I was surfing the internet a few weeks back looking for something to do with popcorn and found some scrumptious looking peanut butter balls. They were of course made with butter and super bad for you corn syrup. I was determined to make them healthier and still yummy so I opened up my fridge to see what I could find and saw my all fruit jelly and thought YUM PB&J popcorn balls!
I like the popcorn balls to be completely coated in peanut butter so I use less popcorn than most do. You can add more popcorn to make them less coated, just adjust by your tastes preferences. The jelly is added as the last step to keep it in tact, pretty and to keep its individual flavor. You WILL get your hands messy on this one so roll up your sleeves and lets get started!
*Update* FYI I had a comment posted asking if Brown Rice Syrup would work and DUH I don’t know why I did not think of that while making them, other than I did not have any in the house at the time. Brown Rice Syrup would probably work the best on these since it would really help them stick together the best. It can be a bit pricey so if you do not have any agave or maple syrup will work too but make a bit softer ball, still yummy
Peanut Butter & Jelly Popcorn Balls
Makes: approx 12-18 balls
4+ cups of air popped popcorn (approx 2 Tablespoons unpopped kernels)
1/2 cup all natural, no sugar added peanut butter
1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup (would work the best), Agave Nectar, or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch or two of sea salt
All fruit, no sugar added jelly (amount will vary depending on how much you want to coat the balls)
Air pop the popcorn, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool off completely. Make sure to remove any unpopped kernels so you don’t break a tooth!
In a medium sauce pan mix together the peanut butter, sweetener, vanilla and salt over medium heat. Heat until well blended then cool for about 2 minutes.
Pour the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn and stir well to completely coat the popcorn. Once the popcorn is not hot to the touch but still nicely warm and gooey form into the balls. Make sure to squeeze the balls well to ensure they stay together.
Make all the balls and set aside on a cookie sheet or large plate. You can spray your hands with cooking spray to help keep the balls from transferring all the peanut butter to your hands or just wet with water between each ball.
Once you have made all the balls scoop approximately 1/4 teaspoon of jelly and put it into the palm of your had. Roll one ball in the jelly to coat it and have the jelly get into the popcorn grooves. Set the ball back on the tray and continue doing that until you have coated all the popcorn balls.
If the balls are a little too sticky place them into the fridge for about 15 minutes and they should set up well. If they are staying together well then start eating and ENJOY!