Looking for kid-friendly, budget friendly, and healthy snack ideas?
Well, if you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know how much our family loves popcorn.
So you will understand why, since seeing the original recipe for "Peanut Butter Popcorn" on Frugal Granola's site, I was determined to make it work for our family. Since my oldest son has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and we are off most sugars, the recipe needed some altering.
Well, after one botched batch, we got a winner! And we have made it a number of times since -- we even took it to a potluck and it was a big hit.
I have eagerly added it to our family's repertoire of "healthy fast food options" for our home. You know...those times when your day has completely gotten away from you and/or a number of things have gone wrong and you would order out for a pizza but you can't (we have a son with life-threatening food allergies who is also gluten free)?
That kind of a day.
We had one of those yesterday. I had had little sleep, my oldest son (the one with Asperger's) was having quite a bit of anxiety, and I had a guest post for another blog that I was working on when....that's right....it was dinner time. So to give Mom a break we heated up steamed carrots, pulled out some preservative-free hotdogs and heated up the popcorn popper.
(This popper is really great. Your kids will have a great time helping in the kitchen and it's stainless steel, not aluminum, which is a sturdier and I think, better option for a healthy kitchen.)
Between the healthy coconut oil and the homemade nut or seed butter and the organic popcorn, it really is a nice option for a fast meal or snack - - and the kids love it too!
Variation of this Almond Butter Popcorn
There are 2 ways to make this, as you can also use 16 cups of popcorn instead of eight. We've made it this way a number of times and the sweetness is still enough to make it a great treat. You will love it!
- Almond butter is particularly scrumptious, but any nut or seed butter will work - see Homemade Nut or Seed Butter.
- You can substitute any healthy sweetener for the xylitol, but omit the water if using a liquid sweetener (see this post for more tips on substituting sweeteners. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup are good options if you are not watching sugar intake - see Choosing Maple Syrup.
- Although nuts taste better with this popcorn, you can substitute seeds if necessary. Have your nuts be soaked and dried if possible.
- Heat sweetener and water (if using) in a small pan over medium heat just until it begins to boil. Quickly add nut or seed butter (you will want to have this pre-measured), vanilla and salt. Stir continuously over heat until well blended. Remove from heat, add nuts and stir. (Hint: You want this mixture to be pourable. Too thick and you will have a hard time coating the popcorn.)
- Immediately pour over popcorn and stir to coat. The topping will be hot at first, so be careful with your hands!
For more tips on making popcorn that tastes great from a family that makes a lot of it, visit my post on Basic Homemade Popcorn. You also may want to check out my post on why popcorn can help any family's budget.
And if you want to add to your popcorn repertoire, check out some of my other homemade popcorn seasonings.
Like this one, which is a great popcorn topping that arose out of a kitchen mistake!
And this wonderful popcorn topping, made of Herbes de Provence with other seasonings. Every time we make these we are asked for the recipes!
I hope you like them as much as we do!
Do you have a favorite popcorn topping to share?(Photo Credit)