These trail mix popcorn balls are a fun and delicious snack everyone will love.
If I am honest with you, it took me a long time to find my outdoorsy side. Throughout my childhood and most of my teenage years, I stayed as far away from the outdoors and the insects as much as possible. It wasn’t until I went camping with a church youth group in high school that I realized that maybe being outdoors wasn’t so bad. And when I dated an Australian rugby player and an Estonian boxer and nature conservationist who both loved being outdoors, they taught me to love being outside and enjoying what nature had to offer.
Now, I love taking my daughter to the lake and out hiking. We are planning our first mini camping trip in August and N cannot be more excited. As for me, well, I’ve made up a batch of extra strong bug repellant to take with me. For our trip, we will need some easy snacks that travel well and are as fun as they are delicious to eat.
That’s where these trail mix popcorn balls come in. I used my favorite parts of trail mix and rolled them into a gooey popcorn ball we can snack on around the campfire, or even as we take a short hike around (because let’s be honest, four year olds only walk so far before they want to be carried and I am not about that life anymore). What is so great about these popcorn balls is that although they are a sweet indulgence, they still pack in some good nutrition with the almonds and unsweetened dried fruit. It’s the best of both worlds and something I certainly don’t mind my daughter snacking on. Plus it has no corn syrup which is always a good thing!
Of course, if camping isn’t your thing, these also make great movie night treats! If you have any outdoor movie events, these popcorn balls tend to be a big hit with kids and adults alike!
I pop my popcorn kernels on the stovetop (believe it or not, I like my popcorn plain!), but you can certainly use microwave popcorn. If you decide to go that route, it will take about 2 bags of popcorn to make this recipe. Also, a word of advice: stick to mini or regular-sized marshmallows here. The jumbo marshmallows don’t work as well with this recipe.
Trail Mix Popcorn Balls
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 9 oz marshmallows
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 1 6 oz container salted or lightly salted Blue Diamond almonds
- 1 ½ cups mix of unsweetened dried fruit peanut butter chocolate coated candies, lightly crushed mini pretzels
- In a saucepan, mix the butter and marshmallows together and heat on medium until the marshmallows are melted and mixed with the butter.
- Place the popcorn in a large bowl and toss in the almonds and the remaining mix-ins. Quickly pour the marshmallow mix over the popcorn and mix well until everything is completely coated.
- Wait about a minute for the mixture to cool and begin to shape the mixture into balls. I recommend lightly greasing your hands with oil so the marshmallow doesn’t stick to your hands. Place finished trail mix popcorn balls onto parchment paper to cool. Store in an airtight container.
This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own. Posts like these help keep A Cookie Named Desire going - thanks for taking the time to read the post (and make the recipe) and supporting the blog!
I plan on making these for my son's birthday. Can they be made a day before? If so, do they need to be stored in the refrigerator? TIA
My family go camping often........will have to try making these as I think my children will love them! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
Your kids will go nuts! I know mine does when we make them (honestly, I think she just likes picking at the leftover sticky marshmallow in the bowl) Please let me know if they are a success for you!!
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
Seriously, the PERFECT snack! My boys would go crazy for these!
OK these are amazing!! And even though I am not doing lots of outdoor things, these will still be enjoyed inside 🙂
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four says
These popcorn balls look so good, Amanda! While I love hiking and nature, I'm not a huge camping person either (I'd rather rent a cabin or stay in a lodge), but I would definitely hang around a campfire and tent for some of these! Also, I love that you pop your own popcorn! I try to avoid the microwave as much as possible, and I think they recently found out that the lining of popcorn bags are really toxic. Plus, you can customize the taste of your popcorn when it's not already pre-salted and buttered like the bag ones. Hope you and your daughter have a fabulous camping trip! <3
Joanne Bruno says
I am SO not into the outdoors, it's almost funny. Typical city girl. But that won't stop me from making these! Perfect midnight snack, whether you're outdoors or not. 😛
Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says
Yum! These popcorn balls look so delicious! My oldest would go crazy for them!
Ashley (QLCC) says
These look so fun! Great for camping 🙂
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
These are such a perfect snack! They would definitely be great for bringing on a hike or picnic. Love the use of almonds to bump up the protein here!
These are awesome!! I love all of the flavours in this, plus the kids would love these!!
Laura @MotherWouldKnow says
What a fun and delicious alternative to rice crispy treats. I don't have small kids and will just have to make these all for myself - hope no one will mind:)
Just between you and me: I ate most of them on my own. But don't tell my daughter. I convinced her the neighbors dog snuck in and got them!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout says
These are super cute and I love the salty sweet! Pinning!
Sarah | Broma Bakery says
My fam makes popcorn balls during Halloween for some reason. I think it should be a year round thing, like with these trail-mix style ones 🙂
Yes, popcorn balls deserve to be made all year long!!