Healthier treats for Halloween


Halloween is my all time favourite holiday from the pumpkin carving and costumes to the spookiness and tick-or-treating. Although being a type 1 diabetic was actually "tricky" with all the sweets around me during Halloween. I couldn't indulge myself with my bag of sugary candy and believe me my bag would be full of all sorts. Usually my bag would last for weeks slowly eating away at it - I'm sure my parents had enough of all the sweets around the house.

Halloween is the biggest time of year for candy and sweets and it is the big focus when trick-or-treating or Halloween parties. But why does it have to be soooo sweet, why not be more clever with the treats. So with that I wanted to show you that it doesn't have to be all about candy especially if you still want to get into the spirit. These healthier treats will sure to be spooktacular for you and the kids.

5 Healthier Halloween Treats:

1. Trick-or-Treats

During Halloween the shop aisles are filled with so many kinds of chocolates and artificial candy that we don't even consider other options to hand out at the door. In Ireland it seems the big thing is to make little treat bags, and I like this idea because you can fill it with all sorts of things. If you have loads of kids coming to your house, you may just want to consider a big bowl of treats instead. But here is a list of healthier alternatives for trick-or-treaters:

  • Pure fruit snacks / fruit rollups

  • Natural granola or oat bars

  • Fruit juice sweetened cookie bags

  • Trail mix

  • Sesame bars

  • Raisin boxes

  • Vegetable snack puffs

  • Popcorn (make your own popcorn bags and fill them in plastic gloves)

  • Stickers

  • Pencils / Erasers

  • Stampers

  • Tattoos

  • Halloween party favours

2. Fruit Zombie

I love this fruit zombie; I thought it was going to be hard to make but in fact it was so easy. Get a ripe watermelon and cut one end off just a bit so that it sits up right. It may be a little messy, but start cutting the teeth with a sharp knife starting from one side and cut out points so that it resembles sharp teeth. You can then start to carve out the watermelon from the inside and cut into chunks. Lay the watermelon on a long plate and add your desired fruit so that it starts from the inside of the zombie's mouth and spills out onto to the plate. For the eyes, I used cucumber slices and olive slices glued on with cream cheese or you can simply use crazy glue.

3. Mummy Pizzas

Who doesn't love pizza!? These pizzas are another simple party food to make and the kids can get involved in decorating the pizzas. Use English muffins as the base and spread a spoonful of tomato sauce on top. Layer with cheese slices so that it looks like a mummy and then use olives or your choice of vegetables as eyes. You can get even more creative and add a mouth using peppers or even some hair using spinach. Bake on high for about 10 - 15 minutes.

4. Strawberry Ghosts

So a little bit of chocolate never hurt anyone but the trick is using good quality chocolate here as you don't need much. Rinse the strawberries and leave the tops on. Melt your white chocolate (look at the ingredients, you want chocolate that has a high cocoa butter content and less additives) in a double sauce pan or in the microwave with a little coconut oil on medium high stirring every so often so that it doesn't overheat. Dip one side of your strawberries in the melted white chocolate and then place them on a plate leaving a little chocolate trail to resemble the bottom of the ghost. You can then use raisins or dark chocolate chips as the eyes. If you want to go the extra step, melt a little dark chocolate and make mouths too. Allow to cool completely before eating

5. Cookie Bats

Cut out cookies are always a hit and especially if you need some little helpers to roll the dough, make the shapes and decorate. This version is healthier made with wholewheat and spelt flour and not as much sugar. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup soften butter (or coconut oil)

  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar

  • 2 large eggs or flax eggs

  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

  • 1 cup wholewheat spelt flour

  • 1 2/3 cup white spelt flour

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • dark chocolate chips

Method

Cream together butter or coconut oil with sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate large bowl, mix dry ingredients together: flour, making powder, salt and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix together. Allow dough to cool in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Roll out dough on a floured surface adding more flour if it's too sticky - don't roll too thin. Place cookie cutters in flour and then make your cutouts. Place cutouts on greased baking sheet and cook at 180c / 350f for 8 - 10 minutes. When the cookies come out place onto cooling rack. Add chocolate chips to bat eyes while the cookies are still a little hot to allow them to stick to the cookies. Cool completely before eating.

6. Cook with Pumpkin

We tend to associate pumpkin with Halloween carved pumpkins or pumpkin pie. But pumpkin is so nutritious and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Baking with pumpkin and cooking with pumpkin is a treat in itself. There are loads of recipes that you can make. The easiest thing to do is roasting pumpkin - cut it in half, scoop out seeds, place face down on a baking tray with a little water and bake at 200c / 375f for 30-40 minutes. You can either scoop out and mash together with a little butter and maple syrup or dice and add to another dish. Other recipe options with pumpkin are pumpkin bread, spiced pumpkin soup, pumpkin curry with chickpeas and cauliflower, pumpkin stir-fry or even pumpkin macaroni and cheese. Experiment and see what you like best.

Halloween should be fun and full of treats, but try out some healthier options so that it's not just about sweets. Enjoy and Happy Halloween! If you want more healthier meal ideas or need support getting your family on a healthy track, contact me for a consultation.

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