San Antonio, Texas (NAPSI) - There’s good news for those who love to snack. Snacking done right can give you a quick energy boost and help curb hunger between meals without adding unhealthy fats and oils to your diet.

Many people don’t realize that popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks available. This gluten-free treat is naturally low in calories and high in the good stuff: whole grain, dietary fiber and antioxidants. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends increased consumption of whole grains in particular and finds many health benefits with their consumption.

Now, popcorn lovers can snack better with new JOLLY TIME® Butter and Butter Light Microwave Pop Corn made with the Smart Balance unique blend of oils. Each new flavor offers health-conscious consumers zero grams of trans fat naturally and absolutely no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

The Smart Balance® oil blend, licensed exclusively for use in JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, contains a unique blend of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats to help support healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range.

“Millions of people are looking for new ways to live healthier lives and watch their cholesterol levels,” said Amy Fischl, a registered dietitian at the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. “JOLLY TIME Pop Corn made with Smart Balance oils provides a great healthier-snack alternative.”

When snacking, it’s best to involve a variety of food groups. For example, enjoy popcorn with an apple, fresh vegetables with hummus or low-fat yogurt with almonds.

For a great on-the-go snack option, try this protein-packed recipe mix of popcorn, fruit and nuts. Mix it up and divide into smaller bags for a portable energy boost after school, post-workout or for a three o’clock pick-me-up. Whatever the reason, whenever the time, this convenient snack option will give you just the right amount of salty-sweet pop you crave.

Pop ‘n’ Protein Snack Mix
Prep Time: 5 minutes

12 cups (1 bag) popped JOLLY TIME Butter Light Microwave Pop Corn

¾ cup dried fruit, chopped

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder (can substitute with sugar-free pudding powder)

Place popped popcorn in a large bowl, removing any unpopped kernels. Add dried fruit and almonds; toss. Drizzle honey over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with protein powder, mix well to coat.

Yield: About 7 (1½-cup) servings.

Nutritional Analysis per (1½-cup) serving: Calories: 125, Dietary fiber: 3g, Total fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 100mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

Family owned and operated for nearly 100 years, JOLLY TIME has a single-minded obsession: making the world’s best popcorn. For five generations, the Smith family has been proud to produce the finest-quality popcorn available—no wonder the Smiths are considered “The First Family of Popcorn.”

For more convenient snacking ideas, nutritional information and recipes, visit