Last Wednesday, students at Chicopee Comprehensive High School learned all about the health benefits of whole grains while sampling some freshly popped popcorn in celebration of Whole Grains Sampling Day. Thanks to FoodCorps and Bob’s Red Mill, the students at Comp were able to taste test organic popcorn with 3 homemade seasonings: spicy, garlic ranch, and cinnamon sugar.
Whole grains are foods that use the entire grain seed and are more nutrient-dense than refined grains that only include the starchy part of the seed (see diagram). Unlike refined grains, whole grains are high in fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Examples of whole grains include popcorn, oats, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and brown rice. The benefits of eating whole grains are longer lasting energy, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and decreased risk of overweight and obesity.
We hope that students at Chicopee Comp noticed the health benefits of their whole grain snack and will continue to make half of their grains whole every day! See our recipe for DIY microwave popcorn below to incorporate a whole grain snack into your day.
DIY HEALTHY MICROWAVE POPCORN RECIPE:
2. Loosely fold just the very top of the bag over so the kernels don’t spill out.
3. Microwave until there are more than 3 seconds between popping sounds (2-3 minutes)
4. Carefully remove bag and enjoy!
*To flavor, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter on the popcorn and add your favorite seasoning!
Garlic Ranch: Cinnamon Sugar Spicy
1 tbsp onion flakes 2 tbsp light brown sugar 2 tsp salt
2 tsp parsley leaves 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp basil leaves 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt