Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha POPCORN !

National Popcorn Day is coming up (January 19th) and that’s a food holiday on my food bucket list . . . my literal list of foods to eat from a bucket (haha)! But, seriously, popcorn is totally worth its salt as a snack food, it’s a healthy whole grain (a seed, actually) that is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free and a great source of dietary fiber. It’s inexpensive and delicious gobbled up simply fresh-popped or drizzled, coated or tossed with any number of other yummy things. And, “yummy things” is the segue into my recipe for Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha PopcornSugar-Free Caffe Mocha Popcorn makes a healthy snack with under 100 calories per serving.

Yes, Sugar-Free Caffe Mocha Popcorn! It’s like a coffee house and a movie theater hooked up and produced hundreds of perky little chocolatey offspring.  It’s just so delicious, and you don’t even have to feel guilty – only 99 sugar-free calories!

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Healthier Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn + More Fall Favs

Maple Pumpkin Pecan PopcornMaple Pecan Pumpkin Popcorn: So much goodness here, this is a delicious and easy-to-make fall snack. Forget about Cracker Jacks, make your own healthier autumn-inspired version with real maple syrup, a bit of butter and real pumpkin along withthe right spices. Also, did you know you can make your own “clean” popcorn right in the microwave with nothing more than a brown paper lunch sack – that’s how I’ve been doing it for years!  Also, do NOT use maple FLAVORED syrup for this recipes, that would be a nasty, corn-syrupy shame. I love the 100% Organic Maple Syrup from NOW Real Food – it’s a light and delicate-tasting amber syrup that makes me think of a crisp, cool breeze and rustle of leaves with every taste! Recipe for the Healthier Maple Pecan Pumpkin Popcorn at the bottom of the post!

Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn features all the flavors of fall an healthier sugar alternatives!

September PopSugar Must Have Box

September PopSugar Must Have Box

Also wanted to shout out some other this I’m loving this fall season. First, yay for the POPSUGAR, they sent me the September Must Have Box and, it’s definitely a must have! This awesome lifestyle subscription box always knows how to win me over with products that I’ll obviously love (like the GFB Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites) to unexpected surprises (like the Jack & Lucy Black Felt Hat) that I never knew I needed, but now wonder how I ever lived without! And this specially curated box of goodies even makes the practical contents (like the MANI E.R. purse manicure repair kit) super hip and cool.

Jack & Lucy Hat - TheFitFork.com Jennifer Fisher

Jack & Lucy Hat – TheFitFork.com Jennifer Fisher

If you are looking for a unique gift that gives for a month or e even all year, consider giving your bestie a subscription to the POPSUGAR Must Have Box. Use code SHOP5 (which never expires) at checkout to save $5 off your FIRST Must Have Box!

Tommie Copper Compression elbow sleeve

Second, I’m loving Tommie Copper Compression, again . . . as usual!  But this time I’m focused on their compression “sleeves” made for nearly every part and parcel of our limbs! Sometimes I ask a little too much of my bod and not even a rest day can  resolve my minor aches and pains. However, I really dislike being sidelined from training – – that’s why you’ll typically see me in some sort of compression gear. If you’ve ever seen my Instagram feed, you’ll see that I’m a huge fan of compression socks. But I also wear compression sleeves for ankle, knee, wrists, elbow and quads when needed for both during exercise support and post-workout recovery. Personally, I really like the Tommie Copper brand – the targeted compression sleeves are low-profile, unobtrusive and make my muscles, tendons and joints feel good (or at least lessen the feeling that I’ve been run over by a truck)!

Tweet “Maple Pecan Pumpkin Popcorn + Fall Faves @nowfoods @tommiecopper @PopsugarMH #ad”]

Of all the fall foods, what is your favorite? Or at least, favorite fall flavor? Ever try compression gear for anywhere other than your legs or rear? Please share in the comments, XOXO — JEnnifer

 

Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn
Healthier Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn + More Fall Favs
Print Recipe
Fall into fall with Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn, it freatures nearly every iconic flavor of the season! Healthier than store bought caramel corn thanks to wholesome ingredients like maple syrup and stevia baking blend. Also, find out two companies that I've been loving later.
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn
Healthier Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn + More Fall Favs
Print Recipe
Fall into fall with Maple Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn, it freatures nearly every iconic flavor of the season! Healthier than store bought caramel corn thanks to wholesome ingredients like maple syrup and stevia baking blend. Also, find out two companies that I've been loving later.
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 F degrees.
  2. In small saucepan over medium high, add sugar and syrup and heat for 1 minute until combined. Continue to heat and add butter, pumpkin, salt and pumpkin pie spice, stirring until butter melted and spices incorporated.
  3. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for approximately 2 minutes until slightly thickening but not turning dark brown
  4. .Add baking soda and stir. It will foam up a bit, continue to stir over the heat for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately pour into large bowl containing popped popcorn. Add pecans. Stir well to coat as evenly as possible.
  6. Spread out mixture on Silpat or parchment covered rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 250F degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until crunchy.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to serving bowl. Store leftovers in airtight container.
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Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn.  The opinions and text are all mine.

Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars make a nutritious snack!

Jolly Time Popcorn healthy snackPopcorn makes a super on-the-go snack swap, especially as a replacement for common convenience options like granola bars, chips, and cookies that can be higher sugar and fat. Naturally gluten-free and considered a whole grain, popcorn is high in dietary fiber and low in calories – plus for the visual eater, a serving of popped corn looks like a whole LOT of food!  I’m especially fond of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, their Healthy Pop line gets the thumbs up from Weight Watchers and most products are 94% fat-free and have just around 100 calories per serving (give or take) – that’s about 20 calories per cup!

Seeds may be tiny, but they pack a super-sized nutritional punch!

So, y’all know I’m big on getting protein into my snack too! A bag (5 cups) of JOLLY TIME Pop Corn has about 4 grams of protein, which actually surprised me – I thought it would have zip, nada, none! I was wrong, popcorn does have protein! But, I like to pump it up with additional whole food add-ins – especially seeds! Tiny little seeds are powerhouses of nutrition – they are an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, protein and essential vitamins and minerals. For example, hulled hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete sources of plant-protein – containing every essential amino acid an fatty acid the body needs for optimal health.Sweet & Salty Four Seed Popcorn Bars make a nutritious snack that is nut-free and gluten-free.

Check out my recipe for Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Pop Corn Balls made with Healthy Pop Kettle Corn hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. Instead of a caramel to hold it together like you’d find in a traditional popcorn ball, I’ve whipped up a nutritious binder made from sunflower butter and agave syrup, a low-glycemic index, natural sweetener.  This great snack or healthy dessert recipe is gluten-free, nut-free and has no added refined sugar – so enjoy and #haveaJOLLYTIME !

Trail Mix Pop Corn is also a family-approved winner at my house!

Trail Mix Popcorn

Also, please check out the Healthy Pop Challenge – get a free workout band, enter to win a FitBit Altra and grab coupons for JOLLY TIME Pop Corn. I love the idea that they have to workout while waiting for popcorn to pop – even little bursts of exercise add up. Depending on the length of your popping session and microwave settings (plan on an average of 4 minutes), you can get quite a few exercises done. Try these simple exercises in the kitchen while you wait:

Perform each exercise for 1 minute, as many times as you can safely, while you wait for  JOLLY TIME Pop Corn to cook:

jolly time exercise

  • Overhead band pulls (or pushup against wall, if no band)
  • Air Squats
  • Alternating Leg Lunges (in place)
  • Jumping Jacks

 

 

Sweet and Salty Four-Seed Popcorn BarsAre you a regular popcorn snacker, or only at the movies? Favorite popcorn mix-ins? Butter or no butter?

Please share in the comments below, XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

Sweet and Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars
Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars #HPChallenge
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Sweet and Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars
Sweet & Salty Four-Seed Popcorn Bars #HPChallenge
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
9 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Prepare popcorn according to package instructions. Pour in large mixing bowl and let cool.
  2. In small bowl, mix together hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas and chia seeds. Set aside.
  3. In small sauce pan, add sunflower seed butter and agave syrup, stir to combine. Bring to medium heat, stirring continuously. Once mixture begins to bubble, keep cooking and stirring for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Drizzle hot sunflower-agave mixture over popcorn and quickly stir to combine as evenly as possible. Sprinkle in seed mixture into popcorn mixture in about 3 batches, stirring quickly each time to distribute.
  5. Spray 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with baking spray and fill with popcorn mixture. Using a piece of wax paper and hands or back of spoon, press down over entire top to compact firmly.
  6. Cut into 9 squares.
Recipe Notes

****Or the nut butter of your choice, I love Power Fuel from Nuttzo.com

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5 Easiest Ever Almond Ideas for Holiday Party

Blue Diamond Almonds on treeTime to get serious about last minute holiday preparations; it’s the final countdown to Christmas! I still have some shopping and wrapping to do, cookie baking with the kids, and prepping for my contributions to the huge family feast on Christmas Eve — oh and the brunch I’m hosting on Christmas Day.

Enjoy family movie night with Pop Secret popcorn and this genius container hack for serving up the snack!In between all this, we’re squeezing in a Star Wars movie marathon of past prequels and sequels – even though we’ve seen these classic flicks numerous times, it’ll be good to be fresh for the new Star Wars – The Force Awakens.

