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Healthy Popcorn Balls

A healthy twist on a classic favorite! Almond butter popcorn mixed with honey make the perfect “glue” for these healthy popcorn balls. They’re cranberry popcorn balls without marshmallows, but with lots of flavor!

Cranberry Almond Popcorn Balls

Please Note: I received free product from Quinn Snacks, but all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

This post was originally published in 2018. I’ve since updated the text but the recipe remains the same.

Hello!! How are you? How has summer been going for you? If you read Chapter 10 you’ll know that my summer has been a bit of a whirlwind caring for my new little bean, Hattie. With the busy-ness that comes with a newborn, it has taken me a loooong time to get this post out, but that just means I’m THAT much more excited for it!!

I know what you’re thinking – popcorn balls!? Isn’t that kind of a fall/Halloween type of recipe? True, popcorn balls are reminiscent of falling leaves and costumes, but I challenge you – why shouldn’t we eat popcorn balls all year round?? Kids love them, they’re convenient, and you know what else? You can actually make them fairly healthy! Which is what I’m bringing to you today 🙂 Healthy popcorn balls!

Cranberry Almond Popcorn Balls

I am in LOVE with Quinn’s microwave popcorns. My parents were very slow to the microwave game, so when we finally got that fancy new device installed above the oven, I couldn’t wait to try out microwave popcorn, the one snack that my friends always had and I was so incredibly envious of. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my beloved buttery microwave popcorn was also full of chemicals and other unhealthy ingredients (my 16 year old self also probably wouldn’t have cared). Knowing what I know now, I never buy microwave popcorn anymore – but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it’s convenience!

This is where Quinn comes in. Their microwave popcorns are made with real, whole ingredients and their bags are free from any chemical or plastic coatings. There are no hydrogenated oils or artificial flavours – exactly what you would want in a snack for you and your kiddos! The boys love popcorn – Quinn has made it even easier to give them their favourite snack with a healthy microwave option!

How do you make healthy popcorn balls?

These healthy popcorn balls are so easy to make – I feel like I say that about every recipe – but it’s worth stating again and again when it’s true! It’s an easy recipe that makes a nice healthy snack for you and the kids, and it’s something fun and different for them!

Start by popping the bag of popcorn using the method on the back of the bag (or just make popcorn on your stovetop if you don’t want to use microwave popcorn). While the popcorn is doing its thing, heat together the honey with the almond butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Once everything is melted together and smooth, pour it all over the popped corn! Use a large spoon and be careful not to burn your hands, as the almond butter mixture is HOT. Add the dried cranberries in and stir! 

Everything should sit together for about 30 minutes before you form them into balls with your hands. Make sure you FIRMLY pack it all together. 

How long do these healthy popcorn balls last?

Keep in mind that these popcorn balls won’t hold together as well as the traditional ones made with corn syrup and sugar, but if you pack them together very tightly they’ll stand on their own pretty good! They should last for 4-5 days at room temperature, or you could even freeze a batch for later!

cranberry almond popcorn balls

cranberry almond popcorn balls

I can’t believe this is my first new recipe since April!! I was cranking out nearly two a week before the baby came along…just goes to show how all-consuming a newborn is. But you guys. She gave me the BIGGEST smile yesterday! The first one. It melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Moments like that make it all worth it, seriously.

I can’t wait to share treats like this with my little gal. For now, my boys are enjoying all of the popcorn ball recipe-testing! It’s fun to let the kiddos help with these ones too, although they may just end up eating everything while you’re attempting to make them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

I hope you’re all having a swell summer. I LOOOOOVE summer! LOVE.

Talk to you soon(ish) 🙂

K.
Cranberry Almond Popcorn Balls

Some other healthy snack ideas for the kiddos:

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healthy popcorn balls

Cranberry Almond Popcorn Balls


  • Author: Katherine
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 popcorn balls 1x

Description

A healthy twist on a classic favorite! Almond butter popcorn mixed with honey make the perfect “glue” for these healthy popcorn balls. They’re cranberry popcorn balls without marshmallows, but with lots of flavor!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 cups air-popped popcorn (1 bag of Quinn microwave popcorn)*
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Pop the bag of popcorn following the method on the back of the bag; I found I needed less than the 3 minutes given, or my popcorn would burn!
  2. While the popcorn is popping, heat the honey with the almond butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes before removing from heat.
  3. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl, then drizzle the almond/honey mixture over the popcorn. Use a large wooden spoon to coat everything thoroughly (or use your hands, but be careful, it’s hot).
  4. Add the cranberries and stir to combine.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before forming into balls – make them as big or as small as you’d like, but be sure to pack them together FIRMLY to keep it all together.
  6. Place the popcorn balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Enjoy!

Popcorn balls will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days.


Notes

  1. I used the maple kettle corn flavour of Quinn popcorns, but you can try any flavour!
  • Category: snacks
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: almond butter popcorn // healthy popcorn balls // cranberry popcorn balls without marshmallows // protein popcorn balls // healthy popcorn recipes

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Healthy Popcorn BallsHealthy Popcorn Balls

36 Comments

  1. I think popcorn balls are good anytime of the year! Especially with cranberries and almonds! You little guys are getting so big! Take care ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. So good to see you again ! Big hug !

  3. So happy to see you are back!! These popcorn balls look so yummy! I have never made popcorn balls before so I totally need to try this!! And the picture of your boys eating the popcorn is too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    YUM! I think popcorn balls really should be a year-round thing. And I want a few (and by a few I mean all) of these right now. They look sooooo good! Give little Hattie a snuggle from me and have a great weekend!

  5. Good to see you back Momma Katie! Another recipe for me to make for my Granddaughters๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿงก.

  6. So glad you are soaking up every moment with your little girl! She will be running around eating these popcorn balls with her older brothers in no time! And I totally agree, this healthier version should be a year round treat for kids….and adults! That popcorn sounds amazing! Happy weekend Katherine!

  7. I completely, truly love these snacky bites of yumminess! Your boys look sooooo adorable!!

  8. You little ones are heart melters, Katherine. So adorable!

    I haven’t had popcorn balls for years because I always think of them being large and difficult to bite – what a genius idea to make them bite size! Love this idea…fun party fare too!

  9. hummingbirdthyme

    Katherine – Happy to see your post! Congrats on getting one out so soon. With my 3rd, I didnโ€™t recover for, well, maybe, a few years. Ha! Anyway, Iโ€™m happy to know about Quinnโ€™s since Iโ€™ve sworn off microwave popcorn, until now. I will look out for it. Sounds awesome! Thanks also for the recipe!

    • Thank you friend! It took me quite a while to get the one post out, haha. I think I’m definitely still in recovery mode too!! I was the same about microwave popcorn, but I’m loving these bags from Quinn. Cheers! XO

  10. Happy to see you back at it, and congrats on the new little one!!

    I feel like it’s been forever since I last had a popcorn ball, but I’m thinking that needs to change real soon, because these sound so good!

  11. I’m so addicted to popcorn and eat it several times a week! Quinn’s sounds wonderful, and I think I’d be partial to the maple kettle corn too. Those popcorn balls look like such a delicious way to get more popcorn into my life! ๐Ÿ™‚ I absolutely love that photo of your boys too…they’re adorable!

    • We eat a lot of popcorn too! The boys love it and I feel pretty good about giving it to them as a snack – it’s so much better than chips! Thank you! They are very cute, I don’t really want them to grow up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. somehow i’ve never had popcorn balls?! these look so addictive though that i’ll just have to make them my new snacks (:

  13. Those first moments are priceless!! I remember vividly how ecstatic I was when my daughter pushed the pacifier back into her mouth with her two little hands for the first time…twenty four years ago! I can really load up on these popcorn balls! I love a snack that makes me feel like I’m cheating but it’s really pretty wholesome.

    • That’s such a cute memory, Thao! I am really soaking in all of these little moments with Hattie – I thought today she was actually grabbing for a toy and I got so excited! YES – that sums up this snack nicely. I hope you get a chance to try them out! Cheers my friend!

  14. OMG! Your boys are adorable Katherine! And these look so delicious! Perfect for summer parties!

  15. Ben|Havocinthekitchen

    Congrats on your first new recipe since April, Katherine! I’ve never tried popcorn balls. Indeed, I’ve never heard this thing exists! So thank you for educating me:) This looks delicious!

  16. Your kiddos are just the CUTEST!! And these popcorn balls? Yes please! I absolutely love popcorn…usually it’s topped with butter and some seasoning, but this healthier version sounds SO good!! That rosemary parm flavour sounds delicious too! Maybe another version with that one ๐Ÿ˜‰ ??

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  19. Very Nice Post, I learned a lot through it. Thanks for posting.

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