Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

These Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars are vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free but are bursting with bright fruity flavour and the creamy richness of coconut.

stacked Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

How To Make Raw Energy Bars

Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars are the easiest assembly job of a recipe you can imagine. It’s a weigh the ingredients, throw everything into the blender, press into a baking tin, chill and cut type of affair. Completely no-bake and low-effort.

overview of cut Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

This recipe is based upon these Raw Cranberry Nut Energy Bars which I posted on the blog way back when and has always proved to be extremely popular. Well, I thought is was about time we updated this classic for a new exciting flavour. Enter stage right these Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars. I have to say, in a very small whisper, that I might even prefer these to the original.

ingredients for Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

Our blueberry flavour is sourced from dried blueberries which have a more fully rounded flavour than a generic dried berry. However the fruity vibe is punched up even further by freeze-dried blueberry powder which gives an amazingly pure flavour focus. We mix in some dried apricots for fibre and further depth of flavour. Plus dried apricots are much cheaper than blueberries so a mix of the two keeps the cost down.

Pro Tip – Unsulphured dried apricots

Unsulphured dried apricots mean there in no extra sulphur dioxide keeping the colour. Since we’re mixing it all up, the colour of the apricots is of no importance here.

ingredients for Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars in a food processor

We’ve got a lot of desiccated coconut here so there is no chance you’re going to miss the rich creamy flavour of coconut. Extra cashews are added for protein and to give the energy bars a bit more bite.

ingredients for Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars in a food processor

Finally we add a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil. The coconut oil is good for flavour, to help keep the bars more solid in the chiller, for the good fats which keep the hunger down, and because it helps the extra toppings stick to the surface of the bars when they are setting.

Pro Tip

When you are pressing the energy bars into the baking tin after mixing the coconut oil will slightly escape through the tops of the bars. At this point you can take some kitchen paper and press down on the surface so that they are lovely and even and the excess oil is absorbed by the paper.

overview o Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars next to a knife on a wooden board

These Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars are absolutely delicious. I find a lot of these types of bars can be quite sweet but we have a lot of coconut and nuts packed in here to keep things more even handed. The flavours burst through and are a lovely little pick-me-up between meals. Plus so handy for lunch boxes and little toddler fingers.

close up of Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

If you make these Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars are vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. Bursting with bright fruity flavour and the creamy richness of coconut.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: healthy snack recipe, no bake energy bars
Servings: 12
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 125 g unsweetened desiccated coconut + 10g extra to decorate
  • 120 g dried blueberries + 10g extra to decorate
  • 120 g dried apricots
  • 75 g cashews + 10g extra to decorate
  • 2 tablespoons freeze dried blueberry powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

Instructions

  • Line and grease a 6 x 6 x 3 inch square baking tin with two long pieces of baking parchment so they cross in the middle and come up and over the sides of the tin.
  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and combine for 3-5 minutes until all the components have broken down and come together into a sticky ball.
  • Tip the mixture into the baking tin and, using kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil, press down on top so the surface is even.
  • Roughly chop the extra blueberries and cashew nuts and scatter over the surface of the bars along with the extra coconut.
  • Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up then carefully remove from the tin and cut into 12 bars.
  • Store the bars in the fridge in between snacking for about a week.

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 7.2% | Vitamin C: 0.6% | Calcium: 1.6% | Iron: 6.7%

SHOP THE RECIPE

This Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Blueberry Powder, Raw Freeze-Dried, 200g is the one I’ve been using lately and it’s been brilliant. I have been using it in these energy bars but also in buttercreams for a blueberry buttercream and in my smoothies. A beautiful fruity flavour that’s pure blueberry.

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin. I have easily had it over ten years and I use it nearly every day for whipping up dips, pestos, nut butters, nut and oat flour and making my breadcrumbs. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

I have been using this PME Anodised Aluminium Square Cake Pan 6 x 6 x 3-Inch Deep baking tin a lot lately and I love it so much. It’s super cute, bakes up small batch bars and brownies fantastically and is a very good price.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Coconut Lime Energy Balls

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Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn

Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn is the perfect balance of butter, sweet and salt that you need which makes this popcorn totally addictive. With a deep caramel and smoky umami flavour you need look no further for movie night.

Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn in a saucepan on a table

I can count on one hand the number of movies I have seen this year. That’s a sad state of affairs considering I studied film at university and always assumed that is the field in which I would be working throughout my adult life. Oh, and by the way I’m not counting animated films. I think I have seen How To Train Your Dragon at least 60 times, Robin Hood maybe 100, Cars 50 times and Frozen 20 times (it’s not one of Cole’s favourites).

So my career in film fizzled out during my twenties but these days I now don’t watch them at all which my teenage self would have found staggering. I also don’t read film reviews anymore so I’ve no idea what is even on at the cinema. I actually was a film reviewer in a previous life so this really makes me sad.

overhead shot of Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn in a saucepan on a table with maple syrup and bacon salt

One of the problems I have is the kind of films I will actually watch has narrowed considerably since having children, or maybe just getting older. Horror, gritty realism or anything traumatic or weepy are gonzo. I also have no capacity for concentration these days so anything with a complicated or thought provoking plot is also out. That basically leaves comedy or action, as long as it’s not stupid or with too many guns. Romance I can do though. Bring on the romance. As long as one of them doesn’t die at the end.

Then there’s a timing issue. I only really get to sit down in the evenings around nine, I’m usually working on my laptop for an hour and then I need to go to bed for ten otherwise the night time feeds are too overwhelming. So there isn’t really much time to actually sit down and watch a film from beginning to end.

But since I’m always striving to do better I would really like to get this in check. For the sake of teenage me. I miss getting lost in a film, the journey and escapism of them, and then chatting about them afterwards. So Luke and I have instigated movie nights. Saturday nights we work extra hard to get the children asleep on time so that we can be sat on the sofa by 8pm, house tidied, food eaten and work set aside so we can watch a film together.

A mixing bowl of Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn with a wooden spoon

So far we have seen Jumanji and Pitch Perfect 3. I know, we may have set a very high bar choosing films with such worthy artistic merits. Will any other film we watch from this moment on measure up? Only time will tell. This weekend we are contemplating Deadpool 2 so we’re certainly not shying away from the highest of highbrow fare. To be honest I was ridiculously excited the first time we sat down to watch something that it didn’t matter what it was, it felt like such a treat. In particular as you know what goes hand in hand with movie nights.

Popcorn!!

There are certain foods in this house which I leave to Luke and they simply cannot be made without his presence. Cocktails are completely his domain. His cheese and onion toasties rule. Oven baked chips he has absolutely mastered. And his popcorn cannot be beaten. If you have tried my Perfectly Sweet n’ Salty Popcorn (which he kinda helped invent) then you know that we take our popcorn very seriously in this house. The ratio of butter to sweet to salt has to be absolutely spot on. This is what makes perfect popcorn so addictive. Your hand should take on a life of its own and dive into the bowl of its own volition. Before you know it you are licking the butter off your fingers and wondering where it all disappeared to.

Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn in a saucepan on a table with maple syrup and bacon salt

Well, this Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn takes its cues from my classic recipe and takes it into the stratosphere. The butter is still there as before, tasting divine, the sugar has been replaced though with maple syrup for even more depth of flavour and the salt has been surpassed by my favourite seasoning of all time. Bacon Salt. Bacon Salt makes everything taste better, salty but with a smoky savoury umami flavour. Bacon Salt is very easy to make and will last an age in the fridge. Once you give into its temptation you will be adding Bacon Salt to everything. Trust me.

Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn is definitely the only popcorn we will need to accompany our movie night from now on. It even tastes as good the next day, if you dare to leave any in the bowl, as it becomes even more toffee like. Totally dangerous.

