By Melissa Hutsell

October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. As we celebrate the harvest months, we honor one of America’s favorite snack foods by reveling in its taste and versatility for an ENTIRE month! Aside from its irresistible aromas and flavor, popcorn has become an ideally healthy snack. According to, compared to most snack foods, popcorn is considerably low in calories as one cup contains 31 (air-popped) to 55 calories (oil-popped). Not only is it low in calories, and fat (if you avoid too much butter), popcorn is a great source of fiber and polyphenols that help combatfree radicals.

The history of popcorn dates back thousands of years, even rumored to be found in the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. In fact, shutterstock_231863500the first use of cultivated corn is said to be for popping. Upon the arrival of Spanish colonists in the Americas, the Aztecs who ate it as a primary food source, as well as used it for ceremonial decorations, introduced popcorn to the settlers. Now, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts (51 quarts per person)each year.

In order to keep this snack healthy, opt for these flavorful recipes. For clean eating that is both nutritious and delicious, we have delivered a few of our favorite popcorn recipes that combine the flavors of the season. So start poppin’ San Joaquin!

Apple Pie Popcorn

• 3 Tbsp Melted Butter
• 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
• 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
• 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 1/8 Tsp Ground Allspice
• 1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg 8 Cups Popped Popcorn
• 1/4 Cup Toffee Bits
• 1 Cup Dried Apple Chips, Broken into Large Pieces

Preheat oven to 300°. Whisk melted butter with vanilla and toss brown sugar with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Toss popcorn with butter mixture and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture, and stir. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle apple chips and toffee bits over top. Bake for 15 minutes or until toffee bits start to melt. Cool before serving. *Recipe Courtesy of

Spicy Popcorn

• 1 Tsp Chili Powder
• 1/4 Tsp Paprika
• 1/4 Tsp Salt
• 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
• 1 Cup Popping Corn
• 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted

Combine chili powder, paprika and salt in a small bowl. In a large covered pot over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add a few kernels of corn and shake until they pop. Add remaining kernels, cover and cook, shaking pot often, until 4 to 5 seconds lapse between pops. Remove from heat and shake until popping stops. (Time varies depending on how fresh the corn is, what size pot you use and amount of heat. Watch carefully to prevent scorching.)

Immediately pour popped corn into a large bowl and toss with melted butter.  Place spice mixture in a small sieve and sift over buttered popcorn. Toss and serve. *Recipe Courtesy of

Loaded Baked Potato Popcorn

• 8 Slices Bacon, Chopped
• 4 Tbsp butter, melted
• 2 Tsp salt
• 3 Tbsp Chives, Finely Chopped
• 1/2 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
• 1/2 Cup Corn Kernels
• 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. In a large serving bowl, combine the melted butter, salt, cooled bacon, chives and cheddar. Place popcorn kernels and oil in a large kettle or pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When corn begins to pop, shake the pot constantly. When popping slows, remove pot from heat and pour the popcorn into the bowl with the butter, bacon and chive mixture. Toss to coat. *Recipe Courtesy of


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