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When it comes to “diet”, we try our best to live a balanced lifestyle year round. Since we’re both BIG snackers, I usually spend one day a week just working on homemade snacks. I find making snacks at home so much cheaper//fresher//tastier//healthier than the store-bought stuff, so I’m always keeping an eye out for new ideas/products to incorporate into our everyday snacking life.
1) They’re a no-bake treat that’s ready in less than 30 minutes! Buuuuut. I do recommend using a candy thermometer for the honey sauce step. They’re a great investment, and for under 10 bucks, you really can’t beat it. That being said, I know there are going to be a few of you who go ahead and make these without the candy thermometer. I just know it… So. Be sure to never leave your honey sauce unattended (it WILL burn and fill your house will smoke and ruin your pan), and once it’s ferociously boiling and thickened up (around 6 minutes) remove it from the heat.
2) I added pepita seeds to these bars because I thought they complimented the pumpkin spice quite nicely. That said, please feel free to use a different mix in such as peanuts, pecans, or almonds. Maybe even a few white chocolate chips?
3) To keep these nice and healthy (or at least, healthier) I used coconut oil as the fat. I love coconut oil in pretty much everything! But, if you’re not a coconut person – don’t fret! You cannot taste it at all in these bars. If you do plan on switching the coconut oil out for another fat, I suggest butter, although olive oil may work?
4) Be sure to chill the bars in the fridge for 10 minutes and 10 minutes only! Trust me. You want them to firm up just enough… too long in the fridge and they’ll be much harder to cut.Although these bars have a lot of fun things going on (hello, honey sauce and pumpkin spice!) the star of the show is POPCORN! You guys, meet Skinnygirl Popcorn! I have to admit I was pretty thrilled when I found out I’d have the opportunity to work with this product, because I mean, guilt free popcorn from Bethenny?! It’s a no brainer.
I was pretty stoked to easily find Skinnygirl Popcorn at my local Walmart, and in case you need a little reference tool, here’s where I found mine and what the box looks like 😉 I’m a visual person so hopefully this helps!
First up, you’ll grease a BIG bowl and add your popcorn/ pepitas seeds to it…
Once it’s done boiling, simply toss it with the popcorn, press it into the pan, and refrigerate for 10 minutes!
Snacking for the win: Healthy Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Bars
- 9 cups popped Skinnygirl Popcorn, Butter Flavor
- 1 cup pepita seeds
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Generously coat a large heatproof bowl with non-stick cooking spray, place popcorn and pepita seeds in the bowl, and toss to combine; set aside.
- Place pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, honey, water, apple cider vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
- Place pan over high heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved; about 2 minutes.
- Bring mixture to a boil and cook until it registers 250°(F) on a candy thermometer, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in coconut oil and vanilla until, and whisk until completely combined.
- Immediately drizzle caramel mixture over the popcorn/pepita seeds and stir quickly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until popcorn is thoroughly coated. Press popcorn into a prepared pan (being sure to really press it down) and place pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Cut bars into squares and serve.