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Power-Packed Popcorn Sports Bars

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This healthy recipe comes from NDSU Extension Service courtesy of the Popcorn Board (www.popcorn.org). You can swap equal amounts of your favorite dried fruit, nuts or seeds in the recipe. You need a total of 2 1/2 cups of nuts, seeds and dried fruit cut in small pieces.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (2 quarts) plain popped popcorn (no added butter or salt)
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. dried apricots or raisins
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. shelled sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 2/3 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13- by 9-inch pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside. Place the first six ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix. In a small saucepan, heat butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt over medium heat. Stir to a blend and bring to a boil. Boil two minutes, stirring constantly, then pour over the popcorn mixture. Stir to blend all ingredients and pour into a foil-lined pan. With damp hands, press mixture lightly and evenly into a pan. Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in a pan for at least three hours before cutting into 12 or 16 evenly sized pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap and store up to two weeks.

When cut into 16 servings.

Per Serving: about 190 calories, 10 grams (g) of fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g fiber and 160 mg sodium

When cut into 12 servings.

Per Serving: about 260 calories, 13 grams (g) of fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 3 g fiber and 220 mg sodium

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