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Celebrating National Popcorn Day: The Ancient History, The Best Tools to Pop, and 23 Popcorn Recipes to Try Right Now!

Pop! Pop! Pop!

The sound of popcorn is almost as satisfying as the taste. 

Popcorn has been a go-to snack for movie night for as long as we can remember. 

Beyond just being tasty and nostalgic, 

it’s actually a healthy snack you can enjoy with your family and friends. 

National Popcorn day is just around the corner—

And we want to celebrate America’s favorite snack. 

Here’s what we’ll be covering: 

Let’s get popping!

The History of Popcorn: The Classic Snack and the Holiday

Can you believe that corn has actually been domesticated and consumed for over 8,000 years

Since corn has been around for so long— 

It’s hard to know exactly when popcorn came about. 

However— 

confirmed evidence of popcorn was found in Peru and is dated back 6,000 years

It is believed that before there was popcorn as we know it, corn was actually heated up and put in water. 

Over time different strains of corn were cultivated. 

With this, the fluffy popcorn as we know it was created!

People thousands of years ago appreciated popcorn for the same reasons that we do: 

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is super simple to make. All you need is heat!
  • It’s tasty and easy to flavor

Just in the last hundred years or so, 

popcorn has really taken the mainstage in the snacking department. 

When we think about popcorn, what comes to mind?

Movies!

It’s impossible not to associate this snack with the cinema.

Well, movie theatres actually pushed against popcorn as a concession during movies. 

This was for two reasons: 

  • They didn’t want the sound of the snack to overtake the movie
  • They didn’t want any mess in their theatre

This all changed during the Great Depression. 

Going to the movies and bringing along a bag of popcorn was an inexpensive outing that many struggling families could still afford. 

Movie theatres decided to capitalize on this and started selling popcorn as concessions. 

Those that sold concessions alongside theatre tickets survived this difficult era. 

Popcorn has had a place in movie theatres ever since— 

And with the invention of the microwave, it has become America’s favorite snack. 

In fact—

Over 230 million people in America enjoyed popcorn in 2018, and that number is only expected to rise through the years.!

Popcorn has truly swept the nation and it has even been given its own holiday! 

Celebrating National Popcorn Day

National Popcorn day has been recognized ever since 1988.

Honored each year on January 19th,it’s a holiday that you can celebrate with the whole family in a fun and stress-free way. 

Do you want to squeeze in some quality time with friends and family?

Celebrating something lighthearted like popcorn might be the perfect way to sit back and relax. 

Here are a few ways you can celebrate national popcorn day: 

With popcorn, the possibilities are endless. 

Take January 19th to celebrate! 

The Facts: Looking at Popcorn’s Nutritional Value

Say hello to one of the most nutritional snacks in your cupboard!

Popcorn mainly comes from one type of maize—

Zea mays everta.

This strain is much different than the type of sweet corn you can enjoy on the cob.   

Somewhat surprisingly, popcorn is actually a whole grain that you can enjoy!

It is recommended to enjoy between 3-6 servings of whole grains per day to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. 

Popcorn has the following nutrients in a serving of 3.5 oz

  • 18% RDI of Iron
  • 36% RDI of Magnesium
  • 36% RDI of Phosphorus
  • 9% RDI of Potassium
  • 21% RDI of Zinc
  • 56% RDI of Manganese
  • 7% of Thiamin (B1)
  • 12% RDI of Niacin (B3)
  • 8% RDI of Pyridoxine (B6)

As you can see, popcorn is a delicious way to get some of your essential vitamins and minerals. 

Just 3 cups of air-popped popcorn have the following nutritional value: 

  • Only 93 calories
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 1.1 grams of fat
  • 18.6 grams of carbs
  • 3.6 grams of fiber

 It’s low-fat, low-calorie, and rich in important vitamins and minerals!

But wait—

Before you start popping up a storm, 

it’s worth mentioning that the toppings and seasonings that are added to popcorn can often be unhealthy. 

That being said—

Making air-popped popcorn and adding your own homemade seasonings is a great way to reduce any unwanted additives and enjoy this healthy snack. 

Speaking of which...

Tips and Tricks to Creating the Perfect Bowl of Popcorn

If your popcorn expertise only extends towards buying a pre-popped bag at the store or tossing a packet in the microwave—

Then this is the section for you! 

Here are the tools you’ll need to create a mouthwatering bowl of popcorn right at home: 

Air Pop Popcorn Machine: 

One option to make fluffy popcorn at home is to purchase an Air Pop popcorn machine! 

For this, all you will need to do is buy the popcorn kernels, put them in the machine, 

and voilà: 

the perfect bowl of popcorn. 

After your popcorn is popped— 

Then you are free to add in yummy and healthy toppings. 

This Air Pop Hot Air machine by Nostalgia is inexpensive and makes excellent air-popped popcorn. 

Stovetop Popcorn Maker: 

The second option to making air-light popcorn right in your kitchen is a stovetop popcorn maker. 

When using the stovetop option— 

You will just pour the kernels, oil, and other dry seasonings in the aluminum pot. 

The pot has a stirring system to rotate the kernels to make sure every last kernel is popped and no pieces get burnt!

