Chilled Popcorn Balls

Every kid pines away for fun and friendly snacks…while parents long for something that’s vaguely healthy. These popcorn balls feature healthy ingredients, and your kids are sure to love eating as well as making them. Using natural honey and sunflower butter as binders does take a little extra work to pack the balls, but that’s a perfect excuse for kids to get their hands sticky and have some fun! Each recipe makes about 18 popcorn balls.

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE POPCORN BALLS RECIPE

Ingredients

1/3 cup popcorn kernels or 9 cups popped popcorn

1/3 cup Huckle Bee Farms Plain Wildflower Raw Unfiltered Honey

3 tbsp natural organic sunflower butter or creamy peanut butter

1 pinch fine sea salt

2/3 cup dark chocolate chips, divided in halves

¼ cup dark chocolate chips, for topping

1 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil, for topping

Instructions

1.     Pop kernels in a stovetop or microwavable air popper; you can bypass the popping completely and buy pre-popped corn, too.

2.     Combine honey, sunflower or peanut butter, sea salt, and 1/3 cup of chocolate chips into a small saucepan and whisk on medium-low heat until ingredients are well combined and bubbling.

3.     Remove from the heat and slowly pour over the popcorn. Stir gently until popcorn is well-coated. Fold in the remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

4.     Place bowl in the refrigerator for 3-5 minutes.

5.     Using an ice cream scooper, form the mixture into balls. Once the scoop forms the initial ball, pass them along to the kids to firmly shape before placing them onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

6.     Combine dark chocolate chips for topping and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave, stopping every 15 seconds to stir mixture until melted. Allow kids to carefully splatter dark chocolate over the balls.

7.     Place baking sheets back into the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. After this, either serve them or place them into an airtight container and store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

TRAIL MIX POPCORN BALLS RECIPE

Ingredients

1/3 cup popcorn kernels or 9 cups popped popcorn

1/3 cup Country Barn Honey

3 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil

3 tbsp natural organic sunflower butter

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, divided in halves

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1/4 cup chopped cashews

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries

River Road Hand Dyed “Right As Rainbow” Sprinkles, for topping

Instructions

1.     Pop kernels in a stovetop or microwavable air popper; you can bypass the popping completely and buy pre-popped corn, too.

2.     Combine honey, coconut oil, sunflower butter, and ¼ cup chocolate chips into a saucepan and whisk on medium-low heat until ingredients are well combined and bubbling.

3.     Remove from the heat and slowly pour over the popcorn. Stir gently until popcorn is well-coated. Fold in chopped nuts, dried cherries, and remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

4.     Place bowl in the refrigerator for 3-5 minutes.

5.     Using an ice cream scooper, form the mixture into balls. Once the scoop forms the initial ball, pass them along to the kids to firmly shape before placing them onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

6.     Allow kids to sprinkle top of balls with River Road Hand Dyed “Right As Rainbow” Sprinkles for that classic trail mix pop of color.

7.     Place baking sheets back into the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. After this, either serve them or place them into an airtight container and store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

PEPITA POPCORN BALLS RECIPE

Ingredients

1/3 cup popcorn kernels or 9 cups popped popcorn

1/3 cup Triple Bee Farms Clover Honey

2 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil

½ tsp Penzeys Vietnamese Ground Cinnamon

3 tbsp natural organic sunflower butter

1/2 cup white chocolate chips, divided into halves

1 tsp Penzeys Mexican Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup pepitas, toasted and roughly ground, divided into halves

¼ cup white chocolate chips, for topping

1 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil, for topping

Instructions

1.     Pop kernels in a stovetop or microwavable air popper; you can bypass the popping completely and buy pre-popped corn, too.

2.     Combine honey, coconut oil, ground cinnamon, sunflower butter, ¼ cup of chocolate chips, and vanilla extract into a saucepan and whisk on medium-low heat until ingredients are well combined and bubbling.

3.     Remove from the heat and slowly pour over the popcorn. Stir gently until popcorn is well-coated. Fold in ¼ cup ground pepitas and ¼ cup white chocolate chips.

4.     Place bowl in the refrigerator for 3-5 minutes.

5.     Using an ice cream scooper, form the mixture into balls. Once the scoop forms the initial ball, pass them along to the kids to firmly shape before placing them onto wax paper-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle each ball with some ground pepitas.

6.     Combine white chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave, stopping every 15 seconds to stir mixture until melted. Allow kids to carefully splatter white chocolate over balls. Dust with a little cinnamon to finish.

7.     Place baking sheets back into the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. After this, either serve them or place them into an airtight container and store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Note: If the popcorn balls aren’t holding shape, wet hands with cold water when forming them.

STORY AND RECIPES BY ELAINE ZEDACK / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE BRYCE

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