Talented food photographer Natalie (Thephotographerstable) came up with this beautifully creative vegan alternative to rocky roads! A perfect little bundle of popcorn, sugar and happiness all rapped up in a rustic string! These little parcels are perfect as gifts or just for enjoying with friends!
VEGAN POPCORN ROCKY ROAD
1 bar of Dark Chocolate
1 pack of Portlebay Popcorn Lightly Salted
100g Glace Cherries
100g Vegan Biscuits
1. Melt the Chocolate in a bain marie.
2. Add all the ingredients into the bowl and mix well
3. Allow to set in a lined square tin
4. Cut into tasty chunks and enjoy!
Like the sound of these Almond Butter & Dark Chocolate Popcorn Bars? Give a big thanks to Emma! Emma is the creator of the nutrition and recipe blog Essentially Emma. Currently studying a Master’s in Human Nutrition, Emma has become very interested in food and how our bodies work and so decided to create her own blog, as a place to record her tasty recipes and all that she learns about nutrition and health. We have to admit it makes for a great read and we certainly have learnt some new things!
Want to make these delicious Almond Butter & Dark Chocolate Popcorn Bars? Keep reading…
3 bags of Portlebay Popcorn (I used the Sweet & Salty flavour)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/2 cup almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup mixed seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil
25g dark chocolate
If you need to toast your almonds, preheat the oven to 180c/350f. Arrange the almonds on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and roughly chop.
Grease (I use coconut oil) and line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Add the popcorn, oats, chopped almonds, raisins and seeds to a large mixing bowl, mix lightly to combine.
In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil, almond butter, vanilla extract and honey over low heat until the coconut oil is melted and the ingredients are well mixed.
Pour the honey mixture over the popcorn mixture and stir gently until the popcorn mixture is evenly coated in the honey mixture and the nuts, seeds and raisins are evenly interspersed.
Add the mixture in to the tin and using the back of a spatula (or your hand!) press it down gently so that it fills the tin and is fairly compressed – otherwise the bars will fall apart and we don’t want that!
7. Place the tin in a fridge and refrigerate for an hour.
8. If you would like to add a chocolate drizzle, I mean who wouldn’t, melt the dark chocolate. Microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 second intervals, stirring and checking in-between until the chocolate is melted and smooth (usually 2-3min). To melt on the hob, heat a pan of water to a strong simmer and float a bowl containing the chocolate on top of the water until melted (the official pan for this is called a bain marie).
9. Using a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over the mixture in the tin. Once you have drizzled to your heart’s desire, return the pan to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
10. Remove the tin from the fridge and using the edges of the paper, pull the bar mixture out of the tin. It should be nice and chilled and a solid block, if not, let it cool in the fridge for a bit longer.
11. With a large, sharp knife, cut the block in to 12 bars and enjoy!
Note: These bars keep best in a tupperware in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Emma also has a fabulous Instagram page full of very yummy meals and recipes, go have a look here!
These tasty Popcorn Bars are a must-try! They are full of lots of goodness but will still satisfy that sweet craving! For more yummy recipes and healthy ideas make sure you follow truthfullyhealthyfood on Instagram!
-25g cinnamon swirl Portlebay Popcorn
-100g peanut butter
-25g almond butter
-1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil
-25g sunflower seeds
-25g pumpkin seeds
-20g chia seeds
-25g desiccated coconut
-Pinch of salt
-10g sugar free dark chocolate
-Melt the peanut butter, almond butter, honey and coconut oil on a low heat in a pan and stir until smooth.
-Add in the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, desiccated coconut and pinch of salt and stir until coated.
-Compact the mixture into a pan lined with cling film then drizzle the melted chocolate on top. Freeze for 45 minutes then cut into 10 pieces.
Store in the fridge! (If you haven’t already gobbled up these deeeee-licious bars)
Our little team tends to be busy, busy, busy when we are at The Poppery. Although we all have our own roles and tasks, our mutual overall goal is to pop the popcorn and get our little bags of sunshine out and about in the world! We’ve taken a few snaps of a typical Portlebay day, so you can all see what we get up to!
9:00- Roll up to The Poppery
By the time the clock strikes nine, our team have rolled out of bed, had a scrub and some grub and have rocked up to The Poppery. Each day we are greeted by Bob (our mascot on our logo) as we reach our second home, who can look rather glorious in the morning sunshine- as you can see in the snap!
