There are several ingredients that are synonymous with Christmas baking. Popcorn is one of them. I have always enjoyed my mother-in-law's popcorn balls. They are hard to resist as they are so delicious! It has been ages since I have indulged in one, and I sure do miss them. Even though much time has passed since I have been able to enjoy her fabulous display of holiday baking, I always think of the talent she has in the kitchen, especially this time of year. Good things are not easily forgotten. That's one of the many things I enjoy about the holidays. They bring us many opportunities to glance back at the past and recall some pretty special memories.
Of course there are plenty more Christmas goodies with their own unique story and memories to go with them, but those popcorn balls are what led me to create this recipe. The funny thing is, there isn't any popcorn in these bars! The key ingredient used is popped sorghum. When I discovered popped sorghum, it inspired me to come up with a healthy treat. And what better time to enjoy it than at Christmas.
If you have never tried popped sorghum, there are a couple of things worth sharing. Once sorghum is popped, it is much smaller than traditional popcorn. It is also higher in protein and lower in fat compared to corn. And it is naturally gluten-free. So just how to do you get popped sorghum? An easy way is to buy some. If you are lucky, your local health food store might carry some. This is the brand my local store carries. It just so happens you can also order it directly from them online. Or, you can pop it yourself.
To make your own popped sorghum at home, heat a stainless steel pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat. When the pot is hot, add the sorghum grains and cover the pot with a lid. Cook the sorghum, shaking the pot often, until the sorghum grains begin to pop. Remove the pot from the heat when there are more than 10 seconds between pops. Season with toppings as desired. And that's it! Super easy.
These chocolate bars do a great job at incorporating sorghum to make a healthy treat. You get a little taste of popcorn with a taste of chocolate to create a balance of sweet and savory. The festive bars are great for entertaining as well.
2 cups popped sorghum (make your own or look for this brand)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup cashew butter, room temperature
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao)
2 Tbs maple syrup
3 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbs coconut oil
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and whisk in the cacao powder. Once combined, add in the cashew butter, maple syrup, and sea salt. Stir well.
2. Place 2 cups popped sorghum into a medium sized bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture over the sorghum and stir. Now transfer the mixture into an 8x8 baking pan lined with parchment. Spread the mixture out evenly and freeze for about 1 hour.
3. Make the chocolate drizzle by melting the chocolate and coconut oil over low heat, stirring frequently. Once melted, remove the pan from heat and stir in the maple syrup. If you are using the chocolate chip method, just place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring frequently.
4. Drizzle the chocolate over the popped sorghum bars and allow the chocolate to set in the refrigerator. Cut into desired sized bars. Store in your refrigerator in an airtight container for at least a week.