Frugal Friday

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Did you know Americans eat 17 billion quarts of popcorn every year? And it's one of the oldest American foods. In this Frugal Friday report, Carla Kneeland has more on the benefits of popcorn, including the best brand for your buck.

Popcorn is one of the easiest ways to get your kids to eat more whole grain foods.
But there are some nutritional "dos and don'ts to get the maximum benefit of this fun food.

You may not think of popcorn as whole grain food with its light fluffy texture, but three cups counts as one of your recommended three servings a day of whole grains.

"Plain popcorn is more nutritious than you might think, but if you add a lot of fancy toppings, you turn a healthy snack into one that is loaded with fat, sodium and calories."

While you can find bags of the raw kernels, most people prefer the packages that are ready to pop in the microwave, and that's where you have to "watch out."

The Good Housekeeping Institute recommends Garden of Eatin' and Bearitos. Both of these popcorn brands are organic. They provide the maximum "whole grain" nutrition with microwave convenience, and they cost between two and three dollars.

"Another way to cook oil-free popcorn is to use "old fashioned" popcorn with nothing added and then cook it in a hot air popper. If it tastes a little bland, just spray it with cooking spray and sprinkle it with herbs or spices."

Popping popcorn has become one of the top uses for microwave ovens. Most microwaves now have a popcorn control button.

Manufacturer’s Contacts:

Garden of Eatin’
631-730-2231 (Gina Balsan)

631-730-2200 (Mary Anthes; of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.)