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Health Benefits of Homemade Popcorn
Most of us think of popcorn as a type of junk food. A matter of fact, popcorn is a very healthy snack. It contains high amounts of the antioxidant polyphenols and is a "super food'. The only thing that makes it a 'junk food" by adding butter and salt. This destroys the antioxidant properties and the other health benefits of popcorn.This can be especially said about the popcorn in movie theaters, which is loaded with lots of salt and extra butter, an invitation for heart attack waiting to be happened, Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (a consumer group that has analyzed the calories in movie-theatre popcorn) says a carton small unbuttered popcorn at the movies typically has more than 650 calories; a large popcorn has 1,200.
What are the Polyphenols? Polyphenols are antioxidants which remove free radicals and protects against cell damage and several chronic diseases. So, where are polyphenols found in the popcorn? There is a crunchy portion of the popcorn, which is called the hull and in which polyphenols are found. The white portion of the popcorn is not as good as the hull.
Furthermore, popcorn is completely whole grain because it does not contain water. So, you get a large portion of the polyphenols, unlike some fruits and vegetables that have polyphenols but they also contain water. Although according to researchers, this is not a substitute for fruits and vegetables. .
Health Benefits of Popcorn
- Popcorn contains 100% whole grain.
- One cup of popped popcorn contains only 30 calorie and you get one gram of fiber
- Eating pop corn regularly helps to improve gastrointestinal health.
- Contains B vitamins, thiamin, niacin, B6 and folate.
- Contain minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper and iron.
- One cup of popcorn contains six grams of carbohydrate.
- Contains no saturated or trans fat.
- Contains healthier mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.
1. Pop your popcorn in microwave using brown paper bag at popcorn settings. This pops really good.
2. Three tablespoon canola, peanut or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil). Add 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels in 3-quart saucepan on medium-high heat. Cover it. Popcorn pops in 10 minutes.
3. Use popcorn maker, if you have one. Comes out quick, fast and crunchy.
If your popcorn won`t pop then kernels may have dried out. Soak them in water for about 5 minutes,drain and try again or freeze them for a day or so.In fact, freezer is the perfect place to store popcorn. Do not even thaw the kernels before putting them in the popper. The additional moisture will actually improve their performance.
Unbuttered popcorn has fewer calories than most snack foods. Try sprinkling it with crushed herbs or spices. You can also keep calories down if you use a hot air popper; it pops without oil.
How to make Caramel Popcorn
Prep Time: 30 Min Cook Time: 1 Hr Ready In: 1 Hr 30 Min
Yield : 5 quarts
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 quarts popped popcorn
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
- Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
Amount per Serving Calories: 253 | Total Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 24mg