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This easy fruity popcorn is naturally flavoured with freeze-dried fruit powder and lightly sweetened to taste. No artificial colours or flavours and naturally gluten-free.
As well as being a perfect party food, it’s also a pretty damn tasty snack for adults and children alike!
I am that awful childless person that likes to feed other people’s kiddies up on sugar.
Not necessarily always on purpose, but I like sweets and it turns out kids like them too. And I like to make kids happy. So here we are.
I know, I know, either you are that person too and you’re laughing along with me, or you’re the parent and you are giving me that withering look that parents somehow develop when they have children (I’m not gonna lie, that look scares me).
But, if you look at this fruity popcorn and think, “seriously, Natalie, you’ve just sugared and coloured up some popcorn and now you’re going to feed it to my kid. Thanks. Really, thanks.”
Well, I say this unto you, “Ha! It’s FRUIT!”
Ok, ok, there is a little bit of icing sugar in the recipe, because yum. BUT, it’s freeze-dried fruit powder that gives this popcorn its colour and delicious flavour. This means there is no artificial colouring whatsoever and it’s naturally gluten-free.
Freeze-dried fruit powder is available online and from cake decorating suppliers, and more recently, even supermarkets stock it.
I usually buy the Fresh As brand because it’s made here in New Zealand, but there are lots of different powders and whole fruits available.
If you can only find freeze-dried whole fruits, you can easily crush them into a powder using a food processor, or pop them into a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
I went with strawberry fruit powder for the flavoured popcorn in these photos, but there are so many different flavours to choose from. If it’s a pale-coloured powder (like, say, passionfruit or pineapple) and you really want it to be yellow to match, you could add a little powdered colouring, but it’s not necessary.
You can adjust the amount of sugar in this recipe to suit your own tastes and the fruit powder you’re using. Some fruit powders are more on the tart side than others, so you may need to add a little more.
You could also experiment with using powdered sugar alternatives, but that’s not my area of expertise and I haven’t tried it yet. If you do, I’d love for you to let me know in the comments how it went!
Making the Fruity Popcorn
This is super simple to make, and a fun and easy recipe to get the kids involved with.
Start by popping your popcorn. You can do this whichever way you want, I went with the stovetop method ‘cause I always seem to burn it in the microwave.
Once your corn is popped, it needs to cool before you add the fruit powder, as the powder clumps like crazy with any moisture. The best way to cool your popcorn and make sure it’s dry is to spread it out on a baking tray.
Then you’ll just need to mix together the fruit powder and a little icing sugar, either in a large bowl with a lid, a large container with a lid or in a large resealable plastic bag.
Then all that’s left to do is add the popcorn, and shake it all up!
This needs to be made pretty close to serving time, as the popcorn goes a bit soft and chewy after a while. But you could have the fruit powder and icing sugar all ready to go in the bag and just toss it together when you’re ready.
And if you do make it a little in advance, an airtight container is the best place to store it.
I reckon this popcorn is the perfect kid’s party food, and when the mothers start giving you “the look”, you can laugh and tell them what I told you. You know, about it being fruit and all.
If, however, you’re not trying to sell it as a healthier option, you could do a lot of fun things with this recipe for kids parties. For a dinosaur or construction party, you could use a yellow or orange fruit powder (like orange, mandarin, pineapple, mango, etc.) and add chocolate chunks. For a fairy or princess party, I reckon a little edible glitter sprinkled on top of pink popcorn would look just perfect.
Or why not spread it out on a baking tray and drizzle with melted chocolate and then add some cute sprinkles?
Easy Fruity Popcorn
- 3 Tablespoons unflavoured oil I use rice bran oil
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels (110g)
- 2 Tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 Tablespoon freeze-dried strawberry powder
- Pop your popcorn however you like. I do this on the stovetop, so I'm providing instructions for that method here. If popping the corn a different way, do that and then skip to step 4.
- Heat the oil and a few of the popcorn kernels in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Use a deep pan that will comfortably fit the popcorn kernels in a single layer on the bottom. When those first few kernels pop, remove the pot from the heat, add in the rest of the kernels and place the lid on the pot. Shake the pot until the kernels are in a single layer on the bottom. Wait half a minute or so, and then return the pot to a medium heat.
- When the kernels begin popping, start gently shaking the pan to encourage the un-popped kernels back to the bottom of the pot. If your lid doesn’t have a steam vent then try to crack the lid open a bit to let the steam out. When the popping slows almost to a stop, remove the pan from the heat.
- Tip the popcorn onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
- While the popcorn cools, sift the icing sugar and fruit powder into a large resealable plastic bag, or a bowl or container with a tight-fitting lid, and shake or stir to combine the ingredients.
- Tip in the popcorn and seal the bag or close the lid. If you’re using a bag, make sure to leave some air in the bag when you seal it. Shake it all up to combine.
- Give it a taste, if your popcorn doesn’t quite have enough flavour or colour, add in a bit more fruit powder.
- The popcorn is best made as close to serving as possible, but if making it a little in advance then store it in an airtight container.