So, we’ll need snacks – lots and lots of snacks, and preferably healthy things to nosh and nibble on that won’t make a mess in my media room! Almonds are one of my go-to choices for healthy appetizers and snacks – they punch a nice little pack of protein and are great source of other nutrients, especially iron, vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber. Another great thing about almonds (Blue Diamond Almonds are my favorite) is just how easy they are to incorporate into entertaining.  Today, I’m sharing five fun and easy ways to crunch and much on almonds this holiday season – and into the New Year, too!

  1. Simply eat almonds straight out of the can (or fancy serving bowl). I’ve never seen a soul walk past delicious almonds and not stop to pick up a few! A one-ounce serving (about 23 almonds) pairs perfectly win a light cocktail or glass of sparkling water.Almonds for Holiday Entertaining
  2. This idea is for the kids (of any age) – Almond Lover Gingerbread Men! To keep it easy, use store-bought cookies and simply melt a chocolate chip on one hand (or pipe a dot of frosting) and press down gently with an olive. Use a piping bag filled with frosting to decorate with a little edible bow!Almonds for Holiday EntertainingEasy Almond Lover Gingerbread Men
  3. This is one of my favorite snacks with almonds — Almond Chocolate Apricot Bites! Just layer up the three ingredients (melt the chocolate chip if you want to be fancy so that all the ingredients stick together) and, viola, a yummy 20-calorie treat in mere minutes.20 Calorie Apricot Almond Chocolate Bites
  4. Chocolate Almond Popcorn – could this be easier?! Air pop some kernels and then, while still warm, top with your favorite flavor of Blue Diamond Almonds and chocolate chips. Toss together so the chocolate slightly melts – it’s like being at the movie theater and dumping candy into your big tub, but healthier!Popcorn with Chocolate Chips and Almonds makes a healthy salty-sweet snack!
  5. Almond Lover Cookies are a favorite with my boys and only take a few minutes to whip up a batch and 12 minutes to bake – if short on time, double up a batch the week before and keep in the freezer!jennifer fisher- thefitfork- almond lover cookies

What are your stress-free ways to enjoy almonds, aside from straight out of the can?! Oh, and have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet — just a thumbs up or down, no spoilers! Let me know in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. However, all comments, ideas and enthusiasm are my own. 

Healthy Movie Night Munchies | Chocolate Chai & Caramel Almond Popcorn

We’re staying up late and sleeping in; all the family is on a slower pace thanks to the welcomed winter break. We’ve been watching old movies like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street – tonight, we’re getting silly with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The kids always want snacks for movie night (and so do I) so we’re making two healthy treats – Chocolate Protein Chai and Caramel Almond Popcorn.

jennifer fisher thefitfork corepower chocolate chai

The Chocolate Protein Chai is a warm, wonderful drink I created for the Core Power blog. A healthy alternative to gourmet coffee shop beverages, this spicy, silky and satisfying treat is pumped up with protein from the high protein shake base and has much less sugar too!  Check out the Core Power blog to get the simple instructions – it’s much easier than explaining your order to a barista!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - caramel almond popcorn coconut oil honey

For crunching satisfaction, my recipe for Caramel Almond Popcorn has always been a family favorite. It’s salty-sweet and popped right in the microwave in a brown paper bag without any fats or chemicals (like those nasty store-bought bags). Afterward, almonds are tossed in and it’s finished paleo-friendly drizzle of coconut oil and honey. Finger-licking yum!

Playground Swing Lunges - try 3 sets of 20!

Playground Swing Lunges – try 3 sets of 20!

After all this lounging around, tomorrow we’ll get moving. Maybe an easy run or bike ride with the kids and a stop at the playground for some improvised TRX moves like these park swing lunges.

So, what is your favorite healthy snack for movie night at home? Or, if you prefer the theater, do you sneak in healthy snacks to avoid the fake-cheese nachos and oily popcorn? Tell me what you take!  

Healthy Snack Solutions + SunRype Fruit Strips #Giveaway

School is back in session for the kids and extra-curricular activities are in full swing. Let’s see, we’ve got cross country (two different teams), Pop Warner football, band, robotics team, extreme performance percussion team, Boy Scouts, National Honor Society and school play practices. I’m surely forgetting something.  It takes a lot of food to keep the tanks of this crew topped off and ready to roll, and quality snacks become ever so important this time of year when our dinner is often delayed for hours.   Plus, I won’t lie; with marathon training and CrossFit workouts, I’m an all-day grazer, so I like to have nutritious snacks on hand so I’m not tempted to pig out on junk food. While some people say “out of sight, out of mind,” I say “out of sight, out of mouth” – I still dream about my chocolate M&Ms.

