We are thrilled to be able to share with this great story with you that was originally published on the super popular blog by bon appétit magazine. They taste tested supermarket foods to make your choice at the supermarket a little bit easier. Here, they share the results of their popcorn tasting:
You may not want to watch Scarlett Johansson strut her paradisiacal curves down the red carpet Sunday while stuffing yourself with greasetastic junk food. You’ve come to the right place: In true Hollywood style, today we tasted the health nut’s snack food–popcorn. “It’s packed with fiber and you can have four cups for around 120 calories,” says nutritionist Marissa Lippert. “That even leaves you some wiggle room to make the flavor interesting with add-ons like truffle oil, dried herbs, or a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.”
#1 Jolly Time Healthy Pop Crispy White Naturally Flavored 94% Fat Free Microwave Popcorn
Nutrition: One serving (2 tablespoons/34g unpopped; about 5 cups popped) = 100 calories, 2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 260mg sodium, 23g carbs, 0g sugars, 4g protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 2% iron.
Ingredients: 100% whole grain white popcorn, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (adds a dietarily insignificant amount of trans fat per serving), salt, natural flavor.
Cost: $3.19 for a 6-pack of 3-oz bags at the Giant in Exton, PA
Blind Tasting Notes: “Salty without being buttery–I like it”; “I’d definitely snack on this. Nice”; “Pretty addictive”; “Salty but not overwhelming”; “Nice texture, nice savoriness”; “Dense, substantive, salty–yum”
#2 Newman’s Own Organics Unsalted 94% Fat Free “Pop’s Corn” Microwave Popcorn
Nutrition: One serving (3.2 cups/28g) = 100 calories, 1.5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 20g carbs, 0g sugars, 3g protein, 0% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 4% iron, not a significant source of vitamin A, vitamin C, or calcium.
Ingredients: Organic popcorn.
Cost: $3.39 for a 3-pack of 2.8-oz bags at Whole Foods in Jericho, NY
Blind Tasting Notes: “Mild, true corn aftertaste”; “I loved this one. Tastes healthy, simple”; “Good corn flavor. Needs salt and butter, though!”
#3 Smart Balance Smart ‘n Healthy Deluxe Microwave Popcorn
Nutrition: One serving (3 tablespoons/28g un-popped; 4 cups popped) = 110 calories, 2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 20g carbs, 0g sugars, 4g protein, 4% iron, not a significant source of vitamin A, vitamin C, or calcium.
Ingredients: Corn, natural oil blend (corn and palm fruit oils), salt, natural and artificial flavor (derived from lactose-free milk), colored with annatto, TBHQ to preserve freshness.
Cost: $2.19 for a 4-pack of 3-oz bags at the Giant in Exton, PA
Blind Tasting Notes: “This is what I dream movie popcorn would be: not over-saturated with butter”; “Not overpowering–good”; “Still synthetic tasting but not as bad as some of the others”; “Buttery but not as fake as the others”; “Sweet, nice crunch”; “Don’t love the smears of orange ‘butter'”
In this test, we avoided artisanal brands that you might have to order online. But for future reference, here are Bon Appetit‘s favorite popcorns–all stovetop: Boulder Popcorn, Rancho Gordo, and Anson Mills.