Some days you want something naughty, something substantial that doesn’t make you feel guilty in the calorie department, looks bigger and is better for you than a bag of crisps. I’ve got a thing for popcorn, always have, and first tried Metcalfe’s Skinny Topcorn a couple of years ago when it started being sold in Pret on Regent Street. The range started in 2008 when Julian Metcalfe, the co-founder of Pret a Manger and Itsu was looking for a healthy snack. After experiments with dozens of varieties and flavours, he developed the perfect recipe.
I’ve tried 5 of the 6 flavours in the range and here’s my take on taste along with a calorie and fat breakdown for each bag. The chocolate-topped rice cakes are rather nice as well so I mention these too. The price doesn’t break the bank either the popcorn retails from between 79p and 99p. The popcorn’s now sold in Caffè Nero, Greggs, Selfridges, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Topshop and Debenhams.
Sweet ‘n Salt is one of my absolute favourites a 25g bag has 115 calories and 4.8g fat. Carbs are 17.7g and protein is 1.6g per bag. It’s just enough to get your sugar kick and a savoury hit and stops me looking for something else after my lunchtime sandwich. I think for those on Weight Watchers the popcorn averages at around 4 pro plus points.
Wasabi, again for a 25g bag the calories are 121, fat 6.5g, carbs 13.5g and protein is 2.1g. I’m really keen on wasabi nuts and equally love and loathe the brain blast and nasal passage clear out you get when you ingest a decent bit of wasabi. I didn’t experience a painful or uncomfortable wasabi surge as I ate the popcorn, and whilst it wasn’t green, it did taste of wasabi.
Heat ‘n Sweet a 25g serving has 112 calories, fat 4.3g, carbs 15.2g and protein is 1.8g. It’s basically a chilli-ish flavour, not one of my favourites, but if you like spicy-ish savoury snacks give this one a go.
Sea Salt is the lowest in calories of the 5 and a 23g bag is 108 calories, the fat content is 5.6g, carbs 14.7g and the protein is 1.5g. What’s to say about the sea salt flavour? It’s lightly tossed in sea salt and is another good ready-salted crisps alternative.
Chocolate Crackle is packed in a 55g bag so the serving size is bigger. Each bag has 212 calories, the fat content is 2.9g, carbs 40g and the protein is 4.1g. This popcorn isn’t drenched in chocolate but looks as if it’s been drizzled with dark brown enamel, thankfully they don’t taste like that. It’s a sugary hit and far better for you than a bar of chocolate.
The dark chocolate Skinny Rice Cakes are suitable for vegetarians, gluten-free and only 85 calories per slice but you do get three in a pack so those on calorie-controlled diets may want to take one and save the rest for the next day, although I find it almost impossible. They’re also available coated in yoghurt (80 calories per slice) and milk chocolate (83 calories per slice).
They’ve recently added Sweet and Cinnamon popcorn to the range and, the average bag weight is 25g and has 117 calories, the fat content is 5.1g, carbs 15.4g and protein 1.2g. I’ve yet to see this bag or try it but Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices, so will add my comments when taste a bag.