Foods like tasty whole-grain popcorn offer an easy health snack so you can make every bite count. Try getting in the habit of popping nine cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can alternate between sweet and salty throughout the day.

Mouthwatering whole-grain popcorn is versatile and three cups is equal to one serving of whole grains. It can be a breeze to add it to snacks like blueberry and pomegranate power bars or crunchy popcorn trail mix.

Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars

Yield: 12 bars

INGREDIENTS

Nonstick cooking spray

8 cups popped popcorn

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

2/3 cup honey

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

INSTRUCTIONS

Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds.

In small saucepan over low heat, boil honey, brown sugar and butter 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.

Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.

Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan; refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator.

Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix

Yield: 9 cups

INGREDIENTS

5 cups popped popcorn

3 cups whole-grain oat cereal

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine

6 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In large, microwavable bowl, stir popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.

2. In small saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.

3. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.

4. Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

To find more nutritious snack ideas, visit popcorn.org.

— Family Features

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