Pop, pop – don’t stop! It’s National Popcorn Day!

January 17, 2019 11:14 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Every so often, we all need to kick off the wellies and do something FUN. Life’s not all lentil bakes and millet porridge at Naturally Good Food, you know. Sometimes, it’s also POPCORN!

Popcorn is light to eat, entertaining to make, and perfect to stuff your face with as you watch a film in the depths of the January weather. It’s a great, healthy snack for kids – and for adults too. It’s having a bit of a moment at the moment: a whole day, in fact We thought we’d join in.

On National Popcorn Day, we're all about popcorn.

At Naturally Good Food we sell organic corn kernels for popping, in various sizes. We’ve got 500g packs (family-size), 5kg packs (kids’ party size) and 25kg (for those of you running your own cinema complex). It’s a whole grain that’s completely unprocessed and contains no added ingredients. Certified organic, it has been grown without the use of harmful fertilisers or pesticides and with proper regard to the environment. We think it’s the best popcorn you can get – and freshly made, it’s unbeatable.

How does popcorn work?

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis puts it perfectly:

‘Inside each kernel of popcorn is a tiny droplet of water surrounded by a hard shell called a hull. As the popcorn is heated, the water turns into steam, which builds pressure inside the kernel. When the hull can no longer contain the pressure —POP! — the kernel explodes, and a fluffy new piece of popcorn is born.’

It’s great fun to watch: follow the instructions below, using a pan with a transparent lid to watch the whole miraculous process.

How to make popcorn: the old-fashioned way

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan (with a see-through lid). Tip half a cup of popcorn kernels into the pan and put the lid on. Continue to heat: the kernels will start to explode. Once the popping has slowed right down, remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully take off the lid. You’ll always get one or two kernels that haven’t popped, but you’ll have a mass of soft, freshly popped corn.

You can also make popcorn in the microwave – there are loads of instructions online – but you’ll miss the amazing sight of the kernels popping.

Popcorn is good for you

Popcorn’s good for you, so long as you don’t go wild with ridiculous toppings. It’s pretty high in fibre, contains no cholesterol, has a wealth of vitamins, including folate, thiamine and vitamins B6, A, E and K, and is a good GI food, keeping blood sugar levels stable. You’ll find iron in popcorn too, along with calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It’s also free from gluten.

It’s a naturally healthy snack – so long as you make it healthily, of course, using the right kind of fat and not too much sugar or salt. Here are our suggestions for the best oils and toppings to use.

Best popcorn ingredients

Popcorn’s tasty just as it is, unseasoned, straight from the pan, but one of the joys of this snack is that it’s also a great base for all kinds of flavours. Like porridge, it tends to divide opinion: sweet or salty? (Some like both!)

Best oil

Coconut oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil are all capable of cooking popcorn at the high temperature required – if you use olive oil (which does bring a lovely flavour), you’ll have to turn down the heat.

Best basic flavours

Sugar: use one of our unrefined sugars (try dark sugar for a lovely melting caramelish taste)

Salt: use a tiny sprinkle of proper sea-salt to draw out the natural flavour of the corn

Herbs: we’ve got organic herbs of all kinds. Good paired with cheese (parmesan is great), flakes of nutritional yeast, or other savoury ingredients

Spices: from turmeric to cinnamon, all kinds of spices go well with popcorn

Butters: buttered popcorn is delicious – if you don’t want to use dairy butter, coconut butter is a delicious option, as are our various nut butters – melt a spoonful into the hot pan

Chocolate: what could be nicer than some chocolate – dairy or otherwise – melted over hot popcorn? Try it with some cinnamon too.

Honey, maple syrup or other types of syrup: to add a touch of sweetness.

Who decided it was National Popcorn Day?

It was the National Popcorn Board! Their website isn’t – as you’d expect – all worthy and wholesome, but really quite good fun. It’s full of recipes for things such as beef jerky chilli popcorn, rainbow popcorn for kids, cheesy popcorn bread and maple bacon popcorn. There are ‘corny facts’, videos and a kid’s colouring corner. It’s safe to say they’ve got the measure of popcorn.

Have you? Try some out tonight!

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This post was written by Yzanne

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