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Popcorn is so versatile.  Because of its mild profile, it lends itself to many different flavors from savory to sweet, salty to spicy and everything in between.  I visited a popcorn store in a nearby mall the other day, and they sold every popcorn flavor imaginable -bacon popcorn, candy bar popcorn, sushi popcorn, beer popcorn, and the most interesting was pregnancy mix popcorn (pickle and ice cream)!  So the sky’s the limit when it comes to popcorn flavor.

Popcorn is one of those snacks you can feel good about eating (if you don’t drown it in butter).  It is high is fiber and low in fat.  You can eat a lot of popcorn to fill you up and the calorie count is low.  It is crunchy and smells heavenly so it adds to the sensory pleasure.  I couldn’t imagine a trip to a movie theater without having a bucket, (yes I said bucket!!) of piping hot popcorn.  The movie just wouldn’t be the same!

Since popcorn is inexpensive and easy to make, you can whip up a batch anytime at home.  You can really get creative, and if you have kids, they can help out – turning the experience into a fun project.

Today I’d like to give you an awesome honey spice popcorn balls recipe that is a delicious, healthy snack. It has a bit of sweetness from honey and not sugar, which provides only empty calories. You can eat these as a movie time snack, a late night snack, or carry it with you for an on-the-go snack.

Here’s what you’ll need.

Honey Spice Popcorn Balls

6 cups popcorn (preferably organic and air-popped)

1/2 cup of honey

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or other savory powder such as rosemary or chili)

honey spice popcorn balls

Instructions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients together except the popcorn.   Then drizzle this mixture over the popcorn and combine well. Transfer the popcorn mixture to the baking sheet and bake until the popcorn begins to caramelize (about 5 – 10 minutes depending on your oven).  After the popcorn starts to caramelize, take the pan out of the oven and add more salt, to taste.  Let it cool for a few minutes so that you can handle the popcorn, then with lightly greased hands, form into balls.  Enjoy.

You can really get creative with this recipe.  For a unique warm flavor, add pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice).  For a smoky flavor, try adding smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt.   You can add chia or hemp seeds, nuts, even shredded coconut, too.

What combination of spices do you think would be a winning recipe?

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