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Popcorn Snack Bars

Today without a doubt felt like the longest day of class I have experienced in a long, long time.

It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but I think I’ve just been a little more tired and run down than usual from being out of my normal routine all weekend.¬† We even watched a movie (The Sea Inside) during my first class, which I really liked, but it didn’t help move the day along any faster.

In fact, the only thing that kept me from passing out on my plinth from exhaustion was probably these popcorn snack bars.  Since I knew we were watching a movie, I wanted to bring in some theater treats that would be delish and hopefully leaning towards healthy for some of my friends to enjoy.

Orville Redenbacher to the rescue!

Popcorn Snack Bars Printable Recipe Card

  • 8 C popped popcorn (preferably the¬†plain, healthy, non-butter-flavored kind, if you can)
  • 2 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1 C almonds (or any nut)
  • 1 C raisins (or any dried fruit)
  • 3/4 C honey
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 t salt

First, pop the popcorn.¬† You can use regular bags if you don’t have a fancy-smancy¬†Whirly-Pop¬†that you received as a wedding gift from your awesome older sister and her hubs (thanks, Erin and Bruce!).¬† I used about 1/2 C unpopped corn in 2 T of vegetable oil to pop this batch.

While it’s off popping (not popping off), combine the honey, salt,¬†and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.¬† Stir until all the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat.¬† Next time I make this recipe, I’m going to try using straight honey with no added sugar.¬† I’ll let you know how that goes.

In a gigantic bowl, combine the popcorn, oats, fruit, and nuts.¬† Make sure to pick out all the unpopped or partially popped corn¬†so none of your friends or family break their teeth (but if they do, I know a dentist-to-be…).¬† Pour the honey syrup over the top, and stir it all up.¬† Use a giant spoon (and let’s be honest, it’s going to get all over your hands), to make sure everything gets covered in the sweet stuff.

Grease a 9″x13″ pan (I used spray canola oil), and dump the popcorn mixture right in.¬† Use your hands to press it down firmly (you may have to get your hands the slightest bit oily to do this without sticking).¬† If you are crazy like me, you can press some white (or regular) chocolate chips leftover from your zucchini brownies¬†into the top of half this mixture.¬† Yum.

Refrigerate for an hour or two before cutting.¬† That’ll make it easier to slice ‘n’ dice–but the bars themselves¬†don’t have to be served cold.

These are kind of like a fiber-filled and nutritious version of a rice krispy treat.  Even without the marshmallow, they still have that admirable sticky and pull-apart texture of a rice krispy treat.

The honey flavor is definitely the best part of these bars.  With the slight crunch of popcorn, the chewy and honey-soaked oats make these totally hearty.

And delicious.

Definitely delicious.

Also, check out our CSA box number eight!¬† I’m super excited for the content of this week’s box–looks like I get to have some fun with flavor and get away from salads for a little while.¬†

Driving home from picking out the box was amazing–the dill and garlic was so aromatic even¬†from the back seat that I know I’ll be dreaming up soups for at least a week.

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  1. katshealthcorner

    POPCORN popping on the Apricot Tree! :) I LOVE POPCORN! I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old having a popcorn party with my buddies in school. It was SO much fun!

  2. aubrimichelle

    i had a question blogger to blogger…i’ve always admired your photography and your presentation and i was wondering how you made your pictures look so crisp and professional? is it the camera you use or do you edit it on photoshop somehow?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      definitely definitely definitely the camera and even more so the lens. if you go back into the archives from before I got a new camera (and lately, my new lens), my pictures are AWFUL! On rare occaisions I will sharpen them using PhotoScape, but usually that’s not necessary. Thanks for the compliments!

  3. keroiam

    holy cow, this looks awesome! i’m so trying it!

    1. keroiam

      i tried your recipe last night and it came out very tasty! i even brought some in to work today and my co-workers love it. next time i want to try it with orange blossom honey and cranberries. thank you!

