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JWAHLTON Posts: 884
1/15/14 12:27 P

I'm so glad for this post! I was going to start a new post with the same question when I thought to do a search. I'm glad I'm not the only one confused. I mean, how in the heck do I know how much 3 TBS of unpopped corn makes? I would like them to say THIS BAG CONTAINS 200 CALORIES. I'm going to check out the one at Wal Mart next time I go (which isn't very often). My sister eats popcorn for dinner every night. That's all she eats. And she is tiny. I know that's not good for you, but she won't budge.

KAREN2LOSE55 Posts: 8,040
12/11/13 12:02 P

Here's the recipe here on SP that's called Simply Popped Popcorn and it's done in a brown lunch bag. It's yummy and a lot more healthy! emoticon

Edited by: KAREN2LOSE55 at: 12/11/2013 (12:03)
TXGIRL1023 Posts: 382
12/9/13 2:19 P

Thanks so much for asking this question! I've always been confused my microwave popcorn math. I also have an air popper, but I hardly ever use it because it's hard to get seasonings to stick unless I use some weird spray on it. Maybe it's a learning process and I just need to stick with it!

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
12/9/13 7:59 A

I found a nearly-new hot air popper last weekend at our local flea market for $5.
I don't have any problem with butters, et al... but I do love the sprinkle-on flavorings. I have no idea what their nutritional "values" are. I like the butter, white cheddar, and kettle flavors. I've also used Bragg's™ seasoning, which is good. Pie spice can be nice. I've mixed up a bit of sucralose with that for a change. Surprisingly, things like onion powder or garlic powder can be good too. Try an herbed butter! yum

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 12/9/2013 (08:02)
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,249
12/9/13 7:12 A

Other interesting facts about popcorn...

Popcorn is the only form of corn that bursts out, thanks to the moisture present in the kernels...high in fiber but low in calories, sodium, and sugar and fat free. Only half a gram of fat in 1 cup. To saturate it in butter or salt could simply render the snack unhealthy

Some popcorn has sugar, butter and salt. Check labels on the microwaved kind...turn the box around and look for the sodium, sugar and fat content, as this varies from brand to brand.

Popcorn is one of the healthiest foods anyone can eat. It has protein, minerals and vitamins… and lots of fiber, so eating popcorn is good way to vary a diet because it contains many valuable nutrients.

Maybe try ...Use chili powder to flavor the popcorn or cinnamon powder

Use garlic powder to flavor the popcorn as this will give the popcorn enough flavor so that you don't miss the regular salt and butter

Drizzle the popcorn with dark chocolate. Microwave dark chocolate chips and pour it over the popcorn...dark cocoa is healthy.

Mix in some almonds or walnuts for additional heart healthy minerals and oils... or add a little Parm or Romano as both have protein....just minimal because of the sodium.

Presto Air popper at Walmart $19.99...I used to use the brown bags but found my Presto to make great investment I ever made and popcorn kernels are so much cheaper than the microwaved bags.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 12/9/2013 (07:14)
MLEHTO Posts: 734
12/9/13 2:56 A

I too love popcorn and am going to try the paper bag in the microwave trick. Thanks!

DIALYNN Posts: 19
12/8/13 9:00 P

I love popcorn, and my favorite 'healthy " choice is the Pop Weaver light. I am trying to use air=popped and I can't seem to get enough flavor to stick to it.

JILLRY03 Posts: 72
10/15/13 11:08 A

Thank you so much for asking this question!! I have been looking for answers and I think I found them! I guess I should have asked the question a long time ago! hahaha Good Luck in your weight loss journey!!

ALEGNAC SparkPoints: (4,939)
Fitness Minutes: (321)
Posts: 80
10/15/13 10:50 A

I love popcorn and I too have made it in a brown paper bag in the microwave or in my microwave popper. I love being able to add my own seasonings.

TERRIMMIX Posts: 480
10/15/13 9:27 A

I'm going to try the Pop Weaver brand. I'm also going to try the coconut oil in my popper. That sounds so yummy!

WARPDRVR SparkPoints: (14,079)
Fitness Minutes: (11,306)
Posts: 134
10/15/13 2:33 A

We just last week found a brand at Wal Mart that actually tells you in the nutrition info the calories in a popped bag! That's one of their selling points is that people can understand the calorie info. The brand is called Pop Weaver. They have light butter, regular butter and Movie Theater Style Butter. The calories range from about 220/bag for the light butter to about 300/bag (IIRC) for the Movie Theater style one. That, in fact, is what made me buy it, I didn't have to do math gymnastics to figure it out...

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
10/13/13 5:22 P

Popcorn isn't really difficult to understand. Like all of us, all it really wants is to be loved. Be honest with your popcorn about your feelings and it makes you feel. Tell it how much you love it's warm, crunchy, salty goodness. How it keeps you away from the bad influences of salty chips and other fattening snacks.
Love your popcorn and it will love you back!

Sorry, there are days when I just can't control myself!

HMBROWN1 Posts: 16,196
10/12/13 10:52 P

Great info. The nutritional content always confused me too.

SCIFIFAN Posts: 1,119
10/12/13 9:20 P

`Someone on these boards several years ago explained how to make microwave popcorn in a paper bag--ever since then that's what I do. I use lunch-size bags and the popcorn setting on my microwave, although I find it takes a minute or so more than what that setting gives.