10:00- In The Poppery
By the time ten o’clock comes round, our lovely team in The Poppery have been popping, seasoning and packing popcorn for two hours and are deep in the popcorn making zone! The popcorn making team tends to consist of seven lovely ladies and gents, that are seriously good at popping popcorn to perfection!
11:00- Office Tea Timeee!
We are a typical office when it comes to tea and coffee. We all love the stuff, but no one wants to be the one to make it. As, anyone that works in an office environment will know, the person that makes the drinks always gets burdened with a biggggg order, enough to cater for an army (or so it feels). In the mornings we each sneakily make our own cuppa and manage to avoid getting hit with the list of complicated requests, that seems to go on for a life time, but by eleven o’clock our tea and coffee cravings start to kick in and the game of waiting for the first person to crack begins. As you can imagine the person that folds and heads to kitchen to make a drink is bombarded with the orders. No place for the weak.
12:00- In The Office, Doing Office Things
By noon we have all got stuck in to many of our popcorn related tasks- Faye from finance playing with her numbers, Diane our office mother sorting all of our so-called problems out, Steve in the warehouse playing around on his forklift, etc. On this particular occasion, twelve o’clock in the office consisted of prepping the Royal Mail post for our wonderful consumers that ordered directly from us (yes, you can order popcorn straight from The Poppery!) This involves bagging and labelling the boxes of popcorn, ready to be picked up by the post lady/man. Shortly after this lunch commences, YES!
13:00- Still Popping in The Poppery
At one o’clock, it’s still go, go, go in The Poppery. The people love popcorn and we want to make sure the people get what they love! Roddy our Grand Popping Maestro is in charge of poperations, making sure that the flavours are just right and that each kernel is popped at the correct temperature, he also loves a photoshoot if given the opportunity (see image above).
14:00- What’s Going on in the Warehouse?
Steve our wonderful warehouse manager will have spent many marvellous hours whizzing around on his fork lift by two o’clock; loading and unloading lorries, shifting pallets of popcorn to organise the ware house and transporting the freshly popped popcorn from The Poppery to the warehouse. He also is in charge of sorting all orders and making sure that they are ready to be sent out to the big wide world!
15:00- Feeling Peckish? You’re in the Right Place!
With the wonderful aroma of our freshly popped popcorn floating around in the air (you can smell it at the end of our road!), it’s quite common for us busy bees to feel a little peckish by three o’clock. Fortunately, we are in the right place to seek out a snack! We like to make sure our popcorn is super tasty and so at three o’clock we often partake in a taste test (not an official taste test but we deem it essential).
16:00- Keep the Popcorn Coming!
The operation of popping popcorn can be a long and busy process, as we endeavour to pop the equivalent of 66,667 ping balls worth of popcorn every hour! Some days our popcorn team can be popping from 7:30am-4:00pm, that’s the equivalent of 566,670 ping pong balls! Oh la la, that’s a lot!
17:00- Bye Bob, See you Tomorrow
At five o’clock we wave goodbye to our mascot Bob the seagull and leave him in peace for the evening.
We asked our fabulous team of popcorn lovers what their favourite Portlebay Popcorn flavours are, why and if they could invent a new flavour what it would be! Have a read below to see what wild and wonderful flavours they came up with (some are rather interesting to say the least!)
First up we have our little piggy bank, the lady with money, Faye!
Favourite Portlebay Popcorn? Lightly Sea Salted
Why? I’m all savoury all the way!
What flavour popcorn would you loveee us to invent? Christmas dinner with all the trimming, including the sprouts!
Next up we have one of our co-founders, the mighty Jonty!
Favourite Portlebay Popcorn? Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup
Why? It’s the a delicious marriage of sweet and savoury! I also adore bacon!!
What flavour popcorn would you loveee us to invent? Reblochon Cheese- a taste of the mountains!
Now we have our mother hen, the lady that keeps us all in line, Diane!
Favourite Portlebay Popcorn? Lemon Sherbet
Why? It’s as if someone has taken the beautiful seasons of Spring and Summer and popped them into this little yellow bag!
What flavour popcorn would you loveee us to invent? King Prawn Noodles
Our marketing fairy Millie, is next on the agenda!
