Halloween - Healthy Treats, no Tricks

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Halloween marks the beginning of “sugar season” – the long stretch of holidays where treats seem to be everywhere. Combined with the colder, shorter days that kick up cravings for more serotonin-boosting carbohydrates, this increase in sugar consumption can wreak havoc on your health.  Kids love sugar.  But adults can’t resist them as well.  Whether you keep these little goblins and ghouls at bay with candy or you have another secret weapon (some folks swear by coins and toothbrushes!), don’t let the poor souls fall victim to hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup or artificial preservatives, colors and flavors.

But you don’t have to get spooked by all that Halloween candy.  Skip the trick-or-treating and try one of these fun activities instead:

-         Carving Jack-o-Lanterns: The folklore behind this tradition is that these decorative gourds were carved into scary faces to protect your home from the Undead. Don’t forget – you can save the seeds you scoop out of the inside and roast them for a healthy and tasty snack.

-        Parading Around: Get dressed up and show off your costume in your local Halloween parade or at a Halloween party. There are plenty of costume options to buy online, or you can have fun getting creative by making your own.  Need inspiration? Dress up as of one of your favorite movie star, book characters, rock star, politician, or media personality. Brainstorm by searching for costume ideas on Pinterest.

Don't give out candy at all!  Hand out stickers, glow sticks, creepy spider rings, Play-Doh, or any type of small toy.  Try handing out oranges, apples, juice boxes, and boxes of raisins.  I just learned that one of my friends plan on doing just that – a basket of apples on her front porch.

For those who wants to follow tradition with “sweets”, I did some research and I found these healthy alternatives:
  •       “Power Snacks” by Conscious Food
  •       “Superfood Chocolate” by OmBar
  •       Trumi Bars use freeze dried fruit & raw cacao nibs to pack in antioxidants & other phytonutrients!
  •        Trek or Naked bars – raw food bars, which combine crunchy oatie bits with real fruits and nuts.
  •       Nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  •       Freeze Dried Mixed Fruit
  •       Sunny Citrus Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks,made with real fruit juice
  •       EnviroKidz Organic Chocolate Koala Mini Crispy Rice Bars Made with four grams of whole grains these organic chocolaty mini treats may be gluten free, wheat free and low in fat and sodium but they get high marks for sweet and crunchy deliciousness
  •     Surf Sweets - Halloween Sour Worms, not my 1st choice, but it uses natural ingredients like black carrot juice concentrate and turmeric (from the ginger family) to color candy, and organic fruit juice and evaporated cane juice to sweeten
 
For at home party try to make some fun snacks.  What would you think about making

Green Eye Balls

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Source: www.fresh-network.com

  • 150g Medjool dates, pitted (about 9)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 teaspoon acai powder
  • Small pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons kelp or matcha powder, to coat
  1. Place all ingredients except the kelp/matcha powder in a food processor, and whizz till a sticky dough forms.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and pop in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes – it will be near impossible to scoop and rolls the truffles if not – it needs to firm up a little first.
  3. Once cooled and a little firmer, scoop 1 teaspoon of mixture out and roll into a ball, then coat in the kelp powder. Repeat till finished – this mixture should make about 14 truffles. No need to store in the fridge – the kelp coating will also prevent them from sticking now.
Mini Green (Bloody) Monster Shots

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Source: www.fresh-network.com

  • 3 frozen bananas (peel before freezing)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon acai powder
  • 1-2 cups spinach or 1 graded raw beetroot
  • 1 teaspoon baobab powder
  • chia seeds, if desired
  • ice, if desired
  1. Blend all ingredients together and frost the glass
  2. For the frosting - Mix raw brown sugar with a few drops of food colouring or fresh beetroot juice and dip the top of glass in before adding the juice.
 Caramel Apples

This healthy caramel apple recipe has just enough caramel to give a nice hint of salty-sweet flavor in each bite for a tasty dessert.  
  • 1/3 cup packed coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped unsalted nuts, such as peanuts or pecans
  • 6 small apples

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Coat a tablespoon measure with cooking spray.

2. Combine sugar, syrup, oil and salt in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat; as soon as the syrup starts to lightly bubble around the edges, cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Add nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted and the mixture darkens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

3. Working quickly, spoon about 1 tablespoon of caramel over each apple. Repeat, spooning another tablespoon of caramel over each apple, turning as you pour.

4. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Insert popsicle/craft sticks into the tops. Press any stray strands of caramel back onto the apples. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.


Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Store in parchment paper at room temperature for up to 1 day. | Equipment: Wooden popsicle/craft sticks

Shopping Tip: Choose unbruised, firm apples with smooth skin. Store for up to 4 months in the refrigerator.

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                                                                                                            Photo by cflibrary

                                     How will you celebrate Halloween?

I would love to hear about your experiences.  You can find more suggestions on:

Facebook http://www.facebook.com.vilmaswellness,

Twitter @vilmaswellness

Or you are welcome to contact me personally via vilmaswellness@gmail.com

To your health,

                                                                 ~ Vilma B 



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