(NAPSI)—Popcorn, enjoyed every day but celebrated in October during National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, existed long before today’s dizzying array of snacks, tracing its roots back thousands of years. Yet, throughout the ages, this enduring fan favorite has remained relatively unchanged. Popcorn kernels are the seeds of a large-grain plant also known as maize. Once the kernels are stripped from the cob and dried to 14 percent moisture, they can be popped and eaten.
This seed-to-snack simplicity is just part of the allure. Whole grain, naturally low in fat and calories, and gluten free, popcorn is a good fit for today’s health-conscious consumer. Yet it’s the taste and versatility that continue to make this one popular snack food. Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. That’s roughly 51 quarts per man, woman and child.
Add in popcorn’s irresistible aroma, connection to good times, seemingly magical transformation and the fact that it strikes a chord with the budget minded, and it’s easy to understand why there’s a monthlong celebration for this American icon every October.
You can join in the fun by making this autumnal treat, from a recipe by The Popcorn Board.
Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn
A timely fall treat, combining
luscious flavors of the harvest.
Yield: 10 cups
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 cup dried apple chips, broken into large pieces
1/4 cup toffee bits
1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Whisk melted butter with vanilla. Toss brown sugar with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
2. Toss popcorn with butter mixture. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Stir. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Sprinkle apple chips and toffee bits over top. Bake for 15 minutes or until toffee bits start to melt. Cool before serving.
Tip: Add chopped pecans for extra crunch.
Learn why popcorn pops, the history of popcorn, corny facts, recipes and more at www.popcorn.org.
Editor’s Note: While October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, this article can be useful to your readers at any time.
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New Cookbook Presents The Many Tastes Of Mexico
(NAPSI)—If you are one of the many Americans who love Mexican cuisine and want to learn more about authentic dishes and how to prepare them, there is good news.
There is an encyclopedic new cookbook, beautifully illustrated with 200 full-color photographs, that explores the full spectrum of Mexican cuisine. “Mexico: The Cookbook” has 650 recipes taken from across the entire country. The book covers all kinds of dishes, including snacks and street food, starters and salads, breads, pastries, drinks and desserts and more.
There is also a Guest Chef section featuring traditional and contemporary recipes from top chefs from around the globe.
Author Margarita Carrillo Arronte, one of Mexico’s most respected culinary figures, brings ease and approachability to each dish. A chef and TV personality, she is a leader of the Slow Food Movement in Baja, has taught at the National University of Mexico, and ran the restaurants Don Emiliano and Casa Mexico.
Learn more at www.phaidon.com/mexico.
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New York Chef Continues To Spread Passion For Cooking To Kids
by Marcus Samuelsson
(NAPSI)—As a child, I learned to cook by following my Grandma around in the kitchen. Without her, I don’t think I would be a chef today. The bond we shared in the kitchen changed my life and is a bond I hope all kids can share with a loved one. My desire to create family bonds and spread the love created through cooking is a key reason why I’ve returned to partner with the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand and the 2014 Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest.
Last year, the contest gave me the chance to inspire children across the country by sharing a passion that was instilled in me as a child. This year, the opportunity is even bigger. The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand is giving away five prize packages that include $15,000 cash, a $30,000 cafeteria makeover and a hometown celebration. To enter, parents simply submit a video with their child, in grades K-8, preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience cooking together. They then need to upload the video by Oct. 10, 2014 at www.unclebens.com.
I’m a firm believer that cooking in the kitchen is about more than creating delicious dishes. It’s about strengthening relationships, finding a love for food and most of all, having fun. The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest gives kids a chance to experience all these things. Help me in spreading the word and inspiring the next generation to cook healthy and be happy!
Grilled Steak & Vegetable Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice
1 bag UNCLE BEN’S® Boil-In-Bag Rice
1 2-lb. sirloin steak
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 medium red peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 4 grillable pieces
2 small zucchini cut into grillable flat strips
2 small yellow squash cut into grillable flat strips
2 small onions cut into slices but not separated into rings
16 flour or corn tortillas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cups Jack cheese, shredded
Hot sauce as needed
1. Season steak with salt, pepper and chili powder and rub with oil.
2. Grill steak, peppers, onion, zucchini and yellow squash on preheated outdoor grill until meat is cooked to medium, and onion and vegetables have softened and lightly charred.
3. Set meat and vegetables aside and keep warm.
4. Cook bag of rice according to package instructions.
5. While rice is cooking, grill tortillas until warm, pliable and lightly toasted. Keep warm.
6. Slice meat and vegetables into thin strips.
7. When rice is finished cooking, add in 1 Tbsp butter, chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix well.
8. Assemble tacos with steak, vegetables and rice.
9. Top each taco with shredded Jack cheese and hot sauce as desired.
Marcus Samuelsson is the Ethiopian-born and Swedish-raised chef of Red Rooster Harlem in NYC. He has appeared on “Top Chef,” “Chopped” and “T
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Understanding Dietary Supplements
(NAPSI)—Research has shown, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports, that dietary supplements can be good for your health. For example, it’s wise to take in the right amount of minerals, especially iron. Here’s why:
• Iron is an essential mineral for the human body, required to transport oxygen and support energy release.