Favourite Portlebay Popcorn? Lightly Sea Salted
Why? It’s the classic and will always be the best! (It’s also guilt-free when you need something to munch on in the office hehehe)
What flavour popcorn would you loveee us to invent? Dark Chocolate and Raspberry!
Our other genius co-founder, the magnificent Neil is next to reveal his favourite flavour!
Favourite Portlebay Popcorn? Chilli and Lime
Why? It’s takes me back to sitting on the beach in Mexico, with an ice cold drink in hand! Ahh the dream!
What flavour popcorn would you loveee us to invent? Beef Madras Curry
And finally, we have the man that keeps our popcorn popping, it’s Ian!
Favourite Portlebay Popcorn? Sweet & Salty!
Why? It’s just such a tasty treat, that perfectly satisfies my sweet, sweet cravings!
What flavour popcorn would you loveee us to invent? Good ole British Roast Beef
We would love to hear what your favourite flavour is and of course what flavours you would love us to invent in The Poppery!
Our easy- peasy, chocolate bites are perfect for a little ‘pick me up’, to satisfy that sweet craving! The combination of delicious chocolate, our crunchy popcorn, and goji berries, makes for a heavenly nibble, with just the right amount of fruit! We’re talking sweet, crunchy, and smooth- just deeelightful!
150g chocolate dark or milk- whichever you prefer!
1 tsp coconut oil
15g Lightly Salted Portlebay Popcorn
A small pack of Goji berries- we purchased a 100g pack but didn’t use all of them
A large sprinkle of mixed seeds
Add 2 inches of water into a medium sized pan and bring to simmer. Add a glass bowl into the pan, making sure that the water does not overflow into the bowl. Break the chocolate into pieces and put it in the bowl, with the coconut oil. Stir the chocolate occasionally until all is melted.
Once the majority of the chocolate has melted add the goji berries and seeds into the mix.
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and pour your chocolate mix onto paper- ensuring that it is evenly spread. Then sprinkle the popcorn, goji berries and seeds on top.
Place the baking tray in the freeze for approximately 1 hour.
Once the chocolate has set, remove from the freezer and by hand break the chocolate into bites and enjoy!
Our small Portlebay team are proud of our all natural popcorn that we hand pop ourselves. Our range has been carefully crafted to reduce any allergens, to cater for those that are vegetarian and vegan, and to offer a healthier snack alternative to crisps and other popular snacks. Along our quest to create tasty treats, we also endeavour to be conscious and thoughtful with our actions, in order to conserve and safeguard our beautiful home and those that inhabit it. For these reasons palm oil is a big no no and we strongly dislike the stuff!
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is type of vegetable oil, that is traded globally and is present in many of the products we see on the supermarket shelves. The oil is derived from the palm fruit, which grows on the African Oil Palm Tree. Today palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. Currently, the majority of palm oil is produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia. As noted by the activist group of Say No To Palm Oil, the demand for the oil has very rapidly increased in recent decades, as it has been made widely available, is inexspensive (due to small production costs) and is a diverse product with regards to its uses. The group also highlighted, that the oil is found in a huge amount of household products including baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning products, washing detergents and toothpaste, leaving the average Western citizen consuming more than 10kg of palm oil annually.
What are the issues with palm oil?
A great proportion of palm oil development occurs at the expense of the environments in which the palm oil is sourced. As identified by the WWF, palm oil plantations have a number of environmental impacts including:
large scale forest conversion
soil and water pollution
The most significant issue of these is the large scale forest conversion. In Indonesia and Malaysia there is a direct relationship between the growth of palm oil plantations and deforestation. In 2007 the United Nations Environment Programme published a report which professes that oil palm plantations are the leading cause of rainforest devastation in the two countries. The extensive forest devastation of palm oil plantations is resulting in calamitous effects for a large number of plant and animal species.
Palm Oil Investigations, a non profit organisation which focuses on educating and raising awareness about the hazards of palm oil, passionately talk about the species which are edging towards extinction, as a result of the habitat destruction that is taking place during the production of palm oil.
Both the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered due to palm oil plantations. Orangutans create nests to sleep in during the night, and reside in smaller nests during the day time. In order to survive orangutans need trees and forestry, however the higher the demand for palm oil the less forestry there is for the orangutan.
