Chocolate almond Aztec popcorn combines exciting ingredients for a better indulgent snack!
Oh dark chocolate, you make me weak in the knees! Did you know that not only is it irresistibly delicious, but there are nutritional benefits too? Yay, seriously! I wanted to whip up something special that incorporates this sweet treat. For this recipe, I was inspired by Aztec ingredients to create a flavor-packed popcorn snack mix.
Part of my quest has been adding superfoods like strawberries, cacao, and chia seeds to my recipes. These nutrient-rich ingredients are considered to be especially beneficial for well-being. I’ve added these superfoods right into this scrumptious Aztec popcorn, cha-ching!
Of course, chocolate is the star of this snack! Chocolate products contain ground cacao seeds which are rich in fiber. These seeds also have minerals like iron, zinc, and a high source of magnesium. The antioxidant power is an added benefit. Cacao has been infused into this popcorn mix in various ways.
I can’t help but smile when I grab some strawberry flavored cranberries that are covered in silky dark chocolate, drool. Not to mention there also crunchy almonds dusted with rich cocoa powder. Almonds don’t only add texture, but protein, fiber, plus vitamins and minerals too.
When I researched ancient Aztec foods, I found that the food staples were packed with the same superfoods used in this recipe, especially chia seeds and cacao. Corn was also a huge staple in their cuisine, as well as honey, vanilla, hot peppers, and spices like cinnamon. I couldn’t help but infuse all of these flavors into one tasty snack.
It’s so much fun to make fresh popcorn on the stove top! My toddler James thinks the sounds are so funny and is amazed when I remove the lid to see how it magically transformed into tiny edible clouds.
The popcorn then gets lightly coated in the caramelized honey and vanilla to give just a light, crisp bite. Each popped kernel is tossed in cacao cinnamon topping with just a hint of spicy cayenne pepper. It’s so irresistible, especially when eaten warm!
If you’re are going to reward yourself with a better for you homemade snack, make it this popcorn mix worthy to even the Aztec gods. I like to package a few servings in small bags so I can grab and go on the way to work, after a long hike, or for a quick afternoon snack. It’s such a gratifying treat packed with spices, nuts, and chocolaty goodness.
Chocolate Almond Aztec Popcorn with Strawberries
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 5 1/2 ounces chocolate candies
- 1 cup strawberries, freeze dried
- In a small bowl mix together the cacao powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.
- In a separate small bowl mix together the honey and vanilla.
- Warm a large saucepan (3 to 4 quart size with lid) over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Wait until the oil is hot, then add the popcorn kernels. Shake to coat the kernels with oil, then cover with lid.
- Once you hear a few kernels pop, reduce heat to medium low heat. Continue popping, shaking the pan back and forth over the burner once every 30 seconds to ensure cooking of the kernels. After about 3 minutes, or once there are a couple of seconds between each pop turn off heat. Uncover the popcorn and immediately add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Stir quickly to distribute the oil.
- Turn on heat to medium low. Drizzle honey mixture over the surface of the popcorn and mix for 1 minute, stirring constantly to help the honey distribute and caramelize. Gradually sprinkle in the chia seeds on top of the popcorn, mixing to coat until evenly distributed and sticking to popcorn as much as possible. Stir constantly and cook for about 1 minute. The popcorn may be slightly sticky to the touch but not wet when it is ready. You want a slight crunch when you take a bite.
- Transfer popcorn to a large bowl. Sprinkle in the cocoa spice mixture a little at a time, tossing together. Gently toss in the chocolate covered cranberries and freeze dried strawberries. Enjoy immediately or within one day. Cover in an airtight container if storing overnight.
2) Unsweetened cocoa powder can be used instead of cacao powder.