I'm sorry to say I have never measured how much unpopped corn I put in the bag, but I'd estimate that about 1 tablespoon (maybe a little more) makes 3-4 cups of popped corn, enough for one person, normally. I do think there are more unpopped kernals than with a commercial bag. I figure it as 3 cups (popped) = 100 calories.

I don't add oil, but do spray with butter spray and add a little salt and sometimes a little sugar once it is popped, for a change. Is it as good as corn popped in oil and smothered with butter--no? But I have learned to like the nutty taste and sometimes just eat it plain.

Edited by: SCIFIFAN at: 10/12/2013 (21:22)
MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,449
10/12/13 7:13 P

I have never been able to wrap my head around it. It would be nice if popcorn makers would just say, if you eat this bag, you eat this many calories.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,744
10/11/13 1:07 P

this was a good topic

DOUGHBOY1970 Posts: 98
10/11/13 12:20 P

Thanks, everyone. This helps a lot.

CJGODESS101 SparkPoints: (30,781)
Fitness Minutes: (9,224)
Posts: 611
10/11/13 11:57 A

I agree with most people, its always better to make your own. I use a plain microwave popper and just let the kernels pop and add a little salt. I also love adding about 2 T coconut oil to the pan heating it with the kernels and letting them pop. I can get my salty and sweet craving in one shot. emoticon

ANARIE Posts: 13,184
10/11/13 11:44 A

The problem with microwave popcorn is that the makers are required to give nutritional info for what actually goes into the package, but you don't eat everything that's in there. If you opened the bag and ate it like that, unpopped, licking out all the oil, it would have the nutritional values that are listed on the package. But when you actually pop it and eat it like a normal human being would, a lot of the oil and some unpopped kernels are left behind. That's why the total for the popped servings doesn't match the total for the unpopped.

When I eat microwave popcorn, I go with the popped values on the package and just accept that it's probably not quite right. If I ate a lot of it, I would watch to make sure it didn't affect my weight.

Actually, if I were going to eat a lot of it, I would buy a microwave popcorn popper. Then you would know how much popcorn and how much oil you were using, you wouldn't have to worry about what weird chemicals might be in it, and you would save about 75-90% of the cost. Plain popcorn is unbelievably cheap.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
Fitness Minutes: (7,415)
Posts: 1,299
10/11/13 9:20 A

SUNSHINE6442: "Air popping method is the best way to prepare popcorn and keep away all the fat and preservatives at bay. You be surprised how much better it tastes too!"

I agree that air-popped is healthier. However, I wouldn't eat popcorn if I only fixed it air-popped. {I have been eating popcorn several times a month, for as long as I can remember.} I generally pop mine in my Stir-Crazy popper, using extra virgin olive oil, and not adding any margarine/butter or salt. Sometimes I pop it in light margarine, and again do not add any additional margarine or butter or salt.

DOUGHBOY1970: I absolutely agree with you about the "head scratching" of trying to figure out somewhat accurate calorie totals in microwaved popcorn. The figures seldom make sense, based on most brands' calculations. I did find a brand on sale once at the local store that purported to give the "popped" calories and not the unpopped kernel calories.

Edited by: ALBERTJON at: 10/15/2013 (19:48)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,246
10/11/13 8:58 A

air and oil popped are just how they are cooked. microwave is an oil popped variety.
basically air popped means you take kernels, add nothing to them, heat til they pop and then eat them. oil popped means you take the kernels, put them in oil, heat til they pop and eat them. microwave popcorn, since it is kernels and fats, would fall under oil popped.

DOUGHBOY1970 Posts: 98
10/11/13 7:57 A

Thanks, Nirerin.

DOUGHBOY1970 Posts: 98
10/11/13 7:56 A

Thanks for replying. I've never understood air-popped vs. oil-popped. It seems to me that I have neither. I have microwave-popped.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,249
10/11/13 5:26 A

Just so you know....

3 cups of air-popped popcorn, no butter or margarine, no salt equals around 100 calories. A cup of oil popped popcorn contains around 55 calories. Air popping method is the best way to prepare popcorn and keep away all the fat and preservatives at bay. You be surprised how much better it tastes too!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,246
10/11/13 12:11 A

the thing to remember about popcorn is that popping the kernel doesn't change the calories in it, just the volume. so let's pretend each kernel is 2 calories. the unpopped cup is so much higher in calories because you can fit 60 unpopped kernels into that cup. once you pop the kernels you can only fit 8 in there [at least while pretending each kernel is only 2 calories. i have never been bored enough to actually count it out and average]. so that's the major discrepancy. the other thing that accounts for the lower cals is the assumption that not all of the kernels will pop.

DOUGHBOY1970 Posts: 98
10/10/13 11:03 P

I've been trying to wrap my head around the nutritional values of microwave popcorn for a long time. I just had some Orville Redenbacher's light butter popcorn. Now, the nutritional info says that 2 tbsp unpopped has 120 calories, but 1 cup of popped popcorn has 15 calories. Then, the serving size says that 2 tbsp unpopped makes 5.5 cups popped, which means that a popped serving size contains only 82.5 calories? Furthermore, there are 2.5 servings per bag, which means that an entire bag of popcorn, once it is popped, only has 206.25 calories?

Am I missing something?

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