Oh, and if you have any recommendations for films that have been released in the past three years I would love to hear them so we can add to our movie night roster. One day you never know, we might even be able to return to the actual cinema. A girl can dream.

overhead shot of Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn in a saucepan on a table

If you make Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn

Buttered Maple and Bacon Salt Popcorn is the perfect balance of butter, sweet and salt with a deep caramel and smoky umami flavour.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: buttered maple bacon salt popcorn
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 299kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g popcorn kernels
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoons bacon salt

Instructions

  • Drizzle the olive oil into a large pan with a lid. Turn the heat on and to test when your popcorn is ready just pour in 3 of the popcorn kernels. Place the lid on and leave for the corn to pop, it will take a minute or so to get going.
  • As soon as the 3 kernels have popped then you know it’s the right temperature. Pour in the rest of the popcorn, place the lid on and wait until all the popcorn has popped, shaking the pan every now and then to prevent any burning.
  • Meanwhile melt the butter in a small saucepan with the maple syrup and bacon salt over a medium heat. After the butter has melted it will start sizzling, leave it to sizzle and crackle and so it begins to turn brown. Once the sizzling has stopped and the butter is a nice nutty brown then remove from the heat.
  • By this time the popcorn should also have stopped popping. As soon as the corn can go 3 seconds without popping then remove from the heat immediately so it doesn’t burn and pour into a bowl.
  • Pour the maple and bacon salt butter over the popcorn and stir well so it’s coated thoroughly.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 9.4% | Calcium: 2.1% | Iron: 4.2%

SHOP THE RECIPE

Now, you can make the popcorn in any large saucepan with a lid but I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that I always make my popcorn in my Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole, 28 cm – Marseille Blue. It’s actually great as the popcorn doesn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole or burn as easily as other pans I’ve tried and can fit a lot of popcorn in it which is a bonus. It is pricey though and I wouldn’t recommend you buy if you are only going to make popcorn with it. We use it for everything from pot roasts, stews and stocks to making jams and chutneys. It’s large enough that it is great for so many purposes from sweet to savoury. I have the signature marseille blue colour as when I bought it I wanted it to match the old Le Creuset saucepans handed down to me from my dad but you can get them in other beautiful colours. Different colours are different prices so you can definitely get a good deal if you choose a less popular colour.

This post is not sponsored but the links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Best Granola Bars

These Granola Bars really are the best. They are gluten-free and vegan with no refined sugar and plenty of energy boosting ingredients, plus they are super tasty.

Best Granola Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

Happy New Year! I am kicking off this year’s recipes with an old favourite of mine, my very Best Granola Bars, which have yet to feature on the blog. And now seems the perfect time what with all the good intentions abounding.

Best Granola Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

2018 is an exciting year, I’m at a place in my life where I am happily surrounded by children and babies. Not counting my own new arrival in April, several of my closest friends are pregnant and expecting in the first quarter of the year. And since most of my gifts, birthdays, Christmas or otherwise usually have a food theme, they can expect a batch of these Best Granola Bars to be materialising on their doorsteps during those first few days home from the hospital.

Best Granola Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

I started making these Best Granola Bars for my friends with newborns as I found they are absolutely perfect for the snacking that is an essential part of this time. Whether keeping up energy levels during middle of the night feeds, or when you can only cope with food that requires one hand since the other is occupied with your new bundle these Best Granola Bars are ideal. They are also pretty useful for offering to the plethora of guests clamouring to see the new baby or your hungry toddler who is a little disgruntled that your attention is now split with another child.

Best Granola Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

When I first had Cole the food I was eating got totally out of control, it was cake, chocolate and biscuits morning, noon and 2am. At a time when you are supposed to be looking after yourself for the sake of your newborn it’s absolutely impossible as tiredness takes over and everything within you is poured into looking after your new baby. Food is way down on your priority list after nursing, changing nappies, burping and sleeping but you really need some organic energy to keep you going. By the time Cole was a few weeks old I had graduated my eating habits to shop-bought granola bars but there are all sorts of hidden ingredients in them and although a better choice than biscuits they are not really that good for you either. All the ingredients in these Best Granola Bars are meant to satisfy, keep your hunger levels at bay and promote your energy whilst tasting pretty delicious.

