

While it may seem like a relatively recent phenomenon, people have been snacking on popcorn for thousands of years. Its unknown just when the first ancient civilization discovered certain types of corn could pop, but it could be as early as 300AD. In Mexico, where popcorn originates from, funeral urns dating from this period show a maize god with what looks like popcorn on his headdress.

History of Popped Corn

Early Natives loved eating popcorn, and used it not just for food, but also for decorations on their clothing and in ceremonial items. It was a rich part of their life, and as good as popcorn is, who can blame them?

Much later, a mere 5,000 years ago, the oldest popped popcorn kernel in the world was found in a cave in New Mexico. Other popped popcorn kernels have been found after that, though none as old, all around the Americas.

When the first European settlers arrived, popcorn was already a well understood snack all throughout the Americas. Unsurprisingly, it quickly became a popular snack for the settlers as well. A favorite way to consume it was with milk and sugar, as if it were a modern day breakfast cereal.

Popcorn in the great Depression

When the great Depression struck the world, the desperate situation pushed many companies out of business, including snack food businesses. Luckily for popcorn, its very affordability saved it from the same fate.

Thanks to it’s extremely cheap price (a bag of popcorn typically went for 5-10 cents) popcorn grew even more in popularity rather than failed. Popcorn may well have saved many farmers from destruction thanks to the fact that everyone could afford it.

A brief slump

When the modern day television was invented, popcorn sales began to decline. This was due in part to the fact that fewer people were now attending movie theaters, since television was readily available at home. Popcorn may have continued into its twilight years, if it wasn’t for yet another new invention – microwavable popcorn.

Popcorn and Movie Time

General Mills patented the first microwave popcorn bag in 1981, and the rest is history. Home popcorn became a hit as the convenience of popcorn with a few pushes of a button warmed people back up to the power of popcorn.

Popcorn Today

We now enjoy popcorn pretty much the same way we have since 1981, with a few exceptions. Gourmet popcorn shops have become available, offering popcorn with special flavorings you may not find anywhere else. Home popping machines that allow you air-popped corn, as well as more traditional types are now available for home use.

These popping machines are replacing microwave popcorn in some places because it allows healthier popcorn, and more flavor options.

The future of popcorn

Futuristic Popcorn

It’s too early to say what new inventions will bring the world of popcorn, but one thing is certain. We will continue to love and enjoy this great snack all around the world. Popcorn is something we love the world over, and it unites us through its delicious flavor and fun toppings.

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Health Benefits of Popcorn

Health Benefits of PopcornWhen you indulge yourself in a large bowl of popcorn, you probably don’t think about whether or not it is something you should be putting in your body. After all, we eat a lot of foods for the simple reason that it tastes good.

Fortunately, unlike so many of the foods we indulge in, popcorn is a snack we can eat without any of that added guilt. Here are a few great reasons why you can reach for that extra handful without feeling bad about it.

It’s loaded with anti-oxidants.

Popcorn contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are anti-oxidants that can prevent cancer and keep your body working properly. Since most polyphenols are found in fruits, vegetables, and things like red wine and chocolate, they are often a lot more diluted than the ones found in popcorn. That means there are more polyphenols per bite of popcorn than anywhere else.

It has more iron than spinach.

Popcorn VS Spinach

Most people think popcorn is just a whole lot of nothing, not really good for you, but not bad either. In reality, popcorn has quite a few useful nutrients that make it a healthy snack. While popcorn doesn’t have a whole lot of vitamins, it does have the iron you need to stay healthy.

It is a whole grain.

Haven’t we all read those health articles admonishing us to eat more of our whole grains, and fewer ultra processed ones? Popcorn is the ultimate whole grain. After all, you are eating it shell and all! Just inside out and backwards. The government recommends you eat plenty of whole grains for a healthy diet, and you can help meet those goals by indulging in popcorn as your snack of choice.

It is loaded with fiber.

Although fiber isn’t a nutrient in the fact that our body can digest it, it provides a critical component to our diets for that exact reason. We need fiber to help move things along in our system, keeping our bodies clean and preventing any problematic build ups. The beneficial bacteria in your body that help with your digestive process also benefit from fiber—they feed off the products you can’t.

It is the ultimate diet food.

It isn’t the popcorn itself that is high in calories, it’s all the butter and salt we pile on top of it that makes popcorn so unhealthy. You can indulge in all of the good and none of the bad by air popping your corn. Add your own toppings to turn your popcorn from a less than healthy snack to something fresh and extra good for you. Popcorn isn’t just a great diet snack because it is low in calories, it can also help regulate your blood sugar and make you feel fuller.

Is Popcorn healthy?

There are plenty more reasons why popcorn makes an excellent health snack, but these 5 reasons are a great starting point. Make popcorn your go-to snack so you can enjoy healthy, guilt free eating every single time you want a snack.

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