Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Picking the Perfect Popcorn!

Since I have not done a Tasty Tuesday post in awhile, I figured now would be a good time while I'm on a kick of eating popcorn as a snack. Most of the popcorn flavors & brands will probably not be new to everyone, but I wanted to share the ones that I've never tried and have found to be delicious. For awhile I was looking for the perfect snack that would satisfy my salty, sweet, and crunchy cravings that I get at night when I'm ready for a snack while I relax. It seems that, for now, popcorn seems to be the perfect snack for me at night!

Orville Redenbacher's® Pop-Up Bowls: Butter & Kettle Korn (94% Fat-Free)
I've always loved this brand of popcorn but when the brand started making pop-up bowls, I was really hoping that one day they'd start selling the pop-up bowls with 94% fat-free popcorn. I just learned as of last month that they now sell just that coming in two flavors -- butter and kettle korn. Personally, I only learned in the last few months that I actually really like Kettle Korn popcorn because it's both sweet AND salty which often satisfies two or three of my cravings at once. Prior to just heating up a bag of kettle korn popcorn, I was seasoning regular 94% fat-free popcorn with Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasonings. While it's fun to try so many different flavors & seasons, I vastly prefer the sweet, kettle corn taste right out of a hot bag of popcorn as opposed to adding it to a bag of regular buttered popcorn.

The only downside to these pop-up bowls is that they each have about 11-13 cups of popcorn which is about 7-9 points+ and that can often be too many points for one snack. I only recently discovered how high this popcorn is in points+ because the nutrition label on the side of the box is often confusing when it comes to popcorn. Initially I thought there were only 6.5 cups of popcorn in one bag until I read that there were TWO servings of unpopped kernels in the bag which makes about 6.5 cups of popped popcorn. Therefore, I sat down one day and measured out how much popcorn was in one full bag of these pop-up bowls and I counted about 11 cups. In the future, I will only be using these pop-up bowls when I have at least 5-6 points+ left in my daily target so I'm not using so many of my weekly points+ allowance. Thankfully, there is good news...

Orville Redenbacher's® 100-Calorie Mini Bags: Butter & Kettle Korn (94% Fat-Free)
I always knew that 100-calorie mini bags existed, especially in the butter/light butter flavor. However, I didn't know that mini bags existed with kettle korn popcorn! Once I figured out how much I love kettle popcorn in the pop-up bowls, I just HAD to have kettle popcorn in mini bags that were less WW points+ for a better nighttime snack. Unfortunately it's much harder to find 100-calorie mini bags with 94% fat-free kettle popcorn than it is to find 94% fat-free buttered popcorn. I'm still scoping out different stores to see which ones carry these delicious mini bags of kettle popcorn. So far I've found one store near me but it's not the most convenient for me to go. Hopefully I can find these kettle popcorn mini bags at stores that are more convenient for me.

Skinnygirl Popcorn 150-Calorie Mini Bags: Lime & Salt and Butter & Sea Salt (94% Fat-Free)
Now, I never knew that Skinnygirl made popcorn. I knew the brand name made cocktails and only learned a few months ago that they made protein bars (as featured in my last Tasty Tuesday post). So when I saw a simple white box of popcorn with Skinnygirl on the box, I just had to try this new (to me) product. I was also intrigued by the flavors -- I had never heard of popcorn with Lime & Salt or Butter & Sea Salt flavors. I've tried both flavors and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of each flavor. The Lime & Salt had just a hint of lime taste so it the lime taste didn't overwhelm the popcorn flavor. As for the Butter & Sea Salt flavor, I can't say I noticed a significant difference between that and regular 94% fat-free buttered popcorn.

It should be noted that Skinnygirl Popcorn partnered with Orville Redenbacher's® to create these flavors. As I've been closely investigating different types of popcorn, I've noticed that Orville Redenbacher's® makes 100-calorie mini bags of lime & salt flavored 94% fat-free popcorn. I haven't tried Orville Redenbacher's® version of the Lime & Salt popcorn, but I'm sure it tastes very similar to the Skinnygirl Popcorn version.


Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasonings
As I mentioned above, I have tried in the past to season my mini bags of buttered popcorn with these seasonings. There's so many flavors that it helped to make boring butter popcorn bags a bit more interesting for me. So far I've tried the following flavors: Buffalo Wing, Kettle Corn, Nacho Cheddar, Ranch, and White Cheddar. Among those seasonings, I think my favorite were Kettle Corn, Nacho Cheddar, and White Cheddar flavors. However, my favorite flavor was the Kettle Corn seasoning, so I'm glad I found microwavable mini bags of 94% fat-free kettle popcorn. These seasonings are definitely worth a try if you've never tried them on your popcorn before! There's such a variety of flavors that these seasonings come in that I'm sure you'll find at least one that you enjoy.

Smartfood Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn Popcorn
Just like the White Cheddar popcorn that Smartfood is known for, the Kettle Corn popcorn is just as delicious if not more so! I first discovered this new flavor of popcorn by Smartfood in the vending machine at work. I've also been able to find (small/medium) bags of this popcorn at gas stations. Unfortunately I have not been able to find smaller bags of this popcorn so the bags that I have tried are about 6 points+ per bag (I don't remember how many calories were in the bag though, sorry!). I would love for this company to sell 100-calorie bags of this popcorn. Hopefully in the future, Smartfood will start selling this tasty flavor of popcorn in smaller bags just like it does with its White Cheddar flavor.

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