Best Granola Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

I’ve put all my favourite seeds and nuts into this bar to boost up the protein. There is crunch from the chia seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds and puffed rice. Chewiness from the dates and bags of taste, amped up by a little cinnamon and vanilla extract. Almond butter and coconut oil help to bind and there is no refined sugar, just the dates and a good splash of maple syrup.

I ate these Best Granola Bars for a lot of 2017 even without a newborn to look after. It goes without saying that you don’t really need a child to appreciate them, just an empty tummy that is looking at a vast empty chasm before its next meal.

Best Granola Bars (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

Best Granola Bars

Best Granola Bars are gluten-free and vegan with no refined sugar and plenty of energy boosting ingredients, plus they are super tasty.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: gluten-free vegan granola bar recipe, gluten-free vegan granola bars
Servings: 16 Bars
Calories: 339kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 225 g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 100 g whole raw almonds roughly chopped
  • 70 g pumpkin seeds
  • 60 g gluten-free puffed brown rice cereal
  • 40 g chia seeds
  • 40 g ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 175 g coconut oil melted
  • 150 g almond butter
  • 120 g pitted medjool dates
  • 75 g maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl throw together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, puffed rice, chia seeds, flaxseeds, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
  • Pour into a blender, the coconut oil, almond butter, dates, maple syrup and vanilla extract and blend on high for a couple of minutes until the mixture is thick and caramel-like.
  • Stir the blended mixture into the dry ingredients and mix very well until all the dry ingredients are completely coated. You may have to dig in with your hands at this point.
  • Tip the granola bar mixture into a lined and greased 9 inch square tin and press very firmly into the tin with your hands until good and even.
  • Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove from the tin and cut into bars.

Notes

Keep the granola bars in the fridge where they can reside happily for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 0.2% | Vitamin C: 0.1% | Calcium: 9.3% | Iron: 11.5%

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

These gluten-free Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies are soft and slightly chewy with oats, sweetened only with maple syrup and bejewelled with dates.

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

I had no idea what these cookies would turn out like. I made them with Cole and no recipe so I presumed disaster would ensue. I stood him on his kitchen stool at the worktop in his little apron which he’s so proud to wear and took a bunch of ingredients out of the cupboards and fridge that needed using up. It was luck that I usually have half a tin of pumpkin puree lurking in the fridge these days since I’m making a lot of pumpkin cakes for the stall and for café orders. Pumpkin cookies, flavoured with lovely warming spices and paired with oats seemed like a standout choice for our baking adventure. I’m also being vigilant about keeping a stash of medjool dates to hand in my larder as they come in useful for so many bakes, Easy Overnight Coconut Chia Puddings, beautiful tagines and the odd snack here and there. I couldn’t resist putting a few of these chopped little nuggets into the mix.

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

Since I was making these cookies with Cole I decided not to use refined sugar. It’s debatable whether maple syrup is technically any healthier since sugar really is just sugar but I felt more of a responsible mother giving my toddler maple sweetened cookies. Plus who am I kidding, I was the one who ate the lion’s share of these cookies and a little bit less refined sugar in my diet is only going to be better for me.

Cole’s main job when we’re baking together is to stir and taste. I haven’t officially given him the role of taster, it’s one he’s bestowed upon himself. After every ingredient is added into the bowl he insists on making sure it is the right call, no matter if it’s the raw eggs or vanilla extract. It might have gone a bit far when he was shovelling wooden spoonfuls of flour, oats and spices into his mouth. At least he knew better to scrape them from his tongue than to try and swallow this time. An improvement from the cocoa powder incident a couple of months ago which led to me frantically pour streams of water down his throat to ease his choking. Special times.

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

Cookies are great for baking with a toddler since they are really just an assembly and mixing job with a bowl and wooden spoon, ideal for a child who loves to stir. They are so quick to bake and after ten minutes or so of cooling they are ready to eat. Instant gratification.

