Theoretically, I should be in Hawaii right now, slurping up juicy pineapple while lounging by the pool. My mom needed to fly over for a business trip, and she invited me to tag along now that I work from home/coffee shops/Panera/wherever my laptop happens to be. But the price of airline tickets to the islands SKYROCKETED just in time for summer, so I stayed home while Mom is sipping mai tais in between meetings.
The night before one of our trips to Hawaii during my high school years, I started skimming through my “Seventeen” magazine I had set aside for reading on the flights. Within the first few pages, I spotted a fun snack idea: tropical-themed popcorn! Already apprehensive about downing too many packets of free peanuts, I begged my mom to drive to the store for the ingredients.
We bought popcorn kernels, a trio of dried fruits, and Cinnamon Life cereal (Mom never let us have Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the house, even though that was what the recipe required!). Back at home, I made a big batch and divided it up into individual portions for the next day.
Between my brother and me in the backseat, it barely lasted through the car ride to the airport!
So when I recently found myself munching on a few too many Teddy Grahams, tortilla chips, and chocolate bars, I resolved to recreate that tropical snack. To make it healthier, I air-popped my own popcorn in the microwave (it’s super easy!) and swapped in freeze-dried mangoes in place of their typical sugar-coated candied counterparts. With a sprinkling of toasted coconut and bright bursts of dried pineapple, this popcorn tastes exactly like paradise—complete with the pool!
This snack tastes just like paradise should! You can easily double or triple the recipe and store individual portions in air-tight containers or ziplock baggies for up to a week.
- Preheat the oven (or a small convection toaster oven) to 350°.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the popcorn, mango, and pineapple. Pour the coconut on a small baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute, or until light golden. Cool for 2 minutes before sprinkling on top of the popcorn mixture.
Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens says...
Oh Amy … is it wrong that I have the strong urge to mix up a fun beverage to drink out of a coconut with a fun umbrella??? This looks great – and even better, I think my kids would really enjoy it, too!!
I love that you health-ified this from a Seventeen Magazine! (Me – I was a YM Magazine kind of girl! Are you even old enough to remember that??) The microwave air pop is genius (I’ve loved that way for a few years now!) and SOOOO much healthier than the regular old microwave kind.
Tropical Popcorn is a great – and guilt-free! – snack!! YAY!!!!
Not at all, Gretchen!! If I had any little umbrellas in my house, I’d definitely join you. 🙂 And I do remember YM — or at least being jealous of the girls “old enough” to read it!
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
It’s the little changes that make the biggest changes.
Thanks for sharing!
My pleasure Ada; I’m glad it helped!
Pamela Boyd says...
Thank you for the recipe but I am trying to find this ready-made popcorn with coconut and pineapples, that are sold in a bag. It tasted soooo good! I do not know the brand nor does my friend who bought some. Unfortunately, she couldn’t even remember which store she bought it from. Would you happen to know who sells this? If so, would you give me the name. At one time I did know the brand name and went to their website and didn’t order it then. Now I have been wanting it so bad, but cannot remember the site.
I wish I knew Pamela! That sounds delicious. If you decide to try this recipe instead, I’d love to hear what you think of it! 🙂