Popcorn Trail Mix 3 Ways

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Do you feel like you are running out of healthy snack ideas? A popcorn trailmix is a fun take on a classic snack that the whole family will love! It’s easy to make and store, and can also be packed as a healthy vacation snack.

We always recommend snacks that incorporate both carb + protein. Protein helps keep your body satiated by releasing appetite suppressing hormones, stabilizing blood sugar, and slowing digestion.

Air popped popcorn is a quick snack that is low in calories and sodium. When paired with nutritious proteins and fats, it can become a satiating snack. We prefer air popped popcorn over microwave popcorn because it is a whole food without any added processed oils (like hydrogenated oils in the “fake” butter) and is a great base for creating a trail mix.

Popcorn Trail Mix 3 Ways

Follow the recipes below by simply adding the ingredients into a large bowl and tossing them together!

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Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn Trail Mix (Serves 4)

  • 4 Cups air popped popcorn
  • ¼ Cup almonds and/or cashews
  • ¼ Cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ Cup dried cranberries

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Savory Popcorn Trail Mix (Serves 4)

  • 4 Cups air popped popcorn
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ Cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • ¼ Cup dried chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

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Tropical Popcorn Trail Mix (Serves 4)

  • 4 Cups air popped popcorn
  • ¼ Cup dried Mango
  • ¼ Cup coconut chips
  • ¼ Cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds

How to air pop popcorn:

  • Option 1: Place 3 Tablespoons of a single layer of popcorn kernels in the bottom of a deep pot with a lid on top. Turn the stove on medium heat. Carefully listen to the popcorn pop. The popcorn will pop vigorously at first. When the pops are roughly 5 seconds apart, turns off the stove. Wait a few minutes to allow the popcorn to cool and move to your desired bowl
  • Option 2: Here is the air popper that Brittany uses and you can get it on Amazon
  • Option 3: Buy your own pre-popped popcorn such as SkinnyPop at your local grocery store

-Written and photographed by Gabby Childers, Brittany Jones Nutrition Intern

Spring Clean Your Diet with WSPA

Spring is finally here and I recently shared my tips to spring clean your diet with WSPA Channel 7 News. Warmer weather means that there is lots of produce is in season – and fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water! Click here to get the Grape, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Chicken Salad recipe that I demonstrated on the segment.

Spring clean your diet by making at least one snack per day consist of produce + protein

Examples below:

  • 1 Cup cucumber slices + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1 Small apple + 1 cheese stick
  • 1/2 Cup blueberries + 1/4 Cup walnuts
  • 17 Grapes + 25 almonds
  • 5 stalks celery + 2 Tablespoons natural nut or seed butter
  • 1 Peach (sliced) + 1 Cup cottage cheese
  • 1 Pear + 1/4 Cup pecans
  • 1/2 bell pepper (sliced) + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1 Cutie + 1/2 Cup pistachios in shell
  • 1/2 Banana + 2 Tablespoons natural nut or seed butter
  • 1/2 Cup raspberries + 1/2 Cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Orange + 1 hard boiled egg

Want to know more about meal planning and nutrition tips for spring? Contact me today to set up your FREE 15 minute discovery call.

Carolina Morning Segment: Avoid the holiday weight gain & Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls Recipe

I had a lot of fun sharing my tips for avoiding the holiday weight gain with Siblia and Christy! Check out my top tips below, and scroll down to get the recipe from the show.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls Recipe

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Why are dietitians so obsessed with snacking? Because snacks are amazing!

No really though, we love snacks because they help us reach our health goals! Snacks (especially during the holidays) can keep us from getting overly hungry before a meal, which can lead to over eating or bingeing on holiday sweets.

What’s the most important thing about snacking? That it incorporates both a carb + protein/good fat!

Repeat after me: carbs alone don’t keep you full!

This is why “healthy snacks” like an apple or a cup of berries doesn’t fill you up – but it’s also why goldfish don’t either (unless you eat the whole bag I guess). I love these Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Balls because they’re not only festive, but it’s a snack the whole family will love! Have your kids help you with the assembly of each popcorn ball.

The popcorn gives you whole grains, and the peanut butter adds some good fats and protein to keep you fuller longer.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

Yield: 10 Popcorn Balls

Ingredients:

  • 9 Cups Air Popped Popcorn (1/3 cup kernels)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Natural Chunky Peanut Butter

Directions:

  1. Place the popcorn and chocolate chunks in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the honey and peanut butter and stir together with a spatula until heated and the honey starts to bubble.
  3. Remove from heat, and pour over the popcorn, using the spatula to scrape the sides of the sauce pan.
  4. Stir until all of the popcorn is well coated with the peanut butter mixture, and the chocolate chips start to melt.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 balls before the mixture cools. Set each one on the parchment paper.
  7. Place in the refrigerator to cool for 25-30 minutes, and enjoy!

This snack can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week!

Nutrition Facts (1 popcorn ball): 198 Calories, 8.1g Total Fat, 1.3g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 2mg Sodium, 28g Total Carbohydrate, 4.5g Fiber, 9g Sugar, 6.6g Protein