When it came time for the final taste test I was completely bowled over at how delicious the cookies actually were. Not at all the calamity I had anticipated. It’s always the way that your best efforts are when you’re not really trying, either that or Cole is an absolute baking prodigy and he’ll be taking over the market stall from me by the time he’s four.

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

I’ve made these cookies a few times since, tweaking the recipe here and there but every time I have come to the conclusion that the cookies that Cole and I made together that first time were the most delicious. They were probably not the most photogenic since I gave Cole free rein with the cookie scoop to drop them onto the baking sheet but the taste was all there from the beginning.

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies have become a little bit of a staple in our house over the past two weeks, I have been nibbling on them for breakfast, mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. They are pretty good whenever to be honest. It’s also pretty handy knowing what to do with that half eaten tin of pumpkin puree.

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies are soft and slightly chewy with oats, sweetened only with maple syrup and bejewelled with dates.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: gluten-free pumpkin date cookies, spiced pumpkin date cookie recipe, spiced pumpkin date cookies
Servings: 15 cookies
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 125 g gluten-free oats
  • 75 g sweet rice flour
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 170 g pumpkin puree
  • 75 g dates stoned and chopped finely
  • 125 g butter melted
  • 100 g maple syrup
  • zest 1 orange + 2 tablespoons of its juice
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large bowl sift together the oats, sweet rice flour, almond flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices.
  • In another bowl mix the pumpkin puree, dates, melted butter, maple syrup, orange zest and juice and the egg.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir well until completely combined.
  • Using an ice cream scoop with a trigger action, scoop up balls of cookie dough and release the dough onto the baking sheet an inch or so apart.
  • Flatten the cookies slightly with the back of a fork before putting them in the oven to bake for 13-15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, let rest on the baking tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 138mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 39.8% | Vitamin C: 0.6% | Calcium: 2.8% | Iron: 4.3%

SHOP THE RECIPE

There are two items in my kitchen which are invaluable when baking cookies. A good cookie dough scoop (or ice cream scoop) is one of them. So handy for scooping up a perfect ball of cookie dough for the perfectly sized cookie. Also so useful when baking cupcakes and ensures a perfectly even cupcake bake every time. I use the OXO Good Grips Trigger Ice Cream Scoop which is really durable and an ideal size.The other brilliant piece of equipment which I’ve never regretted buying is a really decent hard-wearing baking tray which I use for all my cookies and scones. I use this KitchenCraft MasterClass Large Non-Stick Baking Tray, Grey, 39 x 27 cm which considering how often I use it is still in excellent condition, fits in the oven nicely and is large enough to hold a whole batch of scones or cookies.Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

A deliciously moist Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread, made with brown butter and alternative flours for an earthy nutty flavour and unbeatable chew.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Almond Maple Syrup

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn

This Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is the ideal accompaniment to movie nights on the sofa, the right balance of buttery finger-lickin’ sweet and salty goodness.

popcorn in a bowl on a table

Something very exciting happened a couple of weeks ago, I’m only telling you about it now as we were on holiday last week so I’m sorry about the delayed news cycle but let me tell you, it was front page news in the Hartley household. Luke and I went to the cinema! Together! And there was no small person in sight. The last time I was this excited to go to the cinema was to see the Veronica Mars movie. Ahh, the 14th March 2014, a much simpler time.

popcorn kernels in a jar on a table

I have been craving the cinema for months and months, a chance to sit in a darkened room, watch a whole film from start to finish without any fear of being disturbed by the croak from the baby monitor. An opportunity to get lost in an epic story spanning generations, crossing continents with nuanced storytelling, creatively woven character arcs; a story of redemption and loves and lives won and lost.

So of course we went to see Bad Moms. Honestly my brain is so fried these days that to my mind this was honest to goodness Oscar worthy fare.

