So I realized the other day that National Popcorn Day and Valentine's are in the same month!!! OMG! I love popcorn, and I kind of do love Valentine's Day. Not because of all of the lovie dovie stuff. Our wedding anniversary is February 10th, so we kind of lump the two together anyway. I just like all the candy! (Does that surprise you?)
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to talk a little about both popcorn and Valentine's Day! More about popcorn, and then Valentine's Day Popcorn!
Americans currently consume 14 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year! That's a lot of popcorn. And, who knew it was so good for you? At the heart of popcorn is a healthful whole-grain that is naturally low-fat, low in calories, and gluten-free! WHAT? Yep! One serving can provide about 70% of a person's recommended daily intake of whole grains.
I have some fun popcorn facts (at least I thought they were fun and super interesting)!
Most people think of popcorn as a snack, but in the early 1900's, popcorn was a popular breakfast food - much like cereal today.
It is most popular around holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
At one time, popcorn balls were one of the most popular foods given as gifts.
Most of the popcorn consumed throughout the world is grown in the United States, but Americans consume the most!
Most of the popcorn grown in the United States is grown in Indianan, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.
Microwave popcorn became popular in the early 1980's and is one of the main reasons people use microwaves. Most microwaves have a "popcorn" control button.
It is a great snack for diabetics as well as people on a low cholesterol diet.
Who knew all of that about popcorn? I surely did not. I knew it was good for you, but I definitely had no idea that we consumed that much, or that people used to eat it for breakfast!
I always associated popcorn with the movie theatre. You know when you walk in the theatre and that fresh popped popcorn smell hits your first thing? Also, in a gym at a basketball game....that was random. Look, my dad was a basketball coach, so the smell of popcorn and the sound of squeaking tennis shoes and whistle's blowing is comforting to me - I may or may not need counseling....
Anyway, you may or may not know that my mom has Multiple Sclerosis and was diagnosed with Lupus in 1983-1984. Part of her early treatment was chemotherapy. She would be in a hospital in Houston, TX, for extended periods of time to receive treatment, and then she would come home for a few weeks to recuperate, and then head back to Houston. Most of the time, when she came home between treatments, she did not feel well. She was experiencing all of the side effects that come with chemotherapy. One of which was nausea. Most anything made her sick, but she loved some movie theatre popcorn. My sister or my dad would drive me to the theatre to get her some popcorn and it made her happier than happy. She loved it and would eat it for days. The people at the movie theatre got to know us very well. I never wanted a ticket, I just needed to get to the concession stand! I'll never forget getting her that popcorn and how much she truly enjoyed eating it.
My kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE popcorn. My youngest daughter, Emily, likes it a lot, but kind of has to be in the mood for it. My oldest, Katelyn, Lordy watch out. That child can eat some popcorn. And she goes on binges. She tends to eat it late at night and she will eat it nightly for weeks and weeks. And then is done with it for a while. I popped some today and she perked up...I'm sure she'll be back on the popcorn kick tomorrow! Anyway, I thought what better way to celebrate National Popcorn Day and Valentine's Day than with Valentine's Day Popcorn??
Did you hear the bells and cheers? Oh, well, they are going off over here. Because popcorn AND chocolate? Sweet and salty? Yes ma'am I think so! I have seen a few recipes for sweet and salty popcorn, but most of them seem to use caramel. I decided to try white chocolate and popcorn, and to make it for Valentine's Day, I added some red and pink M&M's....I did...I really did. You know what I'm going to say...O.M.G....it was delicious. Like so delicious, that after Valentine's Day it will just be M&M popcorn!!!
I literally popped some microwave popcorn and melted some white chocolate. I drizzled the chocolate over the popcorn and let it set. I then mixed the white chocolate covered popcorn with Valentine M&M's and mini pretzels. I then continued to eat almost the entire thing! This should be called Valentine's Popcorn Crack...I could not stop eating it...it's salty and sweet and it's just the perfect combination. Ok, let me tell you what I did so you can get on out there and make it!
What I used:
Metal Buckets (you could use ANYTHING)
White chocolate morsels
VALENTINE'S DAY POPCORN!
- 1 bag microwave popcorn
- 1 package of white chocolate morsels (11 oz)
- 1 Tbsp shortening
- 1 cup mini pretzels (or however many you want to use)
- 1 cup Valentine's M&M's (or however many you want to use)
- 1 Tbsp shortening
- Pop the bag of popcorn in the microwave. Once it is popped, pour it onto a cookie sheet in a single layer.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate chips and shortening in 30 second intervals. Stirring every 30 seconds to ensure you do not burn the chocolate.
- When the white chocolate is melted, drizzle it over the popcorn. Add the M&M's and the pretzels and gently fold it together.
- Set the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to help the chocolate set.
- Keep the popcorn stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- If it is left out of an airtight container for too long, the popcorn will become soft, so ensure once it is served to cover it back up.
When I tell you to make this with caution…I mean be careful! You will eat the entire thing! OR, better yet, make it for your Valentine and steal their heart!! :)
Happy Valentine’s Popcorn,