• Iron plays a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system and increases cognitive function for sustained concentration.
• Initial iron deficiency symptoms can include fatigue, general lack of energy and decreased ability to concentrate.
• Pregnant women, vegetarians and endurance athletes in particular should monitor their iron levels with the help of their health care practitioners.
Read The Label
That said, you need to know what you’re getting. Keep four points in mind:
1. Tell your health care provider about any supplements you use.
2. Always read and follow the label instructions.
3. The label should have the name of the supplement, the name, address and phone number of the manufacturer, a complete list of ingredients and the serving size.
4. You should see how much of each nutrient is in the supplement. You want to get the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) but you don’t want to exceed the tolerable upper intake level for any one nutrient. That can be a problem if you take iron. It’s a very difficult mineral for the body to absorb. Consider this: Eighty percent of women of childbearing age require 2 mg of absorbed iron daily, yet most traditional iron supplements contain 65 mg of iron. Of this 65 mg, very little is absorbed, resulting in excess iron, often leading to uncomfortable gastrointestinal problems.
Fortunately, you can now get a liquid iron supplement that’s been clinically shown to have a high absorption rate of 40 percent. Each packet contains 5 mg of naturally occurring iron-rich spring water. This can fulfill the daily absorbed iron requirement of 2 mg, leaving only 3 mg of excess iron.
Both original pur-Absorb and pur-Absorb Apple supplement with 100 percent natural apple concentrate plus vitamin C for enhanced absorption come from Nelsons, the United Kingdom’s largest manufacturer of natural health care products.
Learn more at www.purabsorb.com or (800) 319-9151.
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Three Top Reasons to Make Chia a Healthy Habit
(NAPSI)—Here’s food for thought: Adding a serving of chia seeds to meals every day offers a more natural way to improve health and well-being than consuming multiple nutritional supplements, vitamins and energy drinks.
Eating nutrient-dense whole foods is a tasty and natural way to boost health from the inside out. Chia, widely considered a “superfood,” contains essential fatty acids, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, protein and antioxidants.
Good reasons many make chia a daily health habit include:
1. Appetite control. In addition to delivering a nutritional boost, chia can be used to curb appetite and increase energy. The seeds absorb many times their weight in water, helping to slow digestion and ward off cravings and sugar crashes. The dietary fiber in chia seeds also supports healthy digestion naturally.
2. Healthier hair, skin and nails. Beauty-boosting Omega-3s are “essential” polyunsaturated fats that contribute to improved circulation and cell function. Because the body is unable to produce these fats, the only way to get them is from food. Omega-3s include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which comes from plant sources. Chia is a more potent plant source than flaxseeds.
3. Easy to use. Chia seeds are very versatile. You can sprinkle them onto cereal, add them to smoothies and shakes, or cook and bake with them to boost the nutrition of favorite recipes. Unlike flax, chia seeds do not need to be ground. Mixed with water or almond milk, they swell up to create a gelatinous base for all kinds of desserts and beverages.
When choosing chia, it’s important to consider the quality of the seeds to ensure nutritional consistency. For example, unlike generic chia seeds, one tablespoon of white Salba Chia whole seeds provides 800 percent more Omega-3s (ALA) than salmon and less than a gram net carbohydrate per serving.
Salba Chia is the only form of chia for which there are positive published health and medical studies. Grown under strict conditions, these white seeds are gluten free, contain no trans fats and are Non-GMO Project Verified.
For recipes and further information, visit www.salbasmart.com.
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Enjoy The Holidays With A Twist On Classic Celebrations
(NAPSI)—Another spirited holiday has arrived, heralding months of twinkling lights, festive celebrations and delicious food. As festivities begin and hosts contemplate their holiday menus, it’s important to remember that a bountiful holiday table deserves to be paired with a bright and crowd-pleasing wine.
Wine and food lovers can kick off their celebrations this year on the third Thursday of November, the official release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the harvest. The bright berry flavors of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau ($11) evoke joy and pair perfectly with almost any holiday dish, from rib roast to a brimming bowl of mashed potatoes.
To add a twist to classic holiday celebrations, incorporate the revelry of the French harvest into the merriment using the following tips:
• Wondering how much wine to buy? A good rule of thumb is one serving per hour per person.
• For background music, choose elegant French jazz or classic artists such as Edith Piaf or Josephine Baker.
• Accent the wine’s freshness by serving it slightly chilled.
• Decorate with vintage travel posters of lush vineyards and quaint cobblestoned market squares, like those found in Beaujolais.
• To give your table that wow factor, use a beautiful bowl overflowing with grapes as the centerpiece.
