Mason County News
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Family Times
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 • Posted October 20, 2010

Let’s Get Poppin’!

Popcorn is a good choice for healthy eating. It contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet, and it fills you up! Popcorn is low in calories — only 31 calories in one cup when popped without added fat. (Source: USDA National Nutrient Database).

October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. Here are some popcorn ideas for another special time in October — Halloween.

1. BONY FINGERS. Fill clear plastic gloves (the type designed for wearing in the kitchen when preparing food) with popcorn. Tie the end with orange and black ribbon.

2. HALLOWEEN PARTY POPCORN. Combine popcorn with your choice of the following ingredients. By mixing Halloween candy with popcorn, you cut back on the total amount of candy offered. Serve with a scoop from a large bowl. Or, fill a self-closing sandwich bag with popcorn for each child.

*raisins and other dried fruit

*candy corn

*nuts

*gummy worms

*orange/black candies such as "M & M’s" or jelly beans

3. GHOSTS. Wrap a small popcorn ball in plastic wrap. Place wrapped ball in the middle of a large, sturdy white napkin. Tie the napkin together over the popcorn ball with white string, so the ends of the napkin hang out to form the body. Draw on a scary face with a black marker.

These days, many food manufacturers have brought us popcorn that we can microwave in bags. Unfortunately, microwave popcorn is typically loaded with salt and butter, not to mention preservatives. This obviously reduces the number of health benefits associated with eating popcorn.

But if you can’t eat popcorn out of the bag with all the goodies, how can you eat it? After all, plain popcorn is bland and salt just falls off popcorn by itself. So, how can you flavor it so it’s still healthy?

There are actually some very good healthy coatings that you can use to flavor your popcorn and make it taste great...

Fun Ways To Flavor Plain Popcorn:

1. Jazz up plain popcorn with flavored cooking spray — there are a variety of flavors such as butter, olive oil, and even garlic to name a few and these won’t cause your waistline to expand.

2. Add some cinnamon to popped popcorn — mix it up well. If you’re worried about the cinnamon not staying on the popcorn you can spray it with a little cooking spray first just to hold it on, butter is probably the better flavor for this.

3. Add red pepper to your popcorn — you can spray the popcorn with a bit of cooking spray to help the seasoning stay on. Or try a light sprinkling of tabasco!

4. Saute some garlic in olive oil and then add it to your popcorn — consider adding some grated Parmesan cheese and a bit of salt and pepper.

5. Season popcorn with taco seasoning — you’ll need a bit of cooking spray to help it stick to the popcorn.

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