Our dogs LOVE popcorn. Any time we are snacking on it, they run to us, sit (impatiently), perk their ears, and stare with an indescribable intensity until we toss them some kernels. The other day, as they were shaking us down, we got the idea to air pop them some of their own popcorn and turn it into doggy popcorn balls!
Of course, since popcorn doesn’t stick to itself, we had some challenges to overcome to get the popcorn to adhere into a cohesive treat. First, we figured we needed something that is solid at room temperature but can become a liquid during cooking so that we could get the popcorn to clump and then stay clumped. The first ingredient with those properties that came to mind was organic coconut oil. To ensure that would be okay for dogs, we did some research online and then read ingredients lists from store-bought treats to confirm. We then added in some honey to give a little sweetness, water for more moisture, and we got to clumping!
The baking step was tenuous, as we didn’t know whether the concept would work or whether the popcorn balls would just crumble (although had that happened, we would have treated them like a canine salad topper over their kibble). Anyway, they did hold together, and once our popcorn balls cooled and solidified, they were ready for the pups to enjoy…and our dogs went absolutely wild for them!
Time: 35 Minutes
- 1/8 Cup Unpopped Unseasoned Popcorn Kernels (NOT microwave popcorn)
- 2 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1/8 Cup Water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with foil. Give the foil a quick oil spray to prevent sticking.
- Pour your kernels into an air popper (a pan with a lid and a very small bit of coconut oil will work too). Then, pop.
- Grind your popped kernels in a food processor to break them down into little pieces, and pour those into a mixing bowl.
- Combine your coconut oil and honey in a measuring cup, and microwave until the oil morphs into a liquid. Then, pour your oil/honey over the popcorn, and add in your water. Stir to combine.
- Scoop little amounts of your popcorn mixture, and press them by hand into little morsels. Then, arrange them on your baking sheet. This step is a bit of a pain in the butt due to the tendency of the balls to break apart if not pressed hard enough, but it became all worth it to see how the dogs reacted later.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Carefully transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool and harden.
- Have your dog(s) sit, devour, and enjoy!