• Holiday foods pair beautifully with Beaujolais Nouveau. Serve a range of cheeses and charcuterie. To please a large crowd, complete your holiday table with this Maple Rib Roast recipe:
Maple Rib Roast
Servings: 12 portions
5-lb rib roast, bone in
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup pure Canadian maple syrup
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 T fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 T fresh black pepper, roughly ground
Store-bought bordelaise sauce
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place roast bones side up in roasting pan. Score fat with knife. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover ends of bones with foil. In bowl, combine maple syrup and mustard; baste roast. Separately, combine herbs and pepper; season roast. Roast for 30 minutes; reduce to 300° F and cook for 2 hours for rare doneness. Wrap in foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with bordelaise sauce.
Recipe: Pure Canadian Maple Syrup (www.purecanadamaple.com)
Visit www.duboeuf.com for more information.
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Four Ways To Simplify Your Holidays
(NAPSI)—This holiday season, you can simplify your day-to-day tasks to focus on spending time with family and friends.
Here are tips that can help:
• In lieu of elaborate dinner parties, invite friends and family over for brunch or lunch.
• Memberships to a theater or museum make great gifts that can bring pleasure all year and help support the community.
• Donate to a charitable cause or nonprofit in a special someone’s name.
• Incorporate your favorite bakery’s bread or cookies into a gift basket with tea towels, fruit and a bottle of an R.W. Knudsen Family® celebratory beverage.
R.W. Knudsen Family believes great juice is the result of great fruit-so for more than 50 years, it’s produced quality juice products, including more than 100 types of natural and organic fruit and vegetable juices, carbonated fruit beverages and specialty items.
You can use them in such tasty dishes as this one:
Cranberry Pomegranate Celebration Punch with Ice Ring
3 (32-fl. oz.) bottles R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Cranberry Pomegranate Flavored Juice Blend, chilled, divided
1 lemon, sliced crosswise into 6 to 8 thin slices
18 to 24 small fresh or frozen cranberries
1 (13/4-oz.) package fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds (arils), optional
2 (25.4-fl. oz.) bottles R.W. Knudsen Family Sparkling Cranberry Flavored Beverage, chilled
1 (8-fl. oz.) bottle R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Orange Juice from concentrate, chilled
Pour 1 bottle juice blend into 8-cup fluted tube pan or ring mold. Arrange lemon slices in pan. Center 3 to 4 cranberries and mint leaves over each lemon. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if desired. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Combine remaining juice blend, sparkling cranberry beverage and orange juice in punch bowl. Unmold ice ring by dipping mold quickly into pan of warm water to loosen. Float ice ring in punch, fruit side up.
For other recipes and further information, see www.rwknudsenfamily.com and www.facebook.com/RWKnudsen.
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Tips For Organic Holiday Living
(NAPSI)—During the bustling holiday season, it can be challenging to balance an organic lifestyle with holiday parties, decorating decadence and comfort food. This year, make sure your family is living organically-even during the sweetest season of the year!
Here are five simple tips for living organically this holiday season:
1) Decorate Organically—Skip plastic holiday decor and go with “do-it-yourself” handmade decorations. You can get the whole family involved in making your own decor with organic flowers, boughs, wreaths and fabric. Repurpose last year’s seasonal greeting cards into a festive banner by clipping them to a colorful ribbon, or recycle old papers into classic fold-and-cut snowflakes.
2) Give Organic Host/Hostess Gifts—Holiday parties can become a major undertaking. Thank the host or hostess for his or her hospitality with a breakfast basket. Include seasonal fruit, a pound of fresh-roasted coffee beans, fresh bread and an assortment of Santa Cruz Organic® Fruit Spreads.
3) Eat a Snack Before Holiday Parties—Eating a small, nourishing snack before you go out can help you avoid making questionable decisions at the buffet table. Try a few apple slices with Santa Cruz Organic Dark or Light Roasted Peanut Butter or your favorite crackers spread with Santa Cruz Organic Apricot Fruit Spread.
4) Help Educate Other Partygoers—Make a decorative recipe card and label to accompany your organic dish on the buffet table or potluck line. You’ll be able to share the recipe and ingredients of your organic dish in a subtle way, providing friends and family with a recipe for all to enjoy at future gatherings.
5) Serve an Organic Holiday Meal—A delicious meal with family and friends is central to most holiday celebrations. Start with organic appetizers like a festive cheese plate. Adorn an elegant cheese plate with Santa Cruz Organic Mango Fruit Spread. Include spiced nuts, dried fruits and antipasti to offer unique flavor pairings.
Santa Cruz Organic offers a variety of fruit spread flavors including Apricot, Blackberry Pomegranate, Concord Grape, Mango, Seedless Red Raspberry and Strawberry. For more ideas on living organically during the holidays, visit www.santacruzorganic.com or www.facebook.com/santacruzorganic.
As a pioneer organic brand, Santa Cruz Organic was the first to have a wide range of organic, 100 percent juices and blends and the first juice processor to use all organic fruit sourced from growers certified by an independent, third-party certification organization. With a history of developing innovative products, Santa Cruz Organic currently offers more than 60 organic items ranging from organic fruit juices and sparkling beverages to organic fruit sauces, chocolate-flavored syrups, peanut butters and fruit spreads.
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