Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Graze Box Review - Healthy Popping Corn

Graze Box Delivery Date: 21 September 2012

After writing in my previous post about the impending arrival of Graze’s new ‘pop it yourself’ popcorn, I was lucky enough to receive one in this week’s Graze box.

Graze have recently introduced three types of healthy popping corn, all under 100 calories. Popcorn is naturally low in calories and high in fibre. It’s only when it’s smothered in coatings like toffee etc that it loses it’s healthy status and low calorie rating.

Other snacks this week included: Chilli & Lime Pistachios – pistachios in their shells (review week 4), My Thai - Chilli dip and rice crackers (review week 26) and Shangri-La – dried fruit, nuts and seeds (review week 17).

The three new varieties of popcorn from Graze include: ‘Slightly Sweet’, ‘Lightly Salted’ and ‘Twist of Black Pepper’. Having a sweet tooth, I was especially pleased to have received the Slightly Sweet popcorn to try first.

Slightly Sweet Popcorn

The Graze Healthy Popping Corn has two Graze symbols on the pack: ‘Fibre’ (a good source of dietary fibre) and ‘Extra Light’ (snacks under 110 calories).

The corn kernels are packed inside a brown paper bag which is folded flat and packed into the outer wrapper as shown in the photo. The ingredients are: corn, sugar, vegetable oil, rosemary extract, stevia – 23g.
The brown popcorn bag before popping
There wasn't any hurry to start popping the corn since they had just over three weeks until their expiry date. So, after munching my way through the rest of the snacks, I couldn't wait to get popping.

I’m not a novice at popping corn though I usually I use the pan on the stove method. I have tried one of those pop in the bag varieties before, however, they weren't that nice.

The Graze popping instructions couldn't be easier. There are four easy to follow steps printed on the paper bag along with a few warnings as well.

Step 1 involves unfolding the bag and putting it into the microwave. Diagrams on the bag clearly show which way up it should go.
Step 2. Set the microwave at full power for 2 minutes. Standby by your microwave and listen.
Step 3. Stay by your microwave and stop cooking when popping slows to one pop every 2 seconds.
Step 4. Open carefully by pulling and pinching at diagonal corners.

Unfortunately, the light on my microwave has long ago expired so I had to stand and listen and hope for the best. After around 1.5 minutes the kernels began popping away one after another with increasing frequency and the delicious smell of hot popcorn began drifting out of the microwave. Then the 2 minutes were up.

Opening the microwave reveals the once flat brown paper bag has now inflated like a balloon and is ready to be opened. This is where the warnings come in as it is very hot. The bag itself is OK to hold but the escaping steam could cause a burn. You also need to watch out for hot corn kernels that aren't fully popped.
Just out of the microwave after popping
When I opened my bag I could see there were quite a few unpopped kernels. I half expected this as my microwave is quite old and I think has lost some of its power. However, after tipping the corn out onto a plate, there were so many kernels left I decided to pop them back into the bag and microwave them again.
Inside the bag of popped corn
Again, there is a clear warning on the bag NOT to put any unpopped kernels back in to be microwaved again or to reuse the bag. But since I’d kept the bag in tact I thought I’d give them another go as they should have had longer in the first place. I got most of them popped on my third attempt. (Tut tut, I know I shouldn't have so don't copy me!)

The instructions do mention that cooking times are guidelines only, so you really do need to listen for the popping corn. The trouble is, it’s hard to know how many have popped without being able to see them.

So how do they taste? Pretty good actually.
After the first round of popping.
(Still over 30 unpopped kernels)
The inside of the bag has a light oily coating which must be used to help them cook. You can’t see any flavouring at all, but they have a very slight sweet taste, so they are aptly named. They don’t leave any stickiness on your fingers which is good, and they’re especially tasty while still warm. Not that mine had a chance to go cold with my kids champing at the bit to tuck in!

This is a snack you could easily take into the workplace (as long as you have access to a microwave). And considering this snack has only 96 calories, you get a lot of popcorn to munch on so it’s very satisfying snack. Ideal for dieting.

I’m giving these a rating of LOVE and I look forward to seeing them again. Next time though, I will leave them in longer. Practice makes perfect!

Calories for the snack: 96.

If you’d like to try out a Graze box for yourself, you can do so for free by visiting Graze and using this code: 9HZTPXFD.

Simply browse through the selection and choose your favourite four items. Enter the code (9HZTPXFD. ) and you’ll get your first box at no cost.

Click here for more Graze reviews.

© Diets and Calories 2012


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