While searching online for healthy Tyler Florence recipes, I came across the recipes he developed for his recent Oprah show appearance. (Here on Oprah.com). The Tropical Popcorn caught my eye and I decided to pair it with his Tropical Smoothie for a decently healthy snack. Although there is some sugar in it, the popcorn has excellent fiber and also plenty of nutrients from the dried fruit and the smoothie has ample vitamins from the fruit, calcium from the yogurt, and healthy fat from the coconut milk.Tropical Popcorn
Recipe created by Tyler Florence
(Makes 2 cups)--see note below
1 bag plain, lightly salted, microwave popping corn
3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. dried pineapple
3 Tbsp. chopped dried mango
1/4 cup banana chips
3 Tbsp. shredded toasted coconut
Make popcorn following directions on the packet and microwave guidelines. In a large mixing bowl, combine popcorn and dried fruit and coconut and toss well to mix.
Notes/Results: A fun way to enjoy popcorn. Lots of flavor and a great combination of textures and colors make this an easy, delicious treat. I used Newman's Own; "Pop's Corn" which is just organic popcorn, no salt and no butter, and I used low sugar pineapple and mangoes in the fruit mix. For simplicity sake, I toasted my coconut chips in the microwave; you just have to do it in 15-20 second bursts, shaking the microwave plate frequently until the coconut browns. Because my popcorn had no salt, I added about a teaspoon of Alaea salt, (Hawaiian red salt), which was a nice pairing with the sweet dried fruit. I think with a little brown rice syrup, it would make a fun tropical popcorn ball. One note, the recipe says that this makes 2 cups?!? A packet of popcorn makes about 10+ cups when popped, unless it is a "single portion" bag, but the proportion of the fruit would be too much for a single portion, so go figure...
fresh pineapple (if using canned, drain juice)
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup plain organic yogurt
Cut the top and skin off of the pineapple and cut in to chunks. Peel the banana and break in to pieces in the blender. Add the pineapple chunks, coconut milk and yogurt, and process until smooth. (Add a little water if the consistency is too thick.)
Pour the mixture into 4 glasses.
Note from Tyler: "The coconut milk adds plant fats that help support the immune system, and your child will burn them off as energy instead of storing them as fat."
Notes/Results: Good and tropical. I make a lot of smoothies, mostly with almond milk or yogurt but had never used coconut milk in one before and I liked the richness it adds. I did use a "lite" coconut milk (which is essentially just diluted coconut milk but it does shave off 50-60% of the calories) and non-fat Greek yogurt and fresh pineapple. Making this again, I would probably toss in some frozen mango chunks too. This smoothie is best served in a glass with a straw and at least one plastic cocktail monkey, (although two is always better). If I hadn't cut all my pineapple into little chunks without thinking, a slice on the side of the glass would be a nice garnish too. (I just threw a couple of chunks on top of the smoothie).
This isn't a snack I would eat all the time, (the popcorn is a bit addicting though), but it is a fun, occasional treat, and we all need those once in awhile!
You can check out what the other TFF participants selected to make this week and find out what they thought about their picks at the TFF site here. If you like Tyler and want the flexibility to pick the Tyler recipes you want to make each week, the TFF site has all the information on how to join us.
Happy Aloha Friday and have a great weekend!