If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a sucker for food that looks as good as it tastes. Recently I was invited to try a snack that is not only fun, but also cute! Mini Pops are tiny grains of popped sorghum, and yes, tiny is cute. Much like popcorn, they’re a fluffy white popped grain that can be snacked on whenever you’re craving something healthy and crunchy.
So what are the advantages of Mini Pops over popcorn? Mini Pops are gluten-free, corn-free and organic, so they’re safe for people with a variety of allergies as well as anyone concerned about potentially consuming weird chemicals in snack foods. The small kernels are fun to eat and have a more pronounced crunch than popcorn. And since popped sorghum lacks a hull, you’re much less likely to find yourself with one of those annoying fragments that popcorn tends to leave stuck in your teeth. At around 100 calories per 1oz serving (some flavors have less, some a little more), Mini Pops is a fairly low-calorie snack. They’re also very low in fat and, with the exception of one flavor, have no sugar. You also get 2 or 3 grams of fiber every time you munch a serving, which can’t hurt in a society where fiber consumption is so low that laxatives get their own TV commercials.
Mini Pops currently come in 8 flavors, 6 of which are vegan:
- Petite Plain
- Subatomic Sea Salt
- Itty Bitty Butter
- Hot n’ Chilly Chili
- Nano Pepper & Herb
- Cutie Caramel Clusters
Itty Bitty Butter uses a nondairy, allergen-free butter flavor, and the sugar in Cutie Caramel Clusters comes from Florida Crystals, which is vegan! How cool is that?
I had the opportunity to try four of these tasty vegan flavors. I started with the Nano Pepper & Herb because I liked the sound of the seasonings. I’m a big fan of black pepper and have been known to dump various dried spices on my lunch salads, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this flavor. The slight lemon flavor along with the pepper put me in mind of seasoning blends I’ve used in recipes in the past. It was spicier than I expected, which turned out to be a nice surprise.
Speaking of spicy, my next choice was Hot n’ Chilly Chili. There’s nothing “chilly” about these little buggers! The chili powder blend has a zip to it–and I’m used to spicy food. There’s also a little hint of salt to round out the flavor. I had a few as a side to a wrap recently, and you can see the color the chili blend gives the sorghum. It’s a great choice if you’re like me and tend to view the chili powder measurements in recipes as a starting point.
Subatomic Sea Salt is pretty much like salted popcorn. Crunchy and salty, it makes a good standalone snack as well as a tasty accompaniment to sandwiches or whatever you’d normally eat chips with. I didn’t personally eat the Petite Plain, but my mom took it with her when we went to see Brave and went through half the bag. I’d say that’s a positive review! I also think that, lacking any flavoring of their own, the plain kernels would be good as part of a homemade trail mix. Or with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.
The only downside I could find to Mini Pops is the tendency of the seasonings to sink to the bottom of the bag. You either have to shake the bag while you’re snacking or pour everything out into a bowl. Then again, since these are so tasty, the bowl option might be best if you want to share. No sense in everyone fighting over the bag! Since the kernels can be a little hard to hold onto, there’s really no civilized way to eat these, but that’s okay. It’s all part of the fun of tiny food!
Mini Pops definitely gets the QV seal of approval. Plus anyone who manages to work a reference to Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis into their FAQs gets extra awesome points in my book!
Want to try some Mini Pops for yourself? One QV reader will be treated to a “No Cheese Sampler Pack”–one 3oz. bag each of Mini Pops’ 6 vegan flavors!
There are five ways to enter:
1) Comment on this post and tell me why you want to try Mini Pops!
2) “Like” Mini Pops on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did.
3) Follow Mini Pops on Twitter and comment to let me know.
4) “Like” Quantum Vegan on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know.
5) Follow Quantum Vegan on Twitter and comment telling me you did.
Please be sure to leave separate comments for each entry so you get credit for all of them! If you already follow or like either QV or Mini Pops, that counts, too.
The contest runs through Saturday, July 21st, after which one winner will be chosen via Random.org. Good luck!
Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!