Popcorn is a healthy and quick snack popular among youngsters to elders equally. Many popcorn varieties are available flavored with different ingredients like caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and more. This is loaded with fiber and beneficial for your health. During the 1890s, the popcorn maker was invented by Charles Cretors’ which made popcorn popular and accessible. Some steam-powered machines were also used to roast corn kernels which were used to roast nuts. During the great depression of 1929-1939, when the worldwide economic depression was severe, popcorn was cheap, and it helped many struggling farmers of the United States. When many other businesses were failing popcorn business of the Redenbacher family became a popcorn brand. This American brand was launched and owned by Charles F. Bowman and Orville Redenbacher.
Popcorn: Production & nutrition value
After wheat and rice, corn is the third and most important cash crop grown in India. It is also known as Maize and is grown in most of the states in India. Globally, it is also known as the ‘Queen of cereals.’ Apart from corn flour, there are other major uses of Maize crops like sweet corn, baby corn, popcorn, corn flour, and animal fodder also. It is also used as processed food such as corn flakes, food sweeteners, and starch. It also serves as raw material for industrial products like packaging, textile, and paper.
During 1950-51 India used to produce1.73 million MT maize, reaching 27.8 million in 2018-19.
India is 7th in maize production, which is around 2% of total production. The major states producing maize in India are Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.
Let us look at the amount of Maize used for different purposes:
|Export & other
Pop corn: Nutritional benefits
As it is a quick snack to grab we may have a misconception of it being unhealthy. But, popcorn contains about 78% carbohydrates, 15% fiber, 12% protein, and 25% riboflavin. It is also a good source of zinc, phosphorus, and manganese. About 382 calories and 4% fat content are also present in 100 gm of popcorn approximately. Popcorn also contains antioxidants which are good to fight free radicals. So, you can consider it a healthy snack that can be enjoyed whenever you want in moderate amounts. Some amount of saturated fat comes from the oil or butter used during the popping or cooking of popcorn. Any other oil or flavoring agents can carry health risks, otherwise, corn or popcorn do not have many health risks.
Popcorn: Make yourself at home
Corn kernels: 1 cup of corn kernels
Cooking Oil: 4 tablespoons
Salt: as per taste
Pepper: as per taste (optional)
Take a medium base pan and heat it. Pour the oil and let it heat. Now add the corn kernels and cover the pan with the lid. The corn will start popping, and you can hear the sound. The sound will slow down when almost all the corns have popped, and you need to turn off the heat or flame. Spread the salt and pepper and mix. Many other seasonings can be spread and used as per taste.
Popcorn preparation: Points to look out for:
- Make sure the corn is spread on the base evenly.
- Increase the flame if the pan is not heated properly.
There are multiple flavours and recipes nowadays to buy or make at home. Caramel, chocolate, and more varieties are popular in movie theaters among kids and adults. Make it sweet with caramel or chocolate and salty with garlic herb, cheese, etc.
Popcorn is a snack easily available in the market and easy to make at home. The high fiber content helps with weight loss, and other vitamins are good for health as well. Precautions should be taken in the case of small kids (below 5 years) to avoid choking. It is better to cook them in healthy oils like olive oil or coconut oil, which are rich in monosaturated fats. But overeating is not good for any kind of food, so it is advised to follow your dietary needs and consume moderate amounts. This is one of the healthy whole grain snacks and better than any other oily snack like fried potato chips.