Have you noticed all the popcorn snacks popping up on supermarket shelves? Some might even merit a spot in your shopping cart. This whole-grain snack (yes, corn qualifies) is naturally gluten-free and filled with fiber, protein, iron and antioxidants. One ounce of kernels will pop into more than 3.5 cups of popcorn and total only about 100 calories.
When air-popped, popcorn contains only about 30 calories a cup and also provides a bit of fiber, making it a surprisingly healthy snack. Make a batch with the T-fal Hot Air Popcorn Popper, which can pop just over 4 ounces of popcorn in less than three minutes. (Bonus: The chute dispenses the popped snack directly into your bowl.)
You can buy your own Hot Air Popcorn Popper or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite popcorn topping. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, December 20 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away one Hot Air Popcorn Popper to one randomly-selected commenter. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on December 18 and 5 p.m. EST on December 20, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $40. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, what’s your favorite popcorn topping?
Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? One cup of air-popped popcorn has between 30 to 55 calories and 5% of your recommended daily dose of hunger shielding fiber. Snack on 2 cups with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or 1 tablespoon of whipped butter with ¼ teaspoon sea salt. You can also make your own in the microwave in a flash.
#2: Greek Yogurt
With more protein than traditional yogurt per ounce, nonfat plain Greek yogurt can fill you up so you’ll be less likely to mindlessly snack. Not sure which brand to choose? Check how popular brands fared in Dana’s taste test.
These crustaceans pack a protein punch for very few calories. One ounce (4 large shrimp) has 30 calories, 6 grams of protein and has minimal fat. Shrimp is also a good source of vitamin D and selenium and even contains several energy-boosting B-vitamins. If you’re allergic to shellfish or just don’t care for shrimp, choose skinless, boneless chicken breast which has 46 calories, 9 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat per ounce.
Recipe: Robin’s Coconut Shrimp
Did you know that popcorn is the only snack that’s 100% unprocessed whole grain? In fact, one serving of popcorn (about 1 cup) provides over 70% of your daily intake for whole grains. That’s good news for me because it’s one of my favorite foods. Here’s the skinny: Popcorn is minimally processed, loaded with fiber and complex carbohydrates, low in fat and provides a rich source of polyphenols, antioxidants that prevent free radical damage to cells. Polyphenols also help fight a number of chronic diseases. And because popcorn has just 4% water, it provides a more concentrated source of polyphenols than fruits and vegetables (which can be up to 90% water). Yes, fruits and vegetables are rich in polyphenols, but because of their high water content, one serving of popcorn contains more antioxidants than a day’s worth of fruits and vegetables.
Note: To be fair to the produce aisle, fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals not found in popcorn.
February is National Snack Food Month — instead of snacking on junk for 30 straight days, try Popcorn, Indiana FIT. Each cup contains 40 calories or less, and it comes in four flavors: Sea Salt, Parmesan & Herb, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Onion Dijon.
You can buy your own Popcorn, Indiana FIT or enter in the comments for a chance to win some. Just let us know, in the comments, what you like to snack on. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, February 8 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away four bags each to five lucky, randomly-selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on February 6 and 5 p.m. EST on February 8, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $14. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, what’s your go-to snack?
Depending on the ingredients, basic buttery and sugary popcorn balls can have anywhere from 200 to 400-plus calories. The numbers only go up from there with the addition of nuts, candy and caramel. Treat trick-or-treaters or Halloween party-goers to this homemade version — with a fraction of the calories — instead.
Is popcorn healthy? The answer to this question: it depends. There are so many types to choose from: kettle corn, movie popcorn, microwave, air-popped and pre-popped, flavored varieties. Some choices are definitely much healthier than others.
Air-popped popcorn is a whole grain and has between 30-55 calories per cup. It also has 5% of your daily recommended amount of fiber and is brimming with polyphenols, an antioxidant substance that has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. It can be made without the addition of oil as seen in this Food Network Kitchens’ homemade microwave popcorn recipe—made in a brown paper lunch bag!
With air-popped popcorn, you can control the added calories when it comes to add-ons like salt, Parmesan cheese, oil or butter. Check out or tips on making your own.
You can also find microwave in lighter and 100-calorie pack varieties to help you control the calories.
There’s no better snack for movie night at home than a bucket of buttery popcorn. But you may think twice about the microwave stuff after we tell you about and ingredient it contains, diacetyl, and the trouble it has caused.
What is it?
Diacetyl was first synthesized more than 80 years ago and can now be found in about 6,000 food products. It’s used as a preservative in unsalted butter to lengthen shelf life, but higher amounts are added to butter-flavored products like microwave popcorn, cooking oils and sprays and margarine.
Do you find yourself hungry 30 minutes after eating? Certain foods can help keep you satisfied so you avoid mindlessly munching throughout the day. Add these 10 filling foods to your daily repertoire.
A bowl of warming oatmeal can help jump-start a cold winter day and keep you satisfied, thanks to all that fiber.
Recipe: Apple Harvest Oatmeal
#2: Cottage Cheese
This underappreciated food has a perfect balance of fat, carbs and protein. You can count on the combo of protein and fat to help fill you up. Top ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit or granola or use cottage in dip, quick bread, or pancake recipes.
Recipe: Cottage Cheese Biscuits
Pistachios, pecans, almonds, walnuts, or cashews— nuts contain healthy unsaturated fat combined with protein to help keep you satisfied. With an average of 7 calories per nut, a small handful (about an ounce) makes a great snack.
Recipe: Almond Lover Trail Mix