(Family Features) Whether you're gathering the neighborhood kids for a backyard celebration or going on a weekend hike with family, you can make fueling up for the fun easy with snacks the whole family can enjoy.
Everyone loves popcorn, and this tasty treat is easy to incorporate into a wide range of nibbles perfect for summer. Popcorn's wholesome taste makes it an excellent partner to ingredients that tease your taste buds with flavors that are sweet, salty or even zesty.
Creating a delicious trail mix to carry on an adventurous hike is a cinch when you combine fresh popcorn with your favorite sweet dried fruits and lightly salted nuts. Or, if you're staying closer to home, use popcorn treats as a more nutritious alternative to traditional party desserts.
Each of these recipes features freshly popped popcorn paired with common ingredients that appeal to both kids and adults for summery snacks that are big on both flavor and fun.
For more creative recipes that give some pop to your summer, visit www.popcorn.org.
Sweet N Salty Popcorn Pretzel Sticks
Yield: 6 sticks
- 6 tablespoons peanut butter
- 6 large pretzel rods
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- Sugar sprinkles
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter over each pretzel, leaving a two-inch "handle" without peanut butter.
- Press and roll popcorn onto peanut butter to coat. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
- For optional chocolate drizzle, place chocolate chips in small sealable plastic bag and seal. Microwave 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted. Clip small corner from bag and squeeze to drizzle chocolate over popcorn.
- Sprinkle with additional sugar sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.
Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix
Yield: 1 quart
- 1 quart popped popcorn
- 1 teaspoon brewer's yeast powder
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Spread popcorn on baking sheet. Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn.
- Heat about seven minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.
Blueberry & Pomegranate Power Bars
Yield: 12 bars
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped whole natural almonds
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 6 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
- Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
- Combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds in large bowl.
- Combine honey, brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Cook over low heat to boiling; boil two minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Cut into 12 bars.
- Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 5 cups
- 1 quart popped popcorn (air popped)
- 6 ounces diced, dried fruit (apricots, apples, etc.)
- 8 ounces raisins
- Place freshly popped popcorn in large bowl. Add diced fruit and raisins. Toss popcorn and fruit until combined thoroughly.
Note: Add whatever fixings your family enjoys: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.
Yield: 20 pieces
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 1 package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
- 2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for five minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
- Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat.
- Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips.
- Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Let cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container.
Source: The Popcorn Board
(Family Features) Whether you’re prepping for an extravagant party or an impromptu get-together, being prepared with cupboard staples and entertaining tricks can help you take your gathering to the next level.
Make menu planning a breeze and put a unique twist on your party from start to finish with these great ideas from the experts at Dare Foods:
Snacks with flair. Use geometric cookie-cutters to bring thoughtful detail to essential hors d'oeuvres like crackers, cheese and melon slices.
Vivid votive. Fill mason jars with water and add slices of lemon or lime along with sprigs of rosemary. Float a tea light on top and place around the yard or on tables for a beautiful way to decorate your outdoor space.
Sparkler sendoff. Light up the night with festive sparklers for endless entertainment. Place them in a decorative pail and sit back as guests enjoy the photo opp.
When it comes to bite-size snacks, crackers are one pantry basic you can dress up or down for a wide range of party-worthy treats in minutes. For example, garden-fresh fixings atop crisp crackers make for light canapes that celebrate the best of summer flavors. Just start with one of Dare’s mouthwatering crackers, loaded with crunch and packed with flavor, and pile on the goodness.
If you’re looking for an elegant appetizer to wow dinner guests, a robust, crisp cracker makes the perfect base for a sweet corn salad and luxurious scallops. Or, for a delicious sweet treat, use Dare’s sweet potato cracker to lend a unique twist to a classic s’mores recipe.
Find more creative cracker recipes for your next event at darefoods.com.
Sauteed Corn, Feta, Cherry Tomato and Scallop Crackers
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 ears corn
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 10 large scallops
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced basil
- 10 Brenton Vinta crackers
- Slice corn off of cob.
- Heat vegetable oil in pan until hot, saute corn until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In another pan, heat vegetable oil until hot. Salt scallops then sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Slice in half to create 10 round scallop discs.
- Mix corn, feta, tomatoes and basil together. Season with salt and pepper.
- To compile, place spoonful of corn salad on each cracker. Top with 2 pieces of scallop and 1 sprig of basil.
Marshmallow, Chocolate, Sweet Potato Crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 10 large marshmallows
- 20 Breton sweet potato and ancient grain crackers
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
- Heat broiler to low (set rack in top two-thirds of oven if low-heat setting is unavailable).