  4. kat

    Yum, yum, YUM!! That looks soooo tasty! How long do the bars stay fresh before the popcorn goes stale? Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’m new to blogging and love that there is a foodie community! If you have time, please check out my blog: http://shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com/. And of course! Any advice would be great :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’m assuming they would last a few days before the popcorn goes totally stale, but I think even if the popcorn loses some crunch the almonds will make up for it. Also…they may disappear too fast for that to matter anyway :)

  5. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    Awesome :D I love these. I was thinking of a way to make some popcorn clusters with nuts and fruit but these look perfect. Way better than my ideas, haha. Totally putting this on my to-make list. It looks like it will be great for the kids :)

  6. Amanda

    Oh yum, yum, YUM! These look like the perfect party food.

  7. Kristen

    YUM these are in my fridge right now! With craisins and white chocolate chips and pecans :) Just a warning…I decreased the sugar to less than 1/4 of a cup and the bars aren’t solidifying as much as I like- it might be key to helping them stay together!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      that’s what I was worried might happen! thanks for the update!

    2. keroiam

      yep, i halved the sugars as well and i don’t think i had enough binding agent. i’m going to try adding water to the glaze next time.

  8. Holly

    These are so original… never seen anything like it before !!

  9. Ragamuffin Diaries

    what a great idea! I love that you combined oats with the popcorn. also, that CSA box looks incredible!

  10. Erin Branham

    These have been in my head for two days. I made them this morning and promptly took half to my neighbor’s house after I sliced the bars so I wouldn’t eat them all. They were delicious!

  11. Ashley Sigman

    I wanna make emmm! so good

  12. Steffany Kurilovitch

    Do you think they would be good with papaya ? Dried papaya is my favorite dried fruit ! I was thinking of making it three P’s — popcorn, papaya, and peanuts ! But I am not sure if papaya will work as good.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      oh my gosh I bet it’d be AWESOME with dried papaya. definitely try it and let me know!

      1. Steffany Kurilovitch

        I will definitely let you know ! I am going to make them right now but trying to figure out how many bags of popcorn it will require, lol. Looking for the nutrition facts so I can figure out how many cups (popped) there are in one bag.

        1. Lauren Zietsman

          good luck! you’ll probably need between one and two bags–i’d just start with one and pop a second if you need it!

      2. Steffany Kurilovitch

        Okay, so I made them ! They were delicious ! The boyfriend thought they were a little too sweet because of the dried papaya but liked them. I will have to try other varieties next time, the possibilities are endless ! Love your blog !! (:

        1. Lauren Zietsman

          Haha I have a super sweet tooth so I’d probably LOVE them! thanks :)

      3. Steffany Kurilovitch

        You would definitely probably love them haha. I have been eating them nonstop for the past few days. They are addictive ! Yum !

  13. Virginia Thurman

    What is a CSA Box? And do you have the nutritional breakdown of the Popcorn Bars?u Daughter -in-love and I are on a weight loss program and would like to know how these fit in.

  14. Clare

    Oh No!! Ive longed to make this for 2 weeks and just have (with crasins and mango and macadamias) and i forgot to grease my tray!!! Terrified it will all be a mess that just sticks :(

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ve forgotten to grease the tray before too–it will be a pain, but you can probably break the larger pieces out into some semblance of bars, and eat the rest like granola! I did it right before a party and no one noticed (or said they did‚Ķ)

    2. Lauren Zietsman

      your combination of mango and macadamias sounds unbelievably good, though!

  15. Jenifer

    Love this. I went to a friends house a few day ago
    She made popcorn bars it was a little different then
    This fantastic recipe it was so good. I can’t wait to
    Try this. Love the honey part because my dad
    Raises bees and gets the honey from them and
    Sends it to me.

  16. JIll

    A friend made these for our choral practice the other night..she used apricots and drizzled them with melted dark chocolate!! Can’t wait to make them myself, maybe adding dried cherries (which i seem to put into everything these days!!). Your website is gorgeous, pictures nice and clear…thanks for the inspiration!!

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