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Friday, 4 November 2016

Have the Munchies? Here's a Healthier Snack.

Way back when, after I had my second child, I discovered that the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and milk that I craved while I was pregnant didn't seem to want to leave me. I decided to join Weight Watchers and attended a weekly meeting in the basement of a church where I was weighed in and learned all about the points system. I managed to be successful and adopted some pretty good eating habits. From what I hear about the new Weight Watchers, it is even better now and seems to pay more attention to protein and complex carbs as opposed to just staying within your points regardless of what you choose to eat.

I discovered Smart Pop microwave popcorn. I bought it by the case. It was one of my go-to snacks while I was on Weight Watchers. I did not care what was in it, as long as I stayed within my points. Unfortunately if you look at the ingredients, it isn't just plain old popcorn in that flat sealed up bag. There are other ingredients that may be a little disconcerting to some.

I used to have a hot air popcorn popper which would have been a much healthier way to make popcorn, but alas it was no more. In fact, I don't even know what happened to it. Did it get sold in a yard sale?

Then  I found out that you can pop corn in a paper bag. Yes, you can use a regular paper bag with ordinary popcorn in your microwave. Easy. Let me show you how.



Use a regular lunch size paper bag.


Any kind of popping corn will suffice.


A level 1/4 cup of popping corn is the right amount for that size of bag.


Pour the popcorn into the bag.


Fold the top of the bag over a couple of times.


Lay the bag down in the microwave with the folded end facing down.


In my microwave, two minutes is the right amount of time. You want to listen to the popping and when it slows down to just a pop or two every few seconds, you should probably stop the microwave so it doesn't taste burnt. (I also noticed I need to wipe the front of my microwave. It's a bit fingerprinty right now!)


Ta Daaaaa! Popcorn.


You can enjoy it plain, sprinkled with salt, or...


you can melt a little bit of butter in a measuring cup which makes it easier to pour on your popcorn. I find it's better to put a little butter on, then the salt so the salt will stick to the popcorn.

Not only is this a healthier way to have a bowl of popcorn, but it is far more economical. As you could see, I started with 100 paper bags and have barely put a dent in them. It is far cheaper to buy a bag of popcorn, rather than buying the microwavable popcorn packages. The paper bag comes out in good shape, so you could likely reuse it, either for popcorn again, or for some other use. (Did you know that mushrooms stay fresher longer in a paper bag in your fridge?) Now, I am going to wrap this up, because that same bowl of popcorn has been sitting beside me on the coffee table while I have been writing up this post and it is awfully hard to type and eat popcorn at the same time!

21 comments:

  1. We don't get those paper lunch bags here but I'm going to source some!

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    1. Oh, that's surprising to me. I thought they were such a standard item. Mind you, kids don't take their lunches in them anymore, they all use fancy zippered ones with various compartments and a place for a freezer pack.

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  2. Great idea and I bet it is yummy. Do you have "Can't believe it's not butter" spray? It is so good and NO calories. I live on the stuff. Hope you're having a great weekend.

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    1. Is it like Pam? I'm not sure if we have that or not. But good idea as well.

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  3. Thanks! I've never done this and I love popcorn. I'll have to try it.

    I think for a lower calorie butter (and good coverage) that spray butter might work. I can't remember how many calories a spray but it seems like it would coat it gently but help the salt stick! Going to try this over the weekend!

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  4. Brand new to your blog, and I'm glad I came. I always wondered if it would be possible to use ordinary popcorn in the microwave but never got around to experimenting. You may have changed my life.

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  5. I'll have to try that. We've been popping ours on the stove in a big pot with coconut oil in the bottom. It tastes great, but the microwave method would certainly contain fewer calories without the fat. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  6. From what I have been hearing lately, fat is not really the enemy, but sugar is. As well, the closer to "real", the better, for example, real butter. We know where it comes from and what's in it. My big thing is sugar. I am way to "addicted" to it, so I have been looking for more 'savory' snacks to replace sweet ones. It is tough trying to convince your tastebuds and your brain that you don't want sugary snacks. Baby steps.

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  7. We get our bags at the dollar store. We go through quite a few between popping corn and scooping cat litter which then goes into it's own dedicated compost pit.

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  8. Jenn, My husband's heart dr. says it the white foods that are killers. Sugar, starches. You know by having been in weight watchers...you can eat almost anything in tiny or small servings. I think sugar is the worst. Although I certainly eat my share. LOL. I did Dr. Adkin's diet...it works..it's hard to maintain. In the book it says the average American ate 5 pounds of sugar during the year in the early days of America.....now they eat 34 five pound bags a year...to see how frightening this is, next time you are at the grocery count the bags on the shelves...you will do good to see 34 bags ...isn't that scary for all of us. It not straight out sugar eating, it's hidden sugars in our foods. I try to do portion control more than anything now. I love popcorn but can't have it for the hulls. My hubby eats it like crazy. LOL. Blessings to you, xoxo, Susie

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  9. Yes, we do this all the time! And we've been doing it for years now. I don't even remember how we started. I think I ran across an article on the internet because I'd been searching for healthier ways to eat popcorn, which I love. And BOOM this came up. We have perfected it over the years and it's very similar to your instructions except that we add six tablespoons in the bag and microwave for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Give or take a few seconds. Either way, it's exactly the same idea and the results are great tasting popcorn that is much MUCH healthier. Microwaves vary, so every person should experiment to get the time and amount of popcorn just right.

    So nice to see someone else enjoying this wonderful method!

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  10. Greasy keys, eh? Old age seems to keep my weight under control. A lot of the good old foods don't agree, especially fats and sugar. Voila, a good weight outcome. That's a good popcorn solution, though.

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    1. Huh, age is working against me! Now I definitely cannot eat the same amounts or have the same indulgences that I used to without the weight attaching firmly around my middle.

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  11. Love buttered popcorn and candy too.

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  12. Great idea! I've often heard that the microwave popcorn that you buy has nasty stuff in it. Butter and salt...all the way. I am waaaayyy too addicted to sugar, I'm finding out quickly that my hips are getting wider. Grrrr...ever since I had back surgery and am not able to be as active as I used to be, the weight has come on quickly. :(

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    1. I, too am addicted to sugar and trying my best to keep things in check (or maybe get them back in check). My back has been giving me problems for about a year now and it has affected how much I can do physically, as well. I hear ya!!

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  13. Store bought microwave popcorn is lethal, literally. Look up "popcorn lung".

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  14. I am a popcorn fanatic! My adult son grew it for me this year and although I have to pop those kernels off my hand, they are worth it. I pop it the old way, on the stove, but I use coconut oil and lots of butter/salt. I don't do it often but when I do, I do it up right.

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  15. Ha, that looks like fun. I would try it but I don't have a microwave. All the years I owned a microwave oven I only ever used it for baked potatoes or melting butter.

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  16. the wife and I went to Weight Watchers for three months and it really worked. However we did not have the commitment to stay on it. The wife's weight is great, but i am still about fifteen pounds more than I would like to be...but, I like food and liquor...and at my age I don't feel self conscious: I am six feet and 205 and I would rather have the comfort of food than denying myself for the sake of a few pounds.
    I am kind of rambling: sorry
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I've not "properly" done Weight Watchers since that initial weight loss after my second baby. That baby is now 16. Ramble away, the topic of weight is one which a lot of people can talk about. I agree there has to be a middle ground. If you deny yourself all the time, you'll just be miserable.

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