October is Popcorn Month!

Woo Hoo! A whole month to celebrate one of Veggie U’s favorite snacks! We love it so much that we even send you popcorn seeds to grow in your Veggie U Classroom Garden.

To celebrate Popcorn Month, we thought you might like to know a little more about this mighty seed. Today, Americans consume more popcorn than any other country in the world, but popcorn has long been a part of American culture. Archeologists have found popcorn kernels in New Mexican caves they believe to be more than 4,000 years old and some historians suggest Native Americans introduced the Pilgrims to popcorn when they brought it to the first Thanksgiving feast.

When Spanish explorers arrived in Mexico, they discovered the Aztec Indians used popcorn in certain ceremonies. The Indians had a legend that claimed a tiny demon lived inside each kernel of popcorn. When the demon's house was heated, he would get so angry he would explode!

 

Popcorn is one of the four basic types of corn.

 Dent corn is often used as livestock feed, in industrial products, or to make processed foods.

 Sweet corn is the type we eat fresh, whether on or off the cob.

 Flour corn is used in baked goods because it has a soft, starch-filled kernel that is easy to grind.

 Flint corn has a hard outer shell and kernels grow in a range of colors, from white to red. Popcorn is a type of flint corn.

Popcorn has a soft starchy center surrounded by a very hard exterior shell or hull. When it is heated, the natural moisture inside the kernel turns to steam. When the hull can no longer contain the pressure — POP! —the kernel explodes forming the white starchy mass that we like to eat.

Here’s how you can make your own healthy, homemade microwave popcorn.

 Put 1/4 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag with 1 teaspoon canola oil.

 Fold the opening over tightly, shake well, and tape the opening closed.

 Place in microwave folded side up for 2 to 3 minutes.

 Eat plain or add salt, melted butter, parmesan cheese or whatever else you like!

 The transformation from popcorn kernel to popcorn puff happens very quickly. To get a look at what's really going on when you hear that pop, check out this video at Popcorn.org.

Happy Popcorn Month!