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  • Cathy Dyer

Popcorn+paper bag+microwave = healthy snack


"Based on fiber, whole grains, and antioxidant levels, popcorn is the king of snack foods." Joe Vinson, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton



You may not think of popcorn as a nutritious snack. Images of movie theater bucket-sized containers of over-salted popcorn soaked with....butter? artificially colored oil? what is that stuff anyway?....come to mind. Or those prepackaged microwavable bags filled with a greasy chemical concoction. Friends - there is another way.


All you need is a paper lunch bag, popcorn kernels, and a microwave


Why didn't someone tell us this a long time ago?


Popcorn "Recipe"

ingredients:

3 tablespoons popcorn

instructions:

1. place kernels in paper bag

2. fold over top of paper bag to seal

3. microwave for 2 1/2 minutes, or until popping has nearly stopped


I'm not kidding. That's all there is to it. No. You don't need any oil, special microwave popcorn makers, an air popper, or to shake a big pot over a hot burner on your stove. AND you can use the bag over and over again.


Get creative with seasonings. Hot paprika, pepper, a smidge of salt, and cinnamon are a few ideas that don't add fat or calories. Add seasonings to freshly popped popcorn as it is giving off steam, to help them stick.



10 Reasons popcorn is a great snack for kids (and grownups, too)


1. Popcorn is a whole grain, unprocessed food with no additives.


2. Popcorn is high in fiber. Three tablespoons popped provide 6 grams of fiber, which is 16 -24% of the daily adequate intake of anyone 4 years old and up [Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Estimated Average Requirements Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies].


3. Popcorn is low in calories. Three tablespoons of kernels pop into about 7 1/2 cups of fluffy popcorn, but only contain 120 calories!


4. Nearly all the fiber is insoluble fiber. It gives you a full feeling by putting bulk in your stomach and it keeps you regular, too.


5. Popcorn has a good glycemic index (GI) of 55. That means it is digested and absorbed slowly, raising blood sugar and insulin levels gradually.


6. The hull contains the carotenoids beta-carotein, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are important for maintaining eye health .


7. A serving of popcorn contains up to 300mg of polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics believed to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. [see Popcorn: The snack with even higher antioxidants levels than fruits and vegetables Research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society].


8. It requires a lot of chewing, which is very satisfying.


9. It's crunchy.


10. And popcorn is FUN!



Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn Nutrition Facts Label