I love fresh-popped popcorn! Add chocolate and  I could eat this stuff all day. These gluten-free treats are so flavorful and fill that sweet craving without robbing your body of health.  I even caught Adriana sneaking a second one last night.  Note to self, not the best idea giving a kid chocolate right before bedtime.

I first made these chocolate pop corn balls years ago for the Palm Beach Post story “What are your Neighbors Cooking?”  They have evolved from my original recipe and I love these even more!  As a young girl, my first job was at a movie theater.  Popcorn has always been my favorite “stuff it all in your mouth” kind of snack.

Back in the day, they would pop the corn days ahead and store it in large clear trash bags and toss it in the heated lamps as needed.  It certainly was not fresh popped but as a teenager what did I know? If I only knew then what I know now about that synthetic greasy, goopy, pseudo butter!   It churns my stomach to think how much of that stuff I ate.  So here is my revenge on that poor excuse of a healthy snack and just in time for your Halloween fun!

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In this batch I forgot to add the chocolate chips to the mixture before I made the balls so I melted them and drizzled it over the balls. Problem solved!

Ingredients

6 cups popped corn (1/4 cup organic kernels)
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup almond butter (learn more) (sunflower butter for nut-free)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (learn more)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (learn more)
1/4 cup coconut oil (learn more)
1/4 cup raw honey (learn more)
1 teaspoon almond extract (learn more)
2 tablespoons cacao powder (learn more)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (learn more)

Step 4 – Syrup

4 tablespoons coconut oil (learn more)
2 tablespoons cacao powder (learn more)
1 teaspoon vanilla (learn more)
1 tablespoon raw honey (learn more)

Directions

1. Coat large pot with 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil. Pop kernels over medium heat.
2. In a saucepan over low heat, stir in the almond butter, coconut, hemp, oil, honey, cacao, and extract.
3. After you have a smooth consistency, add to popped corn. Add chips and gently mix.
4. Over low heat in sauce pan mix oil, cacao, vanilla and honey. Pour syrup over corn and mix.
5. Form mixture into balls or clusters. Set in fridge for 10 min.

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The first picture shows the almond butter mixture before blended. The second picture is step 4, adding the syrup.

Tips

It helps to use the 1/4 cup coconut oil first as the almond butter and honey will slide out easier.  Careful not to overheat almond butter mixture.  I suggest wetting your hands after forming every few balls.  This will prevent the  mixture from sticking to your hands and you can form the balls much easier. You can leave these at room temperature after they set in fridge for 10 min.  I mentioned in the picture above that I forgot to add the chips before I formed the balls, so I melted them and drizzled it over the top.  They tasted just as wonderful.  However if you drizzle the melted chips verses putting them in the mixture and forming balls, you will need to store them in the refrigerator as they melt at room temperature.

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I hope you get sneaky like my 8-year-old and have seconds,

Dawn