Jena DeMoss: ‘Pop’ some whole grains

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Fall is a great time to be active outside whether you head to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, football tailgates or enjoy the fall foliage hiking a local trail. When you are out and about this fall, think about using popcorn as a healthy on-the-go snack.  October just happens to be Popcorn Month and it couldn’t come at a better time.  It is the best time to harvest the corn, especially in the Midwest, since we produce nearly all the world’s popcorn.

Popcorn makes a great snack because it is considered a whole grain, contains fiber and is naturally low in fat and calories. The crunchy hull of the popcorn is high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant.  It also has about three grams of fiber in three popped cups, and fiber may play a role in controlling blood glucose levels and curbing hunger.

Furthermore, popcorn can take on savory or sweet flavors to satisfy all taste buds.  Customize your own creation at home by seasoning with your favorite herbs and spices.  Simply take ¼ cup popcorn kernels, place kernels in brown paper bag, fold top over twice, microwave for about 1 minute and 50 seconds, and season to your liking.  Try cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon pepper or crushed red pepper for a different take on popcorn.  Or add dried fruits and nuts to popcorn for a custom snack mix. Popcorn is a fun snack and an easy way to add whole grain servings in your day. No matter where your fall activities take you, enjoy some popcorn along the way.

Candy Corn Trail Mix

Makes 14 servings (½ cup trail mix each)

Ingredients

• 2 cups Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop lightly sweet popcorn

• 2 cups Angie’s Candy Corn Holidrizzle Kettle Corn

• 1 cup lightly salted Hy-Vee peanuts

• ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

• ½ cup golden raisins

• 1 cup Chex® gluten-free cereal

• ½ cup candy corn

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.

2. Portion out ½ cup trail mix per person.

Nutrition facts per serving: 162 calories; 9 g total fat; 1.5 g sat fat; 0 g trans; 0 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 12 g sugar; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 75 mg sodium