It’s National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
Frightfully Delightful Treats
Here’s food for thought: Popcorn, discovered in the Americas thousands of years ago, has beguiled people for centuries with its mythical, magical charm. Today it’s also lauded for its nutritional and economic value, while the alluring aroma and taste help make popcorn such a popular treat that Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of popcorn a year--roughly one quart per person, per week.
Consider these corny facts:
- October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
- Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories. Air-popped popcorn has roughly 30 calories per cup; oil-popped has only 55 per cup.
- Popcorn is a whole grain. It is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm and pericarp or hull.
- Of the 4 main types of maize/corn—sweet, dent, flint and popcorn—only popcorn pops.
- Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.
- Popcorn comes in two basic shapes when popped: snowflake and mushroom.
- Popcorn Zombies are a treat:
Green Halloween Zombies
Yield: about 7 pieces (4 ½ x 3 ½ inches each)
- 2 ½ quarts popped popcorn
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 4 tablespoons lime gelatin powder
- Red gum balls, candy corn, flat green candy strips (or fruit leather), green sugar sprinkles
- Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir marshmallows into butter until melted. Stir in gelatin powder until evenly colored. Pour over popcorn and stir until evenly coated. With buttered hands, shape popcorn into 7 oval shapes.
- Flatten one oval shape slightly and squeeze one end to form a ‘skull’ shape. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shapes.
- To decorate: Press two gumballs into each skull to form ‘eyes’. Press candy corn into skull to from ‘teeth’. Use scissors to trim candy strips and press into top for ‘hair’. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
- Allow ‘zombies’ to set for about 20 minutes before wrapping individually in plastic wrap (or serve immediately).
For more recipes, tips and information about popcorn and Popcorn Poppin’ Month, October, visit www.popcorn.org or call the Popcorn Board at (312) 644-6610.