It was a pretty special evening, we even went out for fish and chips – in a restaurant. I know, right now I am blowing your mind. It was on a plate and everything. This is how fancy we are.

popcorn in a bowl on a table

I don’t know when or if I will ever get the chance to go to the cinema again, but a girl can dream and in the meantime we can watch films in this funny box at the corner of our room called a television. With the lights out, a complete ban on pausing the film to make tea, answer the phone or to go and see to a crying baby (unfortunately the last rule doesn’t always take) then it’s just like being at the Picturehouse. And it’s all because of this cinema worthy Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn. Do they even still do the sweet and salted flavours separately anymore?

popcorn in a bowl on a table

This popcorn has no fancy flavours but is a simple recreation of movie popcorn so you can pretend you’re out on date night again instead of nestled on the sofa, a dog on one knee and your bowl of popcorn balanced on the other. Who am I kidding, if the dog is anything like Billy Buddy then his nose is in that bowl and you are not seeing hide nor hair of any popcorn.

Perfectly Sweet n’Salty Popcorn is five minutes in the making and so much healthier than the movie-going version. The butter is browned to a nutty caramel, sweetened with a touch of sugar and flavoured with sea salt. No fuss and zero faff but you do get all the scent of freshly popping corn permeating the house and also the childish glee of taking off the lid of the pan too early to watch the popcorn fly across the kitchen. I’m just too keen.

butter being poured into popcorn in a bowl on a table

Perfectly Sweet n'Salty Popcorn

This Perfectly Sweet n'Salty Popcorn is the ideal accompaniment to movie nights on the sofa, the right balance of buttery finger-lickin' sweet and salty goodness.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: sweet n salty popcorn, sweet n salty popcorn recipe
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 534kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g popcorn kernels
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Drizzle the olive oil into a large pan with a lid. Turn the heat on and pour in the popcorn kernels so they spread out easily at the bottom of the pan. Place the lid on and leave for the corn to pop, it will take a minute or so to get going.
  • Meanwhile melt the butter in a small saucepan with the icing sugar and salt over a medium heat. After the butter has melted it will start sizzling, leave it to sizzle and crackle and so it begins to turn brown. Once the sizzling has stopped and the butter is a nice nutty brown then remove from the heat.
  • By this time the popcorn should also have stopped popping. As soon as the corn can go 3 seconds without popping then remove from the heat immediately so it doesn’t burn and pour into a bowl.
  • Pour the sweet n’salty butter over the popcorn and stir well so it’s coated thoroughly.

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1171mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 18.7% | Calcium: 0.9% | Iron: 8.4%

SHOP THE RECIPE

Now, you can make the popcorn in any large saucepan with a lid but I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that I always make my popcorn in my Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole, 28 cm – Marseille Blue. It’s actually great as the popcorn doesn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole or burn as easily as other pans I’ve tried and can fit a lot of popcorn in it which is a bonus. It is pricey though and I wouldn’t recommend you buy if you are only going to make popcorn with it. We use it for everything from pot roasts, stews and stocks to making jams and chutneys. It’s large enough that it is great for so many purposes from sweet to savoury. I have the signature marseille blue colour as when I bought it I wanted it to match the old Le Creuset saucepans handed down to me from my dad but you can get them in other beautiful colours. Different colours are different prices so you can definitely get a good deal if you choose a less popular colour.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars are vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. Full of protein and bursting with fruity flavour.

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

The instructions in this recipe were updated in 2019 to make the method a little clearer

I make no bones about it, these energy bars have been shamelessly ripped from the Nakd bar. I was completely reliant on Nakd bars when I worked as a TV Producer. I was either too busy to have breakfast so I grabbed one of these, maybe I had edits that ran over lunch so I kept going by pulling one of these out of my bag, or I was working late which meant that dinner was pushed until I got home at some heinous hour and my Nakd bars would once again save the day. I always had heaps of them crammed into my desk drawer, handbag and coat pockets.

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

Since I’ve been working from home, I haven’t found the need to rely so much on shop bought snacks, there is usually cake around or I’m recipe testing so I can munch on a bit of whatever I’m cooking or baking. Can you tell I was a bit more diet conscious when I wasn’t slouching around in tracky bums, baggy t-shirts and slippers all day.

