Tried it again and I DO like air-popped popcorn!

May 7, 2008

Yesterday I wrote about trying to make myself like fennel. But I also recently tried to get myself to like air-popped popcorn — and this time it actually worked!

I love popcorn. I especially love it popped in oil and then tossed w real melted butter and salt. But I can’t have that regularly and lose (or even maintain) weight, so it’s out. I substitute two things – either air-popped popcorn w the melted butter and salt (which is really only marginally better) or microwave popcorn. I did manage to find an air-popper machine online here in France about 2 years ago, but honestly haven’t used it that much because I know the calorie count of the prepared thing is a whopper. When I bought it I had visions of air-popped corn somehow having changed, or myself being able to change and start to like the stuff plain … but right after I got it and tried it — blech!

The microwave popcorn is relatively calorie-friendly. The big bag can substitute for dinner pretty easily and even as a snack it doesn’t blow your calories out of the water. I buy only the 94% fat free stuff. But I have a few problems with it :

  1. I can’t get low-fat microwave popcorn in France, so I have to get it from the States (a trip to Costco, everything in my suitcase retains that fake popcorn scent, and in general the hassle factor is quite high even if I ask friends to bring it…)
  2. My DH hates the smell. I mean really hates it. Sometimes to be nice to me he’ll suggest I make a bag and then as soon as I do he is airing out the house and complaining of the smell… Even if I do the closed-kitchen-door routine and open back door, open microwave, fan on full blast, put the popcorn outside in a bowl to let it air out… nothing really gets rid of that microwave popcorn smell.
  3. It’s a bag of chemicals. Whatever stabilizers are put in the bag to replace the trans-fats are probably not a whole lot better. Shelf-stable and cheap fats in general are not good for you. And there are scary things on the net about the chemicals they use for “flavor” (especially butter flavor). Over the past years I’ve become more and more a whole-foods person, so this is one of the few “packaged” foods that makes it into our home… and microwave popcorn is so processed it doesn’t really sit well with me.

As you can tell this popcorn thing is something of a dilemma. I never liked plain air-popped popcorn. But a few days back as I was thinking about filling, whole-grain, low-cal foods I remembered air-popped popcorn. And decided to give it a try to see if it was as bad as I remembered.

It wasn’t.

It was kinda bland as the salt won’t stick to the dry kernels (and they don’t sell I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray here, nor Pam…). But it wasn’t bad, and I realized I could eat it plain from time to time and be reasonably happy to have the crunch.

Then I googled for a bit and found a flavoring idea that seemed good – Tabasco (that I can find in France!, plus, I love spicy). So I made another little batch and shook some Tabasco on and some salt (as Tabasco is wet…) and shook it around in a covered bowl (well, at first it flew around the kitchen from a not-so-covered bowl, but I learned that fast…) and then tasted and… YUM.

Spicy, crunchy, salty, and LOW CAL!!!

So – trying the foods you thought you didn’t like does have it’s payoffs. But it’s okay to still not like them too.

I loved the comments from the last post, so chime in if there are any foods you want to make yourself learn to like!

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