Low Calorie Popcorn Taste Test

Before I decided to do this low carb thing for 6 months, I was doing calorie counting.  Popcorn is my favorite snack and I found some low-calorie choices.   I like to make it myself because I don’t like the chemical taste in microwave bag popcorn.  I found a super easy way to make it myself the microwave;  Put 4 Tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a lunchbag and fold the top over twice.  Microwave on high for 1  1/2 minutes, dump it into a bowl and spray with butter flavored oil spray.  I use Trader Joe’s brand because it doesn’t have that chemical taste.   There are several ready to eat popcorn brands for less than 40 calories a cup.  Which one should you buy?!?  Tracey to the rescue with the results of my popcorn taste test.  All these entries have 40 calories or less per cup.  

My testers were – My husband Joe, not actually much of a popcorn eater;   the 9-year-old twin boys I nanny, avid popcorn eaters but prefer full calorie movie theater popcorn;  and myself, popcorn lover extraordinaire always looking to save a calorie.

The bags were hidden and only bowls of unlabeled popcorn were put in front of them, they tasted one by one and I documented comments.


I’m going to post them in no particular order but -spoiler alert – Popcorn Indiana Himalayan Pink Salt was almost everyone’s favorite!

Skinny Pop

“Doesn’t look good at all.”

“no salt”


“least favorite”

This was not anyone’s favorite.  Everyone agreed it had no flavor.

The positive is that this brand also comes in serving size bags and its available almost everywhere.

SmartFood Delight

This was the second favorite for everyone except one person who chose this as his favorite.

“looks best”

“looks buttery”

“more puffy”



Homemade Microwave

 The problem with this popcorn is that since you add the butter spray and salt yourself, it is inconsistent.  It was too salty when I made it for Joe and I to test but not salty enough when I made it for the twins to test.

“way to salty”

“needs more salt and butter”

“no chemical taste”


I will continue making this kind (when I am done with my low carb eating plan/on my cheat days) because it is so easy and cheap and I can make it how I like it.

Popcorn Indiana Himalayan Pink Salt

 “more salt” (this was a positive comment because they had just tasted one that needed salt)

“good quality”

“right amount of salt and butter”

This was the #1 choice.  The one everyone wanted to keep eating.

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt

 This one was not liked.

“not enough salt”

“no taste, cardboard-ish”

“good amount of salt”

“needs butter”

Pop on over and get your bag of popcorn or try making your own in the microwave!  Let me know how you like it!

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