This delicious chocolate Aztec popcorn includes healthy ingredients for a better snack option. Each indulgent bite has dark chocolate, strawberries, almonds & warm spices. Better make extra, this going to go fast!
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. Or, some dark chocolate chips work well too! Not to mention there are also crunchy almonds. They 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 stovetop! My kids think that the sounds are so funny and are 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.
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Chocolate Aztec Popcorn with Strawberries
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons chocolate candies, or chocolate chips
- 1 cup strawberries, freeze dried
- ¼ cup almonds
- 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 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 the lid.
- Once you hear a few kernels pop, reduce heat to medium-low. Continue popping, shaking the pan back and forth over the burner once every 30 seconds to ensure even cooking of the kernels. After about 3 minutes, or once there are a couple of seconds between each pop turn off the 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 distribute and caramelize.
- Gradually sprinkle in the chia seeds on top, mixing to coat until evenly distributed and sticking to the 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. 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, strawberries, and almonds. Enjoy immediately or within one day.
- Vegetable oil can be substituted for coconut oil.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder can be used instead of cacao powder.
- Store in an airtight container overnight.
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