Popcorn is one of the most popular snacks, but have you ever wondered what the deal is with blue popcorn?
Without knowing better, someone might think those beautiful blue kernels are dyed, but they aren’t. And while many people are hesitant to eat something with a less natural color, these beauties pop up perfectly into a lightly sweet snack you must try.
Here’s everything you need – and want – to know about blue popcorn.
What Does It Mean When Popcorn is Blue?
Blue popcorn is an heirloom variety of popcorn created by the Hopi. While the kernels boast a gorgeous midnight blue color, they pop into an off-white color that looks like other types of popcorn.
As an heirloom variety, it’s typically more expensive than other types of popcorn but has a unique sweetness that shines through without needing a lot of toppings.
Dyed Versus Heirloom
Blue popcorn is typically identified by its natural midnight blue color, but some companies use dye instead. This is less expensive; therefore, they can make more of a profit.
A word of advice?
Steer clear of these versions. Check the ingredients label when purchasing popcorn (or any food) to ensure there aren’t artificial dyes. These dyes (such as Blue 1 Lake) provide a fun color once popped but have health risks as a bonus.
Since blue popcorn is a different strain of corn, it does have some nutritional differences compared to white, yellow, and other types of popcorn.
The most notable nutritional differences are protein, starch, and antioxidant content. Blue popcorn is higher in protein, lower in starch, and higher in antioxidants. This means it falls lower on the glycemic index than other types of popcorn. This provides a lower blood sugar spike.
The antioxidant content also makes blue popcorn a healthier variety than others. Specifically, blue popcorn contains anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant common in all blue foods.
Due to these reasons, blue corn can have the following health benefits:
- Memory improvement
- Reduce cancer cells
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase heart health
- Protect against diabetes
Popcorn also contains other vitamins and minerals that can benefit your body. It’s high in fiber, low in calories, and can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
Does Blue Popcorn Taste Different?
Yes, blue popcorn does taste different than other varieties. This makes sense, as it’s a different type of corn, so its properties aren’t the same as white and yellow corn (or others). It still tastes like popcorn; the difference is more nuanced than obvious.
What Does Blue Popcorn Taste Like?
Blue popcorn tastes sweeter than white and yellow corn. Its sweet, nutty taste is remarkable and doesn’t need a lot of extra flavor from toppings. It also has a slightly smaller size than yellow or white popcorn. The texture is more hearty as well, with a distinct crunch.
And a bonus improvement?
The hulls are much smaller. Many blue varieties are deemed ‘hull-less’ for this reason. So while the popped kernels have a bit of a crunch, you don’t have to worry about those hard pieces that get stuck in your teeth as much.
Can You Make Blue Corn Popcorn?
Yes, you can make blue popcorn. It can be made via the same methods as other types of popcorn, although it requires a higher temperature to pop. This makes the stovetop method of popping the most efficient for blue popcorn.
You’ll want to start by purchasing kernels. This will ensure the natural sweetness comes through best without additives and other ingredients gumming up the flavor.
Are you insistent on trying a microwave popcorn variety of blue popcorn?
Look for an ingredient list with just corn, oil, and salt. You’ll be hard-pressed to find this, though. Most microwave varieties are packed with additives and preservatives. Your best experience will come from plain kernels.
Is Blue Popcorn the Same as Purple Popcorn?
No, purple popcorn is similar tasting to blue popcorn with a lot of the same qualities, but purple kernels are generally larger than blue popcorn.
The Best Way to Make Blue Popcorn
As mentioned above, using the stovetop method to make blue popcorn yields the best results. You can pop it via other methods, but the taste and texture won’t be as good as stovetop popcorn. The kernels require more heat to pop effectively, and the stovetop is the only standard method that provides that.
The best way to make blue popcorn is to keep it simple. Pop it with oil, sprinkle a little salt on top, and let the natural sweetness shine. Try using our foolproof method to make homemade popcorn from scratch with blue popcorn.
Next time you’re on the hunt for a great movie night or weekend snack, put some blue popcorn in your cart and check out. With its distinct taste and bright white kernels, it’s sure to be a hit.
Just remember: keep the toppings simple. This is not the type of popcorn you want to cover with caramel, chocolate, or candy toppings. Salt, cheese powder, or maybe some light salt substitutes are perfect.