Pros: Low in calories and fat, provides fiber, tastes good
Cons: More expensive
Both my husband and I like microwave popcorn, except he likes the versions that are full of butter flavor, and I like the lighter popcorn flavors. However, we found a version that we both like, and it's Jolly Time's 100 Calorie Healthy Pop Butter microwave popcorn.
The box is orange, green and yellow, and holds small flat packets of popcorn. These look just like the regular microwave popcorn packs, with the tri-folding design, except they are smaller.
The front of the box gives a lot of valuable information for the healthy minded, including:
* Contains 0 grams of trans fat
* It's 94.7% fat free
* There is no diacetyl added
* Contains only 100 calories and 2 grams of fat
* There is zero of the unhealthy trans fats
* One packet provides 5 grams of fiber
100% whole grain popcorn, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, natural flavors, annatto for coloring, soy lecithin. Contains egg, milk and soy ingredients.
Preparation and Taste
Remove the packet from it's clear plastic wrap. Cooking directions are on the back of each packet of popcorn. Be sure the correct side is facing up, and cook the product. While this can be cooked for 1 to 3 minutes, you need to be careful that you don't over cook it or you will very quickly have burned popcorn on your hands.
I set our microwave for 1 minute, and at the end of that time the popcorn was still popping quite regularly, so I reset it to cook an additional 15 seconds, and it continued to pop during that entire time as well. After I took the bag out of the microwave, it was all puffed up and shaking it told me there were a few old maids in the bottom that had not been popped.
Be careful when opening this bag of popped corn, because steam will escape from the top, and in case you've forgot this from high school chemistry, steam is hotter than boiling water. It can burn, so I never let kids handle the bags until they have cooled off.
One bag produces five cups of popped corn, according to the nutrition facts on the side of the box, but I really don't think I actually got this much popcorn out of any of my bags.
I'm glad I didn't cook my bag for the entire minute and a half, because my popcorn had just a very slight burned scent, although the popcorn itself didn't taste burned. The kernels were light and fluffy, but they really did not have any butter flavor to them at all. They did seem to be covered with a seasoned salt, which gave the popcorn it's flavor.
If you love movie theater popcorn, you might be disappointed in this 100 calorie version, but I found it hit the spot, and I didn't feel guilty about the calories and fat grams that I was consuming. I felt the sale content was just right, and I like a lot of salt. Although the front of the box reads "healthy pop butter", it does not have a real buttery taste. That didn't bother me, as I prefer my popcorn without butter anyway.
When we purchased this box a few months ago, Jolly Time also made a 100 calorie kettle corn, which I actually prefer to this version, but if you want plain popcorn, and you are watching your calories and fat, this version provides a nice sized, portion controlled snack. If you happen to be doing the Weight Watchers diet, one bag of this popcorn is worth one point.
For comparison purposes, Jolly Times Blast O Butter popcorn contains 150 calories, and a whopping 11 grams of fat. That makes this 100 calorie pack a much healthier version. I'll take 2 grams of fat over 11 grams any day!
I was curious about the claim on the front of the box stating that this product contains no diacetyl, and I had no idea what they were referring to. I did an internet search on "diacetyl", (a natural byproduct of fermentation) is what gives popcorn it's buttery taste. In high concentrations it gives off a butterscotch flavor. The problem seems to come with factory workers inhaling diacetyl over long periods of time, causing bronchiolitis obliterans. According to the medical news today website, in medical circles bronchiolitis obliterans is often termed "popcorn worker's lung".
To conclude, both my husband and I like this 100 calorie popcorn. The bags are just the right size for a single serving, they are satisfying, and they help relieve my food cravings. I like both this version and the 100 calorie kettle corn version.
Cost wise, this was more expensive than the full fat varieties, but I feel it's worth it. Our box, which held 4 packets, retailed for around $3.50.