Well, I’m upping the health factor in my life at the moment, making sure I achieve my 5-a-day, consume my 700mg of calcium and perhaps not rely on chocolate to fill the spare five minutes I have whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. With healthy eating comes healthy snacking so although I won’t rely on these bars like I used to it’s incredibly handy having something in that I can have if I need a sugar or protein hit. If I’m going for a long walk with Billy Buddy then I find that one of these is absolutely perfect for my dipping energy if I’m getting pulled around by an excitable little dog.

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

Having exhausted all the flavours of Nakd bars during my obsession with them I always wanted to give them a go myself, after all there is only about four ingredients listed on the back of the packets. I should have carved out time to do this years ago, as they were one of the easiest things to prepare. If you own a food mixer then that’s all you need to whizz up the ingredients before you press into a tin, refrigerate and then cut into bars.

When I set about making these I didn’t have any particular plan in mind other than I wanted to use up some of my dried cranberries; I severely overestimated how many I would need over Christmas and my larder is overrun with them. I love cranberry and macadamia together and then found buried in the back the remains of a packet of macadamias which hadn’t gone out of date yet – score! There weren’t quite enough nuts so I amped up the quantity by substituting almonds. I also added dates which are the main ingredient in any Nakd bar to bind the bars together, I used plump sticky medjool dates to add juiciness and deeper flavour. There are more dates than cranberries in this recipe but the dates add the background note whilst the overriding zingy flavour is of the cranberries. I couldn’t resist adding a tablespoon of freeze dried raspberry powder either for more berry flavour.

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

They worked out better than expected. The raspberry powder lifts the whole bar so it tastes fresher somehow. You can get raspberry powder from Father Christmas when he puts it in your stocking to open on Christmas morning or if you weren’t quite as lucky as I was then it’s easy enough to buy online.

These bars should keep for about a week in the fridge but you could also double the quantity I’ve suggested here and stick them in the freezer so you have lots to keep you going. I made mine in a smaller quantity of eight so I can move onto another flavour when these are done.

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars

Raw Cranberry and Nut Energy Bars are vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. Full of protein and bursting with fruity flavour.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: raw cranberry nut energy bar recipe, raw cranberry nut energy bars
Servings: 8 bars
Calories: 195kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 180 g medjool dates pitted
  • 75 g dried cranberries
  • 75 g macadamia nuts
  • 50 g blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried raspberry powder

Instructions

  • Line and grease a 5 x 5 x 3 inch* square baking tin with two long pieces of baking parchment so they cross in the middle and come up and over the sides of the tin.
  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and combine for 3-5 minutes until all the components have broken down and come together into a sticky ball.
  • Tip the mixture into the baking tin, press down on top so the surface is even.
  • Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up then carefully remove from the tin, using the long ends of the baking parchment as leverage and cut into 12 bars.
  • Store the bars in the fridge in between snacking for about a week.

Notes

*I originally used a different baking tin for the bars made in the photos. This tin will make slightly wider shaped bars.

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 0.7% | Vitamin C: 0.1% | Calcium: 3.7% | Iron: 4.5%

SHOP THE RECIPE

The raspberry powder I used in this recipe was Freeze Dried Raspberry Powder 150g. It’s a lovely product and I find freeze-dried raspberry powder useful in so many recipes, from buttercreams to sponge cakes and also in homemade beauty products like lip balm – basically anytime I need a hit of raspberry without using fresh fruit which isn’t always appropriate.

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin. I have easily had it over ten years and I use it nearly every day for whipping up dips, pestos, nut butters, nut and oat flour and making my breadcrumbs. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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If you need more inspiration of energy boosting snacks to get your through your in between meal slumps then you can download my free PDF with 9 more ideas featuring exclusive content and also my favourite energy boosting recipes from the website. To access this amazing PDF you just need to click the link below!!