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Lower calorie/better choices for popcorn toppings?


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I love love love popcorn, and I love that it's a source of whole grain as well. Do you have any favorite low(er) calorie popcorn toppings? I use an air popper so I don't need to add any fat, but it is somewhat bland. I used to melt a tablespoon of butter into it, but I figure that 100 calories can be spent another, better way. Someone at work suggested cinnamon, but that sounded kind of gross to me. Any suggestions??

Interesting article I just read about movie popcorn. I knew it was bad, but not that bad! I never buy it anyway though, too expensive.

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I love popcorn too!I am so addicted to it that sometimes i can't resist even to the bad movie kind. When i make it at home i put salt and pepper on it and it is just yummy!! You can also use spray PAM oil on it too if you want the spices to adhere better although i ususally do not have a problem!.One spray on a whole bag of popcorn has only 7cals :)

salt and nutritional yeast

lime juice, chili powder, and salt

salt and a little bit of pepper

 

all of these are quite good.

Olive oil and a little salt. It's fatty like butter, but healthier fat. If you don't like the olive taste, you might try a different oil or a lighter olive oil, but it's not particularly noticeable.

I love to use the "Parkay" or "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" sprays.  Also, I use a popcorn "White Cheddar" flavoring that you just sprinkle over it.  Neither the spray nor the cheddar sprinkle have very many calories and it makes it taste so much better!

I use this stuff:http://www.kernelseasons.com/index.php.  It's 2-5 cal / serving, depending on the flavor.  I prefer the 2-3 cal ones and usually end up putting 10 to 15 calories on in the form of flavoring and it is SO GOOD!  You can buy them at Walmart, though they have way more flavors available online.  Nacho Cheese is my favorite!

Forgot to add, to make it stick better, I spray it with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.  0 cal/spray.

Those are great ideas, thanks! I didn't think of using a spray to make things stick, that sounds like a good plan. I read that Parmesan cheese is good on it also, but when I tried to put a little on, it just all fell to the bottom of the bowl. I'll probably try a tiny bit of olive oil too.

two words......almond butter..

Original Post by ketchupspud:

I use this stuff:http://www.kernelseasons.com/index.php.  It's 2-5 cal / serving, depending on the flavor.  I prefer the 2-3 cal ones and usually end up putting 10 to 15 calories on in the form of flavoring and it is SO GOOD!  You can buy them at Walmart, though they have way more flavors available online.  Nacho Cheese is my favorite!

Forgot to add, to make it stick better, I spray it with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.  0 cal/spray.

I second the Kernel Seasons, I LOVE that stuff. 

The 2-3 calories per serving is about what it's supposed to take to season a cup of popped popcorn, and it's not off by too much.  I like mine with plenty of flavor so I add more, but 6 cups of Orville Reddenbacher air-pop stuff plus the seasoning plus the non-stick spray needed to make it stick still only comes out to about 130-140 calories.

The non-stick spray isn't really zero calories, btw, they can just get away with saying it is if it's under 5 calories per serving.  Their serving is 1/3 second of spritz.  Coating 6 cups of popped popcorn it's more like 20 calories for me (I actually weighed the can before and after - yes, I'm a little obsessive).

Original Post by ketchupspud:

I use this stuff:http://www.kernelseasons.com/index.php.  It's 2-5 cal / serving, depending on the flavor.  I prefer the 2-3 cal ones and usually end up putting 10 to 15 calories on in the form of flavoring and it is SO GOOD!  You can buy them at Walmart, though they have way more flavors available online.  Nacho Cheese is my favorite!

Forgot to add, to make it stick better, I spray it with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.  0 cal/spray.

I third these! I also love them on baked potatoes, veggies, and pasta!

I know you said you would prefer to not add any fat, but how about good-for-you Omega-3's? MELT buttery spread is my new favorite, I am adding it to everything. It still gives the creamy taste of butter, but is a lot better for you. It's made of virgin coconut oil and flaxseed oil, recent studies have shown that coconut oil is very beneficial to heart health and increasing metabolism... and it tastes delish! 

cinnamon and splenda is really good for low-cal kettle corn

also mixing it up with a packet of diet hot chocolate mix for something sweet

 

for spicy i like red pepper flakes, cajun seasoning, even seasons salt is good but don't add too much or its really salty

hope this helps!

Spray olive oil and garlic salt. Yum.

I second garlic salt and maybe a sprinkle of natural Parmesan cheese

Haha, I THIRD the garlic salt. With spray butter. Yum =)

SPIKE seasoning.  It's good on everything!

Almost any hot sauce. I really like Texas Pete's or Louisiana.

I ALSO LOVE POPCORN! lol This may sound a bit weird but I love to sprinkle Season All on my popcorn. To help make it stick use a spray or two of PAM.

Also yummy squezzing fresh lime on the popcorn and then sprikle it with sea salt! Not only is the lime yummy it helps the salt stick.

Hope this helps.

When you want to splurge, and want something sweet, I make a lowcal version of caramel corn, with or without peanuts.

With dry roasted peanuts the nutrition is 99 calories for a 30gram serving, which is basically a small cereal bowl. You can decrease the calories by starting with more popcorn, or by not adding (or adding fewer) nuts. 

Recipe:

I started with about 10 cups of popcorn. You can likely up this to 15 cups if you want it less sweet. Lightly salt.

Mix in about 1/4 cup of dry roasted peanuts or other nuts if you want to

Caramel Coating:

2 tablespoons white sugar
3.5 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon (10 grams) butter
dash salt

Mix together in a small nonstick sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil until caramelized. If you don't have a candy thermometer, which I don't, you can tell it is ready because when you drop a small amount into cold water it immediately forms a hard ball.

When it is cooked enough (e.s. when the hard ball forms in cold water) remove from heat and add in 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir in the baking soda and you'll see it change color (chemical reaction) . Pour IMMEDIATELY into the popcorn and nut mixture.  Mix well and let cool. The more plain popcorn you use, the lower the overall calories are. It will store for 4 to 5 days in a ziploc bag.

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