Popcorn balls are a traditional Halloween and harvest treat, but you can include popcorn balls in your diet year round if you choose the healthiest ingredients. Popcorn is considered a whole grain, and MayoClinic.com reports that popcorn is naturally low in fat, contains several important vitamins and minerals, and also supplies a healthy dose of fiber. Using plain popcorn as the foundation for your popcorn ball recipe will get your snack off to a nutritious start.
Cherry Popcorn Balls
Place 6 cups of air-popped popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. In a large saucepan, place 2/3 cup mini marshmallows and 1 tbsp. canola oil. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the marshmallows are melted. Add 2 tbsp. of pureed cherries and 3 tbsp. dried cherries. Pour the liquid over the popcorn and toss gently to coat. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Using greased hands, form the mixture into balls about the size of a baseball. This recipe makes about 6 popcorn balls.
Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
Place 12 cups of air-popped popcorn into a bowl that you have lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking oil. Add 1/2 cup chopped peanuts. In a medium saucepan, place 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows and stir over low heat until melted. Spoon in 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter and continue stirring until smooth and combined. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn and gently toss to coat. Cool slightly. With greased hands, form the popcorn into balls. This recipe will yield 12 popcorn balls.
Pumpkin Cranberry Popcorn Balls
Pop 6 cups of popcorn and put in a large bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan, place 3/4 cup marshmallows and 2 tbsp. of honey. Over low heat, stir the mixture until melted. Add 2 tbsp. of canned pumpkin and 3 tbsp. of dried cranberries. Stir until well mixed. Pour over popcorn and allow to cool for 3 or 4 minutes. Grease your hands and form the mixture into several large balls. You will be able to make six popcorn balls with this recipe.
Banana Blueberry Popcorn Balls
Put 12 cups of air-popped popcorn into a large bowl. In a large saucepan over low heat, place 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows. Stir until melted. Add 1/4 cup banana puree and 4 tbsp. dried blueberries. Mix well. Pour over the popcorn and toss gently until thoroughly coated. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and form the mixture into about 12 balls.
- "MayoClinic.com; "Whole Grains -- Hearty Options for a Healthy Diet"; July 2009
- "The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue"; Missy Chase Lapine; 2009
- "The Family Table: Where Great Food, Friends, and Family Gather Together"; Christy Rost; 2003