The Bornean orangutan is a Borneo native, which today is a protected specie, with specific ares of Borneo specially protected, however it has become apparent that a large majority of these orangutans currently
are living outside of these protected areas. The distribution of the Bornean organutan is extremely patchy throughout the island, with fewer than an estimated 60,000 left in the wild. This figure is significantly declining, with the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations in Borneo, as the lack of forestry leaves the orangutans vulnerable to poachers. The demolition of forestry is forcing the orangutan populations to shrink and making the creatures more prone to genetic drift and inbreeding.
The Sumatran Orangutan are being threatened by both illegal and legal logging, the conversion of forest land to agricultural land and palm oil plantations. Sumatran orangutans are currently forecasted to be one of the first Great Apes to become extinct, with there being less than 6,000 remaining in the wild.
The Sumatran elephant is native to the Indonesia island of Sumatra and are smaller than African elephants. These elephants are being threaten by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, and poaching. Subsequently, there less than 2,500 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild. In the last 25 years 69% of potential elephant habitat has been lost, leaving much of the remaining forest in limited sections which are too small for elephant populations to live in.
Due to habitat loss and a lack of food, elephants are frequently being poisoned as they are forced to stray into plantations and villages which have strategies to prevent elephants impeding on the areas. This conflict between humans and elephants is becoming more frequent as habitats are cleared for palm oil, putting the Sumatran elephants at even more risk.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tigers and have more of beard and mane than most. The Sumatran tiger resides in the forest of the Sumatran Island where they are fighting for survival.
Currently there are approximately 300 Sumatran tigers existing in the wild. With the acceleration of deforestation for palm oil and poaching, the tigers could in time be extinct. The deforestation is not only depriving the tigers of a habitat but also of food. With both poaching and deforestation showing no sign of slowing the tigers are increasingly at threat. Other Animals
There are even more animals which are being threatened by the palm oil plantations, including:
Sunda Clouded Leopard
Crested Black Macaque
None of these creatures should be disregarded and certainly not pushed to extinction as a consequent of our own actions.
Survival, a global group devoted to fighting for tribal people’s rights, passionately notes that many indigenous tribes are under great threat from palm oil plantations. One woman from the Penan tribe (a group of hunter-gathers) from Malaysia told Survival, ‘The forest is my roof and my shelter and the forest is also where I can find food to eat. But when the oil palm comes in, everything will be gone.’
Although palm oil plantations frequently promote bringing development to rural areas and providing employment for some locals, the impact of the plantations have also had devastating effects on locals living around the affected areas.
As the plantations are destroying the rainforest, the local people are having no other choice but to work for and depend on the income from the plantations. These working conditions are of a poor standard and many of the workers do not earn enough to support their families. Furthering this, child labour has also become an issue in some areas, with children suffering from heat exhaustion and gaining injuries from climbing thorny oil palms.
Although it has been evident that indigenous people have in some cases benefited from the palm oil industry in Indonesia, these situations are particularly rare. Palm oil has on frequent occasions had a long lasting negative effects, which has subsequently altered the lifestyle of many. More often than not indigenous people have become subject to cruel and greedy palm oil labour, with little choice in the matter.
Is palm oil bad for your health too?
A Common Ingredient
As mentioned by the organisation Live Strong, which provides expert information on all topics that contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, palm oil is less expensive than many other oils and can be utilised to extend the shelf life of processed foods, as a result of this it is often found in our supermarkets and often a substance that we consume.
The organisation further this stating that palm oil in an oxidised state can be a danger to our physiological and biochemical functions. Manufacturers of processed goods do often oxidise palm oil found in these products for culinary reasons, which consequently means a great deal of the palm oil consumed by shoppers is in this oxidised state. The threats of oxidized palm oil include organotoxicity of the heart, kidney, liver and lungs and reproductive toxicity. Not nice.
Erica Kannall, a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist, emphasised that palm oil is notably high in saturated fat. Diets which are high in this saturated fat can contribute to high levels of cholesterol and also a build up of plaque in the arteries. If the consumption of saturated fat is continued for a long duration it could lead to a heart attack or stroke. The NHS recommend that the average man should not eat any more than 30g of saturated fat per day and no more than 20g of saturated fat per day for the average woman. One tablespoon of palm oil contains 7g of saturated fat. This means, a person consuming products containing palm oil could easily reach their recommended limit, without even considering products with no palm oil but still high in saturated fat.
