Celebrating National Popcorn Month

Celebrating National Popcorn Month

Thanks to the Popcorn Board, I learned that this is National Popcorn Month. Along with a great media kit came some terrific recipes and this short write up that I thought readers would enjoy.

Since we are nearing the end of the fall holidays, but there are lots more fall weekends to sit around and watch football or gather with friends and family, I have also included one of the recipes.

Like many crops, fall is harvest time for cranberries. Stirred from their sleepy marshy growing grounds when they reach their peak in color and flavor, cranberries are harvested from September through November. Not surprisingly, the ensuing fall and winter holidays are filled with recipes using this bright and bold fruit.

So let’s mix up some fun, and celebrate this seasonal treat by pairing it with another recent field graduate – popcorn. Popcorn and cranberries mixed together pack a nutritional punch as a trail mix, offering whole-grain fiber and energy producing carbohydrates (popcorn), and antioxidants (cranberries) while remaining naturally low in fat and calories.

This recipe for Cranberry-Orange Caramel Corn is an addictive sweet treat you’ll love having around, making any occasion festive. ~The Popcorn Board

Cranberry-Orange Caramel Corn

Makes: 10 cups

Preparation time: 45 minutes

10 cups popped popcorn
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1 teaspoon orange or vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place popcorn, cranberries, and almonds in a large bowl; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan heat butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and orange juice concentrate over medium heat until butter is melted. Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in extract and baking soda (mixture will foam).

3. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn mixture in bowl; stir to coat well. Spread evenly in a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 30 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. Stir caramel corn as it cools on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container.

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