You won’t find me feeding popcorn to my birds, no way. I believe popcorn is way too high in Omega 6s and insoluble cellulose. Popcorn shoots on the other hand, when fed as tender hemicellulose shoots...I think I have found a healthy and delicious way to serve up “popcorn” as long as non-GMO kernels are used!
I ran across this idea doing some basic web-based searching for healthy sprouts and I was intrigued by the idea. So I thought “What the heck, why not give this some research to see what I come up with?” So I did. I liked what I learned and want to share it with all of you!
As it turns out popcorn shoots have some pretty darn good nutrition to offer.
Popcorn shoots offer Vitamins A, B, C and E Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Lecithin, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Protein can be as high as 30%. It’s interesting to that popcorn shoots contain unique antioxidants known as ferulic acid, zeaxanthin, lutein and if you are lucky enough to find red or blue corn anthocyanins.
Ferulic acid is known for its anti-aging properties especially good for skin and the retina of the eyes.
Zeaxanthin is also known for the protection it gives to eyes from the harmful rays of the sun.
Lutein is still yet another antioxidant that supports eye health.
Anthocyanins have been reported by medical science to support liver health as well as to be anti-carcinogenic.
As it turns out popcorn shoots can be a very nutritious food for the eye health of us and our birds!
Just remember, these shoots are going to be high in salicylates, so you don’t want to feed them to birds who engage in feather destruction. I know, what a bummer…
Soon TheBestBirdFood.com will have non-GMO popcorn kernels available for purchase on our website!
Rev. 9.22.15: How do we sprout popcorn?
I begin by soaking organic popcorn kernels overnight for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator in filtered water or a solution of 3% FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide. Doing this will help soften the hard outer shell of the kernel. After soaking I rinse the kernels well and then place on a sprouting tray and cover lightly with a dampened white paper towel or place in a sprouting jar with a lid that allows for air circulation. I allow the kernels to begin the sprouting process rinsing three or four times a day. Since I use only the 4 to 5 inch micro greens of the sprouts, once the sprouts begin to grow I continue to rinse at least 2 or 3 times a day so no bacteria or fungus grows. The entire sprouting and growing process requires about 7-12 days depending on the temperature in your house. It’s best if you can keep sunlight away from the microgreens as they grow. Once they reach 4 to 5 inches tall simply cut the greens off and away from the kernels, rinse in 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide and feed to your birds! If you like you can gently dehydrate them for later use at temperatures below 115 degrees. Using gentle dehydration will retain the digestive enzymes, amino acids and fatty acids. I don’t advise feeding the kernels as they are very tough due to the fact they are comprised of cellulose fiber.
(Ref: http://authoritynutrition.com/foods/corn; https://www.truthinaging.com/review/what-is-it-ferulic-acid; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9828775; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082903.)
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