What do we use instead of Palm Oil then?
During the process of hand popping our delicious popcorn we use rapeseed oil instead of palm oil. Our rapeseed oil is both grown and produced in the UK and so doesn’t travel far before arriving at our little Poppery! At all stages of the rapeseed oil creation process no people or animals are threatened or harmed.
Rapeseed oil is also low in saturated fat and so is far less likely to cause a build up of plaque in the arteries. Not only is rapeseed oil
low in saturated fat but, as stated by BBC Good Food, it has been acknowledge for having a range of health and nutritional benefits. This includes the oil containing omega 3, 6 and 9, which helps to reduce cholesterol and also maintain healthy joints, brain and heart functions.
We believe that our popcorn should be created with the best natural ingredients, that can be enjoyed and consumed without contributing to any health issues. We also aim to be conscious and thoughtful with our decisions throughout the popcorn process, as we live in a beautiful world, with many beautiful creatures which we would hate to harm or deprive in any way.
Recently, Portlebay Popcorn asked me to create a recipe with their popcorn, and I just had to say yes! Popcorn is one of my favourite snacks and their delicious and innovative flavours were just too good to not try. I wanted to use one of the more unusual flavours and what is more exciting than lemon sherbet popcorn? Therefore, these chocolate lemon biscuit bites were formed.
I am not going to lie to you, this was one of those recipes where I just made it up as I went along and it turned out pretty darn good. A cheesecake style biscuit base with a chewy lemon cashew middle and a crispy chocolate topping. But of course the crème de la crème of this recipe is the lemon sherbet popcorn, that proudly sits on top.
Ingredients: Makes 9 bites
100g Cashew Butter
2 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
3 tsp Lemon Extract (can adapt to taste)
1 tbsp of Coconut Flour (or Ground Almonds works well too)
150g Dark Chocolate
100g Digestive biscuits
Start by mixing together the cashew butter, coconut, lemon extract and coconut flour in a bowl.
If the mixture is a little thick you can add a splash of water and mix again.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water – be careful not to burn the chocolate.
In a separate bowl crush the digestives with a rolling pin until they resemble a fine crumb.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add to the biscuit crumb. Mix together until the biscuit is coated in butter and sticking together.
Evenly distribute the biscuit mix between 9 round silicon moulds – press it into the bottom.
Next add 1tsp of cashew mixture onto the biscuit base and spread evenly.
Finally add a spoonful of melted chocolate to the top and then a sprinkle of Portlebay Lemon Sherbet Popcorn.
Leave to set in the freezer for about 30 mins before tucking in!
Don’t forget to checkout Fran’s gorgeous Instagram page and blog for many more delicious and creative recipes, they’re amazing!
It is officially 6 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS! With the big day fast approaching, we are all busy using up miles of wrapping paper and sending our festive wishes to all our friends and family. To bring a little extra Christmas cheer why not pop over to our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) to enter Day 6 of our Christmas Advent Competition, and be in with a chance of winning a box of Portlebay Popcorn and a gorgeous gift from Bookishly! (This competition launches at 5pm tonight)
Bookishly create gorgeous prints with quotes from classic literature, movies and songs. Each print is created using an original and vintage book page, making each one a little bit unique and very special. Each print also consists of the wonky old font that is exclusive to Bookishly and is based on hand drawn lettering. You won’t see it anywhere else!
Louise Verity is the owner of Bookishly, and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and young children. She likes John Hughes movies, cake and the smell of new books. She dislikes Marmite and ironing.
Bookishly was first established in 2009 as Wall Envy Art, and rebranded in 2013. It all started with an antique French dictionary and owner Louise’s, grandfather’s set of water colours. As time progressed, so did the range of products. The signature book page prints are still popular but you’ll now find a number of new items thrown in to the mix: personalised star chart prints, book club subscriptions, and various stationery pieces to name a few.
Bookishly designs have been featured in a number of national and international magazines and blogs, including Stylist, The Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy and Ideal Home among others. More recently, their products have been shown on ITV’s This Morning and featured in the YouTube videos of Zoella and Meg Says.