Have you ever seen red popcorn kernels and wonder how they’re different from the more common yellow popcorn? Well I did too! I wanted to know how red popcorn varies from yellow or even white popcorn. I bought a couple different brands of red popcorn kernels and tried them out, and here’s what I found.
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What Is Red Popcorn?
Red popcorn is a variety of popcorn in which the kernels are reddish or crimson in color. It gets its color from anthrocyanin and cyanidin which are natural organic compounds and pigments that give fruits and vegetables like grapes, raspberries and red onions their reddish color. The kernels are smaller than traditional yellow popcorn kernels and considered “hulless”.
Completely hulless popcorn really doesn’t exist. Hulless varieties have a thinner, softer hull resulting in smaller and finer hull pieces and they don’t stick in your teeth like regular popcorn. Read my article on hulless popcorn to learn more.
Do Red Popcorn Kernels Make Red Popcorn?
Red popcorn kernels don’t make red popcorn. Wouldn’t that be cool if it did? Red popcorn pops into bright white flakes (a popped popcorn kernel is called a “flake”), but you’ll still be able to see some of the red in the hulls.
What Does Red Popcorn Taste Like?
Red popcorn tastes more like popcorn than regular yellow popcorn. It has an almost nutty flavor and a hint of sweetness to it. The kernels are small and tender, perfect for light seasonings like butter and salt.
How Do You Make Red Popcorn?
Making red popcorn is easy. You can pop red popcorn in an air popper, in the microwave or on the stove.
Here is the technique I use to make my perfect stovetop popcorn.
- Put a couple tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot.
- Turn the heat to medium.
- Add 2-3 kernels to the pot.
- Once they pop remove the pot from heat.
- Add in the rest of the kernels.
- Swirl the pot around so the oil covers all the kernels.
- Let it sit off the heat for 30 seconds.
- Put the pot back on the heat and tip the lid a bit to allow steam to escape.
- Shake the pan every so often.
- Continue to pop until the popping slows to a pop every few seconds.
- Pour into your favorite popcorn bowl and season.
Is Red Popcorn Healthy?
Red popcorn is good for you and has many health benefits. The anthocyanins in red popcorn are antioxidants and belong to the flavonoid family, which also includes wine, tea and dark chocolate. Antioxidants may help decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease by fighting free radicals that cause inflammation. Anthocyanins may also help regulate your blood pressure, boost memory and help with weight loss.
Popcorn in general has many health benefits. It’s a whole grain food that’s high in fiber, which may reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and may help with weight loss. It’s also high in polyphenol antioxidants which may help with blood circulation, improve digestive health and may reduce the risk of cancer.
Where To Buy Red Popcorn
Red popcorn is more of a specialty item so it’s not as easy to find as yellow popcorn, and it’ll most likely cost more. You probably won’t be able to find it at most major grocery stores, but you can find it online. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Amish Country red popcorn is non-GMO and gluten free. The kernels are a beautiful deep red and they pop into small, tender flakes, perfect for light seasonings like butter and salt.
The flakes are small to medium sized, bright white and have a nice popcorn flavor.
Black Jewell Crimson popcorn in non-GMO and gluten free. It has a slightly sweet, nutty, and noticeable corn taste. The popped popcorn is fluffy, tender and crispy. The taste and texture shine through with light seasonings.
The deep, red kernels pop into bright white popcorn. The red hulls make the white, smooth surface stand out. It’s beautiful and delicious!