The ultimate in creative healthy snacks! Super tasty with a salty, crunchy, sweet all in one….and no added sugar! Bring on the fun for your next movie night!
I can’t be the only one who brings their own snacks to the movies, right? Who doesn’t like to much and crunch during a movie? I just don’t like to compromise on my health goals at the same time. It’s not that weird of a thing, is it? I mean, how else do you get a snack that’s exactly what you’re craving? You make it yourself!! Enter the popcorn bliss ball. It’s exactly the type of snack I would buy at the concession stand, if only they were available.
Movie Theater Popcorn is ridiculously unhealthy. It’s loaded with calories, sodium, hydrogenated oil that’s been colored and flavored to resemble butter—things you really don’t want to be ingesting. But, that doesn’t mean that popcorn itself needs to be avoided. Air popped popcorn is a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories, high in fiber, and provides magnesium and iron too. It can help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol and improve digestion. Popcorn is loaded with antioxidants which help prevent free radicals that cause all kinds of damage internally. As long as you don’t load it up with unhealthy additives, popcorn can be a healthy snack.
When my kids were young, we always brought our air popped popcorn in a zip top bag with us. Let me tell you, they weren’t impressed….though that doesn’t mean they didn’t devour it! Over the years, I’ve upgraded the snacks I bring to the movies. I sometimes bring these trail mix bars or these halva bliss balls or even these cookies. But I come back to popcorn often as my choice snack….popcorn just seems to go hand in hand with movies.
Over the weekend, we had plans to go to the movies with friends (The Golden Globes are much more fun to watch if you’ve seen some of the movies they’re talking about)….and I wanted to bring snacks that were healthy, fun, tasty, and popcorn-y. Something impressive, so it wouldn’t look weird that I was bringing my own movie snacks…..and something they would really enjoy so they wouldn’t focus on the HEALTHY aspect of this treat—-though they do know me, so they would just know. That’s OK though, because they LOVED them—and appreciated how healthy they were!!
These popcorn bliss balls are just what they sound like. A hybrid between a bliss ball and a bag of popcorn. Lots of tasty popcorn in the mixture and then a bit more to coat the outside. They taste a little sweet (naturally sweetened with dates), a little salty and (even though they’re dairy-free) even a bit buttery. With the addition of almond butter and flax seeds, they even have some healthy fats and protein. Add that profile to the fiber of the popcorn and you don’t get a sugar high and then a sugar crash…….amazing for a snack food that is so tasty!!
You need these popcorn bliss balls in your life right now because:
- It’s awards season—-which means you’ll be heading to the theater to try to see a bunch of stuff so you can comment on whether or not you agree with who won. If you’ve already jumped on the “bring your own snacks” bandwagon, I encourage you to take it one step further and bring your own mug of tea too…..goes really well with these popcorn bliss balls.
- Your kids have friends over ALL. THE. TIME…..and they need snacks. ALL. THE. TIME. (if you need to avoid tree nuts, use sunflower butter in place of almond butter and swap the almond milk for soy or rice milk).
- It’s winter—-which means you’ll be staying in to binge watch _________(fill in the blank here), rather than venture out into the cold.
- OH….and I almost forgot….It’s still football season so you’ll be hanging out—-maybe even inviting friends over—-for the game.
And my personal favorite:
- Your hubby is constantly looking for snacks and as long as you’re prepared with healthy snacks, like these popcorn bliss balls, he’ll look no further.
- 7 cups popcorn, divided
- 1 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 3 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 Tablespoons almond milk
- Prepare small rimmed tray with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
- Place 2 cups popcorn, chocolate and sea salt into bowl of food processor and pulse until crumbly. This is for the outside of the bliss balls, so pieces of popcorn that are too big will fall off. Spread mixture onto a plate.
- No need to wash the processor bowl. Place dates, almond butter, flax, salt and vanilla into bowl and process for 20 seconds. Scrape down sides and process again, until a crumbly mass forms.
- Add in 4 cups of popcorn and while it’s processing, add the almond milk until a sticky mass forms.
- Add remaining cup of popcorn and process until incorporated, but the newly added popcorn still has some texture to it.
- Use a Tablespoon to drop balls onto prepared tray with parchment paper. Wet hands and then roll dough mounds into smooth balls.
- Roll the bliss balls into the popcorn mixture on the plate and place back onto the tray.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to a month.
Serving Size4 balls
Amount Per Serving Calories 273Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 250mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 6gSugar 30gProtein 4g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.