This post is sponsored by Moms Meet and Palm Oil Health. Compensation for this post was provided and I may receive a commission for purchases made through some of the links in this post.
Summer Break is finally here!! I wanted to make a special dessert/snack to help us celebrate the end of another successful school year. When I was a kid my mom used to let us pop our own popcorn as a treat for special moments like getting a good grade on a test or family movie night. So it’s only seemed fitting that I introduce this tradition to my kids. Of course, we put our own twist on it by ditching the canola oil for Malaysian Red Palm Oil and kicked things up a notch by turning our popcorn into tropical fruit popcorn bars.
Why Malaysian Red Palm Oil?
Our dishes are only as good as our ingredients. More importantly, our bodies are only as good as the ingredients we put into it. With that said, did you know that palm oil is one of the best better-for-you oils that you can cook with? I didn’t!
For years, I’ve always thought palm oil was something to avoid. So imagine my shock when it I found out that it’s actually a healthier option. Palm oil is naturally free of trans-fatty acids, is one of the few edible oils that are not grown from genetically modified seeds, has a high burn temperature, and is a great source of the Vitamin E tocotrienols antioxidant.
This antioxidant is known to help the body fight chronic diseases as well as to help slow down how fast our body ages. Also, it’s sustainably sourced! From a taste standpoint, palm oil doesn’t overpower your food. If anything, in my personal opinion it helps the true flavors of your dish burst forward.
Now let’s get back to our recipe.
1 cup popcorn kernels
6 tbsp palm oil
1 1/2 cups dried tropical fruit mix
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3 tsp butter
1 bag (10 oz) of mini marshmallows
caramel syrup, optional
seasoning salt, optional
In a large pot, heat up 3 tbsp of palm oil over medium-high heat. Once your oil is hot, remove your pot from the heat and add 1/2 cup of your popcorn kernels. Place the lid on and give the pot a swirl to coat the kernels with the palm oil.
When you’re kernels are coated, place the pot back on the heat. prop lit slightly askew so that steam doesn’t build up in the pot. Watch closely and wait for your popcorn to start popping. When it sounds like your popcorn is slowing down remove from the heat and let it sit until all popping stops.
Pour popcorn into a bowl and repeat above steps for the second batch of popcorn. When you are done with both batches of popcorn, salt likely if you want with seasoning salt or any salt of your choice.
Using the same pot, add 2 tsp of butter. Once your butter is melted, add in your 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows start to melt, mixing them with the butter. Add your last tsp of butter and stir again.
Then, add in popcorn and mix thoroughly so that all the popcorn pieces are coated with the marshmallow. Add in your tropical fruit mix and your sunflower seeds and stir again.
When your ingredients have been mixed to your liking, pour mixture into a 13-inch x 9-inch non-stick baking dish (you can also line your baking dish with parchment or wax paper as well). Carefully, pat mixture down using a spoon, silicone spatula, or cup. I do not recommend using your hand as you may be burned by the hot melted marshmallow. (Ask me how I know.)
Once you have your mixture patted flat, let it rest and cool for up to an hour. I just left my baking dish uncovered on the store. Covering it will cause moisture to build up and then you’ll have soggy popcorn. Also, you use this the time add more tropical fruit mix or sunflower seeds to the top of your popcorn bars if you want.
After your popcorn has cooled, cut into bars. When you’re serving your bars, you can drizzle them with caramel syrup for a little extra flavor or enjoy them as is. Either way is super delicious!
And there you have it, a fun and delicious treat to celebrate the start of Summer Break or perhaps to enjoy during a family movie night. Don’t forget you can find out more about palm oil and get more recipes here, on Facebook, and Twitter! Happy Snacking!
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