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Tropical Popcorn Balls

September/October 2011

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These popcorn balls are held together with a flavorful combination of agave nectar and peanut butter. Macadamia nuts and coconut give them a delightful twist. They make a fun treat for Halloween.


Tropical Popcorn Balls Recipe

Makes: 12 (2-inch) balls

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 6 heaping cups popped corn
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (see Note) or honey
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut, preferably unsweetened

Preparation

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Prepare a medium bowl of ice water. Put popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. Combine agave (or honey) and peanut butter (or almond butter) in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently but constantly. As soon as the mixture starts to lightly bubble, cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds more.
  3. Immediately pour the mixture evenly over the popcorn; gently mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well coated. Gently stir in macadamia nuts.
  4. Dip both hands in the ice water. Working quickly, press small handfuls (heaping 1/4 cup each) of the popcorn mixture firmly into 2-inch balls. (Make sure each ball gets a little bit of the macadamia nuts.) Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. If they seem too fragile, rinse hands with cold water and press and squeeze each ball again to help keep it together. Roll each ball in coconut or sprinkle with coconut while still a little damp and sticky.
  5. Let cool completely before storing. To store, individually wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Wrap airtight for up to 2 days, but best the day they are made.
  • Note: Agave syrup or nectar is the naturally sweet juice extracted from the agave plant. It has a lower glycemic index and is lower in calories than table sugar, but is even sweeter. Use it in moderation when substituting for table sugar. Look for it near other sweeteners in health food stores and well-stocked supermarkets.

Nutrition

Per ball: 100 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 5 g added sugars; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 21 mg sodium; 32 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (other), 1 fat


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