- Place marshmallows on one cracker and broil 1-3 minutes, or until they begin to brown and soften.
- Remove from oven and place 1 teaspoon chocolate chips onto hot marshmallows.
- Let sit 1 minute to allow chocolate to soften.
- Place cracker on top and enjoy.
Source: Dare Foods
(Family Features) No matter what kind of events you have on your social calendar, you can pop up delicious treats that are sure to be a hit.
Whether hosting a get-together for the guys and tuning into the game or having a night in with the girls, freshly popped popcorn, which is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, can help you please every palate.
Sweet, spicy, salty or served in more non-traditional ways, the possibilities are endless, and perfect for everything from date night to a family movie night or even a sleepover or kids’ party. And since it’s healthy and whole grain, popcorn is a satisfying snack suitable for every occasion that you can feel good about serving.
Find more versatile, nutritious recipes for your next event at popcorn.org.
Cookies ’N Cream Popcorn
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 1 package (11 ounces) white chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
- Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
- In medium saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil; stir until blended.
- Pour melted chocolate over popcorn, stirring until well-coated. Stir in chopped Oreos.
- Spread mixture on baking sheet and chill until chocolate has set. Break into pieces to serve.
Popcorn Party Pizza
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 bag (10.5 ounces) mini marshmallows
- 2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 tube (.68 ounces) red piping gel
- 1 package red raspberry fruit roll-ups
- green jelly beans
- candy-coated chocolate pieces
- Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- In large saucepan over medium heat, heat butter.
- Stir in marshmallows until melted.
- Stir in popcorn until well coated.
- Spread mixture evenly onto prepared pizza pan.
- Drizzle red piping gel over “pizza” to make “sauce.”
- Cut small circles (about 1 1/4 inches in diameter) from fruit roll-up and place on pizza for “pepperoni” slices.
- Decorate as desired with jelly beans, coconut and candies. Allow to cool completely before cutting into wedges to serve.
Popcorn and Peanut Truffles
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup honey
- In large bowl, stir popcorn and peanuts together; set aside.
- In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips 10 seconds. Stir chips and repeat, stirring after each 10 seconds, until chips are melted. Warm honey in microwave 10 seconds and stir into chocolate until well blended.
- Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir until popcorn is evenly coated. With small ice cream scoop, push popcorn mixture into scoop and release onto wax paper to form truffles. Refrigerate until firm.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Truffles can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Popcorn
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 bag (7 ounces) shredded coconut, toasted
- Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
- In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and coconut extract; stir until melted and combined.
- Pour over popcorn, coating well. Spread popcorn onto large cookie sheet.
- In glass measuring cup, melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in microwave on low heat until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn. Immediately sprinkle coconut over popcorn mixture; cool.
- Break into pieces and serve.
Cheesy Pepperoni Popcorn
- 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
- black pepper, to taste
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
- olive oil cooking spray
- In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well.
- Place cooked popcorn and turkey pepperoni in large bowl; spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Family Features) Whether you’re a casual exerciser, a professional athlete or just looking for a nutritious breakfast, kick off your day with protein-packed recipes.
As an expert in the nutritional needs of professional athletes, Megan Chacosky, chef and registered dietitian for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, stresses the importance of protein in any fitness enthusiast’s diet. Protein helps build, maintain and repair muscles while increasing energy and endurance, which can help strengthen the body and avoid injuries. Adding a protein beverage like Rockin’ Protein, made from fresh Shamrock Farms milk with up to 30 grams of protein per serving, into healthy breakfast recipes is one way to increase the protein level and nutritional benefits of your breakfast.
These recipes are quick to prep for grab-and-go mornings to start your day with proper nutrition. To learn more, visit rockinprotein.com.
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) Chocolate Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 12 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup oil
- 2 cups roasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- In large bowl, combine protein builder, rolled oats, maple syrup, oil, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; mix until oats, hazelnuts and seeds are coated. On baking sheet, spread granola in thin layers and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- Cool completely then sprinkle in chocolate chips and serve with yogurt, on smoothie bowl or as cereal.
Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories; 32 g carbohydrates; 7.5 g protein; 16 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Blueberry Cornbread Muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Vanilla Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Heat oven to 400° F. Line muffin tin with 12 paper or foil muffin liners and set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; once mixed, toss in blueberries to coat.
- In separate bowl, combine egg, protein builder, oil and lemon juice. Pour liquid ingredients into dry mix and stir until just combined. Divide into lined muffin tins and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Nutritional information per serving: 245 calories; 25 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 15 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Source: Rockin’ Protein