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It's National Popcorn Day, people! Here are some Game Day treat ideas

Cinnamon popcorn crunch combines nuts, butter, sugar and a hint of cinnamon. Special to The Forum1 / 2
Popcorn, beef and cheese combined makes a great game-day snack. Special to The Forum2 / 2

Today, Friday, Jan. 19, marks a hallowed day for American snackers.

It's National Popcorn Day, a day set aside specially to honor one of our favorite national snack foods.

It's a perfect time to celebrate popcorn because a) It's winter, and how great is it to snuggle up with a snack and a movie, and b) Some football team from Minnesota is apparently doing pretty well, and it's been clinically proven that when fans eat popcorn, their teams do even better, especially when they throw it at the screen.

If you're still eating popcorn with just salt and butter, prepare for your world to be shaken. You can now mix popcorn with herbs, berries and yes, even beef jerky.

Here are a couple of recipes, courtesy of The Popcorn Board (yes, there is such a thing).

Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch

Yield: 12 cups


12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn

1/3 cup chopped unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup chopped unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup chopped unsalted pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon


In large mixing bowl, combine popcorn, almonds, cashews and pecans.

In saucepan, combine butter, sugar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, 1/4 cup water, salt and cinnamon; bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until mixture reaches 295°).

Slowly pour syrup in thin stream over popcorn mixture. Toss gently to coat evenly. Let cool; break into large chunks.

Tip: Add dried fruit, such as cranberries or mangoes, if desired.

Nutrition facts:

Per 1 cup

Calories 250

Fat 13 g

Saturated Fat 6 g

Cholesterol 20 mg

Sodium 290 mg

Carbohydrate 31 g

Fiber 2 g

Sugars 19 g

Protein 3 g

Beef Jerky Chili Popcorn

Yield: 4 servings


8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn

1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp each garlic powder and paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped beef jerky


Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; spread popcorn evenly on baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese over top.

In a small pan set over medium heat, melt butter; stir in chili powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Bring to light boil; remove from heat.

Drizzle hot butter mixture over popcorn; sprinkle with beef jerky. Bake, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until popcorn is dry and crisp. Toss gently; transfer to shallow serving bowl.

Nutrition facts:

Per 2 cups

Calories 400

Fat 30 g

Saturated Fat 18 g

Cholesterol 80 mg

Sodium 830 mg

Carbohydrate 15 g

Fiber 3 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 18 g