When it comes to deciding on which popcorn to purchase at the supermarket, the choices are unlimited and a bit overwhelming. I usually go with the microwavable forms of popcorn as I no longer own a hot air popper. Hot air poppers still make some pretty darn good popcorn as well as the healthiest, but it is also one more appliance to find the time to clean as well as have the space to store. Not too long ago, somebody had the wit to invent bagged popcorn that could be popped in as little as a few minutes with the aid of a microwave. We have prepared our popcorn via this method ever since, and the portions seem just right for us.
For quite some time we have purchased such standby brands as Orville Redenbacher or ACT I buttered popcorn. The popcorn seemed tasty and seemed to mimic the stuff you get at the theatre. It appeared to be a real treat at the time. Well that false sense of happiness came to a halt when I found out how much trans fats are loaded into microwavable “buttered” popcorn. Trans fats are probably the worst chemicals one could ingest into their bodies as it wreaks havoc on the heart. The other new health danger found with microwave popcorn is those brands that include diacetyl in the popcorn blend. The presence of diacetyl has been rumored to cause a respiratory condition for some people. That being said, our purchasing of “buttered” microwavable popcorn came to a screeching halt.
Our trips to the store now involved purchasing popcorn that is natural and involves no butter or oils containing any trans-fats. The task of finding trans-fat free microwave popcorn is very scarce when compared to the “buttered” fat loaded theatre version packages of popcorn. We did finally come across brand called Smart Balance which made a lightly buttered variety called Smart Movie Style. The Smart Balance “Smart Movie Style” popcorn comes in a white and green box and includes four (3.5 oz) bags of microwave popcorn. The Smart Movie Style popcorn was on sale for $2.00 per box which was a good discount considering the regular price was $2.69.
The popcorn appeared to pop relatively quickly in as little as two and a half minutes. The aroma of the popcorn was very pleasing in my kitchen. The amount of seeds that popped was little less than I had hoped for. I don’t know if this was due to lack of fattier oils or because I cut the popping time to strictly two and a half minutes. Maybe I could have popped a little longer, but then I would run the risk of burning popcorn that had already popped early in the microwave.
Overall the taste of the bagged popcorn tasted pretty decent. Our family of four shared a bag on the couch in front of a movie. The buttery flavor was not really missed and we all ate this treat without any guilt as the entire bag of popcorn shared by the family was a total of 170 calories.