I love popcorn, but it frustrates me.
How can I eat and eat and eat it, yet be even hungrier than when I started eating it? It’s like eating air, but air that ramps up your appetite. I suppose that’s why they serve is doused in butter? Maybe the fat fills you up? Anyway, I like popcorn au naturale – with some sea salt of course. If I’m feeling adventurous I may sprinkle with ground wakame, cayenne and nutritional yeast, but usually plain is where it’s at for me.
I wanted to make some sort of energy-boosting snack this morning, but I am sick of all my “staple” components – oats, buckwheat, quinoa etc – I needed a change, something different.
Enter popcorn…. it’s actually quite the healthy option according to a bit of research that has been done in the States:
Popcorn was found to have a high level of concentrated antioxidants because it is made up of just four percent water while they are more diluted in fruits and vegetables because they are made up of up to 90 percent water.
Researchers discovered one serving of popcorn has up to 300mg of antioxidants – nearly double the 160mg for all fruits per serving.
They also found that the crunchy hulls of the popcorn have the highest concentration of antioxidants and fiber.
Research or not, popcorn is Yummo, and I wanted to include it in a vegan snack. Honestly, I could eat the whole batch of these in one go, but they DO stick to your ribs more than plain popcorn. I’ve listed some substitution ideas in the recipe below, but I highly recommend sticking to the recipe – these little balls actually taste like caramel popcorn, which can only be a good thing, right?
Caramel Popcorn Snacking Balls
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/nut/refined sugar free)
- 3C air popped popcorn*
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4t sea salt
- 2t lucuma powder (if you don’t have this, appropriate substitutions could be maca, mesquite, cacao/cocoa, or even protein powder)
- 2T coconut butter (other nut butter should work instead of coconut, but I would omit the water)
- 2t water
- 1/2t lemon juice
- Whizz everything together in a food processor until a soft dough forms.
- Roll into balls or you could press into bars if you are that way inclined.
- Store in the fridge.