This Whirley Pop Stove Popper makes the perfect movie-theatre popcorn right at home. 

Measuring Cups: 

When concocting the perfect popcorn seasonings and toppings, 

you’ll need your handy measuring cups on hand!

In order to get the ratio of popcorn to seasoning just right, these small tools will save your life. 

This colorful set from Bake Everything is inexpensive and has everything you need. 

Popcorn Bowls: 

Naturally, you will need a few bowls to serve up your popcorn! 

If you have a family— 

Having multiple bowls so that you can divvy out everyone’s servings will be a lifesaver. 

Having a designated popcorn bowl will also help you with portion control so that you do not overindulge! 

This popcorn bowl set from Gourmac is the perfect serving set. 

Chocolate Popcorn Pie from Nicole of Allergylicious

23 Different Vegan Popcorn Recipes to Enjoy Tonight!

Now you know the key points:

a complete history of popcorn, 

its nutritional value, 

and the tools you need to make the perfect batch right at home! 

All that’s left is digging into these tasty vegan popcorn recipes. 

When it comes to enjoying popcorn there are usually 2 main camps that people stand by—

Sweet popcorn vs. savory popcorn. 

No matter what your preference is, we guarantee you’ll be tempted to try at least a few from each list. 

Sweet Popcorn Recipes

  1. For a popcorn recipe that is so tasty, it’s practically dessert, try out this oil-free caramel corn recipe by Dreena Burton.
  2. Popping up this chocolate chai popcorn created by The Simple Veganista on the stovetop is perfect for a cozy night in. 
  3. If you’re searching for a recipe your kids will love, then this vegan snickers popcorn recipe by Rabbit and Wolves is perfect. This recipe is great for an unexpected birthday treat!
  4. Crunchy, sweet, and fun to make, this muddy buddy popcorn recipe by Nerdy Mamma is addictive in the best way possible. 
  5. Cinnamon & Coriander make a recipe beyond the average caramel popcorn recipe by incorporating coconut. You have to try it. 
  6. This chocolate pumpkin popcorn recipe by Food Faith Fitness will have you wishing for fall all year-round. 
  7. Dive into a bowl of this peanut butter cup popcorn by DIY Vegan at the end of a long day, and watch your stress disappear. 
  8. Everyone knows caramel apples are absolutely delicious, so this sweet and fruity caramel apple popcorn recipe is sure to blow your mind!
  9. Cookie and Kate make a healthier alternative to caramel corn, and it tastes like a gourmet treat. Check out the recipe for her vegan maple caramel popcorn. 
  10. Popcorn for breakfast? We wish. This cinnamon bun popcorn recipe by The Big Man’s World is the perfect Sunday evening treat. 
  11. Popcorn balls are the perfect treat for a special occasion. This recipe by Vegan Blueberry is a healthy twist that includes a dash of dark chocolate. 
  12. This recipe by Sweet Simple Vegan isn’t your typical popcorn recipe… It’s an uber-creative way to make vegan rice krispies including popcorn, blackbeans, and sweet potato!
  13. There's something nostalgic about marshmallows and chocolatey s'mores that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Get a bite of that ooey-gooey goodness with these popcorn s'mores bars!
  14. Did someone say popcorn pie crust? Because that’s absolutely genius. Check out this recipe by Allergylicious for a chocolate popcorn pie

Sriracha Nooch Popcorn from Beth of Budget Bytes

Savory Popcorn Recipes

  1. Unfortunately for chip lovers, Doritos are not vegan-friendly. However, this Dorito flavored popcorn recipe by Whole New Mom makes up for it. 
  2. This pickle popcorn recipe by Accidental Happy Baker is the “real dill.” If you love the flavor of pickles, you’ll be surprised by how good it tastes on popcorn. 
  3. For a zing and a bite, you have to snack on this chili and lime popcorn recipe by Killing Thyme. 
  4. Love & Lemons hits the spot with this sweet and spicy popcorn recipe, complete with cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick! 
  5. For the perfect bit of spice and cheesy flavor, you have to enjoy this sriracha nooch popcorn by Budget Bytes. 
  6. Including healthy spices such as onion powder, cumin, paprika, and turmeric, it will be hard to put this Fiesta popcorn by Sweet Simple Vegan down. 
  7. This popcorn ball recipe by Champagne Nutrition takes risks by including peanut butter and curry powder in the ingredient list.
  8. Everyone's favorite bagel can now be enjoyed in popcorn form! Lettuce Thrive put together five different popcorn flavors, including a savory everything bagel recipe.
  9. Popcorn and tacos are the unexpected but delicious duo you never knew you needed- until now! This recipe for chili lime popcorn crusted fish tacos from Bear Necessities will change the taco game.

All About Popcorn: Simple, Delicious, and Nutritious

Now you know everything there is to know about popcorn:

  • The complete history
  • How to celebrate National Popcorn Day
  • The nutrition facts
  • The best recipes around!

Popcorn is an inexpensive and versatile ingredient—

There is a reason it’s America’s favorite snack. 

Once you try out a few of the recipes above you’ll feel confident to branch out on your own and find the flavors that you love the most. 

Are you interested in learning about other low-calorie vegan ingredients? 

Then check out our article all about the vegetable of the year— mushrooms!

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