jen and the boys st andrews xc

Veggies always make a great snack. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, plus many of my favorite raw vegetables like mini carrots, sugar snap peas and cucumbers have such a satisfying crunch. One thing I’ve noticed about getting my kids to eat vegetables for a (gasp) snack is the presentation. I’ve had lots of luck getting them to munch on mini salads by making easy-to-grab veggie cups that have a little dollop of ranch dip at the bottom.  If you want some other ideas, I did a fun post on this for Litehouse Living on mini veggie cups.

jennifer fisher litehouse mini veggies in dip

Who doesn’t love popcorn as a snack? The average American eats more than 50 quarts of it a year and I know that I can’t pass up a bowlful once I smell it popping. As an alternative to store-bought microwave popcorn which is packaged with congealed transfats, sodium and chemicals, I like to microwave mine in a brown paper bag, plain and simple!  It couldn’t be easier or healthier; most people are surprised to find out this can be done without fats or oils. For a special treat, my recipe for Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil and Honey is fun to pack in backpacks or for movie night – and it’s even acceptable to most of my Paleo diet peeps!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - caramel almond popcorn coconut oil honey

Out of necessity, other snacks have to be grab-and-go – I like to call these types of “fast” foods either purse snacks or car snacks! Beef jerky has always been a popular with my family, now we have a new reason to love it even more. Recently at the TriRock Expo I bumped into the Austin rep for Krave Jerky and he hooked me up with some of their gourmet jerky – previously, I had only tried the Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky but found out this Sonoma-based company has lots of other flavors profiles I love like Black Cherry Barbeque Pork and Basil Citrus Turkey Jerky.  Not at all like gnawing on an old boot, as is the case with some jerky; low and slow braising is Krave’s secret to its super-tender texture. I’m a #Kraver!

krave

One of my longtime favorite take-along snacks is SunRype Fruit Strips – they are fruit leathers made with only 100% natural fruit ingredients and no preservatives or artificial colors at all. This season debuted new fun flavors that the kids will love as much as you –  Raspberry and Strawberry Watermelon.I also use them as fuel while running  — they have 50 calories each, 12 grams of clean carbs and are easy to carry on the course.  By the way, for full disclosure, I am an ambassador for .SunRype but would totally eat this nutritious, delicious snack even if I wasn’t.  Whoohoo, I think I feel like giving one of y’all a case of SunRype Fruit Strips this week – just check out the giveaway instructions below.

win sunrype
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Movie Night Manna – Crunchy Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil & Honey

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - caramel almond popcorn coconut oil honey

Did you know that the average American scarfs down more than 50 quarts of popcorn per year? I know I eat my fair share. In theory, this whole grain sibling in the maize family is a healthy whole grain snack, low in calories (just 31 per cup, air-popped) and high in dietary fiber. But, more often than not, the “healthy treat” is a real fat and sodium bomb. A study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest revealed that a large tub of popcorn (from Regal Cinemas), holds 20 cups of popcorn with 1,200 calories, 60 grams of saturated fat and 980 mg of sodium. This doesn’t even include the mystery yellow oily substance the concession stand pours on top after asking, “do you want butter with that”?

Store-bought microwave popcorn is even worse. For extended shelf life, the kernels are sitting in artery-clogging trans-fatty oils and use the chemical diacetyl for fake butter flavoring. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are nearly four dozen other chemicals in a package of microwave popcorn including the aforementioned nasty diacetyl. Diacetyl vaporizes at high temperatures and seeps out when you open the bag and breathe in the buttery aroma. Repeated exposure to the toxic steam can actually give you “popcorn lung.” This sounds silly, but it is a serious respiratory disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans.

The good news is that you can make your own popcorn completely free of anything using a brown paper lunch sack. It’s as easy as making toast or boiling water. In celebration of “Caramel Popcorn Day” on Sunday, April 7th, you can jazz up your plain popcorn with a healthier sweet coating.  I hope you love my Crunchy Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil & Honey recipe  In fact, why don’t you pop in a movie tonight and make this salty-sweet snack can be the starring attraction!

 

Crunchy Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil and Honey 

  •  ¼ cup organic popcorn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (I am fond of the Now Foods brand)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoon Stevia (2 – 4 packets)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-ounce (about 24) roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - brown bag popcorn

Pour popcorn kernels into brown lunch-sized paper bag. Fold down top and place in center of microwave; cook on high for approximately 3 minutes or until kernels have slowed down to popping every three seconds. Set aside.

In 2-quart pot, melt coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add honey and Stevie, stir until well-combined, approximately 1 minute. Stir in vanilla. jennifer fisher - thefitforkk.com - cool caramel popcorn

Stir in baking soda; this will cause mixture to foam up. Remove from heat and toss in almonds and popped corn. Stir until popcorn is coated with caramel mixture.

It’s fine to eat as is, but if you like it crunchier, place on parchment-paper lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 250 F degrees for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Makes four 1-cup servings.

honey-almond-popcorn-made-with-coconut-oil-nutrition