Healthy Halloween: Halloween is undoubtedly a highlight for many of our kiddos, but the sugar crash can very quickly turn it into a parent’s nightmare. This guide highlights some alternatives that keep with the Halloween theme but without all the nasty ingredients.
Healthy Halloween: Ingredients to Avoid
The list of genuinely spooky ingredients packed in Halloween candy can lead to an array of short term and long term health complications. From spiked blood sugar to inflammation and allergies, Halloween candy is loaded with junky ingredients.
Some of the key ingredients that can turn a treat into a nasty trick include:
- Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Refined dairy, including milk solids, milk fat, skim milk, and lactose
- Refined oils, including partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, canola oil, sunflower oil
- Preservatives, including sodium benzoate, polysorbate 60, 65, or 80, sulfites (sulfur dioxide), nitrites, BHT/BHA, and TBHQ
- ‘Natural’ flavors and artificial flavors (both which are highly unnatural)
- Artificial colors
The recipes below use various alternatives, including stevia and monk fruit (low glycemic sweeteners), as well as the natural sweetness of fruit! There’s no reason children can’t enjoy Halloween without having to consume highly inflammatory ingredients.
Alternative Recipes for a Healthy Halloween
These frozen banana pops are dipped in yogurt and frozen for a spooky, nutritious treat!
(makes four pops)
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup of yogurt (or coconut yogurt)
- 3 TBS of raw honey (optional)
- 8 chocolate chips
- Shredded coconut (optional)
- Cut the bananas into two, stick wooden paddle pop in the cut bottom half, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes on wax or baking paper.
- While the bananas chill, mix the yogurt and honey.
- Dip the bananas in the yogurt mixture and place back on the sheet and into the freezer for 15 minutes
- Dip once more, and this time add the chocolate chip eyes to the ‘ghosts.’
- Can be rolled in shredded coconut as well (optional)
- Freezer for another 20 minutes and serve!
Pumpkin Spice Nut Butter Balls
Energy balls are an excellent way to have easy and nutritious snacks on hand, and this recipe tweaks a few ingredients to make epic pumpkin-spiced balls that the whole family can enjoy! You can skip all the spices and simply add 2 tablespoons of a pre-made pumpkin spice mix if you have it; just make sure to read the ingredients listed as many of these pre-made mixes sneak in sugar!
- ¼ cup almond flour (any nut flour will do)
- 4 tablespoons almond nut butter (any nut butter will do)
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 scoops of collagen powder
- 2 tablespoons stevia or monk fruit sweetener
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon almond milk (any nut milk will do)
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth
- Form 1 inch balls, refrigerate 1-2 hours to set
Real Fruit Gummies
Gummies usually are filled with refined sugar and artificial colors. Believe it or not, this gelatin-rich recipe is gut healing and supercharged with nutrients. You can up the Halloween ante by buying all sorts of spooky shapes, like worms, bats, or ghosts.
- 1 cup fruit (frozen fruit works great) like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or mango
- ½ cup of filtered water
- 2.5 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin powder
- 15 drops liquid stevia
- Powdered monk fruit sweetener (optional)
- Puree the fruit and water in a high-speed blender
- In a saucepan, heat over low heat and stir in the gelatin until it is well combined (no lumps)
- Remove from heat and stir in the stevia. Taste the mixture to see if you want to add more stevia (to taste).
- Pour the mixture into your molds or into a glass container (you can also cut the jelly into cubes)
- Cool completely in the fridge for 3 hours to let the jelly set.
- Roll in powdered monk fruit (optional)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pumpkin Cups
Chocolate and peanut butter are a Halloween classic, but the classic kinds given out in orange wrappers are filled with ingredients that spike blood sugar, amongst other issues. This recipe gives the originals a serious run for their money, with all the taste but none of the milk solids, preservatives, or refined sugars.
- ½ cup organic natural smooth peanut butter (the kind with just peanuts)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or liquid stevia
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut flour in a bowl until well combined, and it turns into a dough.
- Shape the dough into flat pumpkins and place in the freezer on a baking tray lined with baking paper for 20-30 minutes
- While they are child, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double broiler until melted, and set aside to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
- Dip the pumpkins in the chocolate mixture and place it back on the tray.
- Freeze 5-10 minutes and repeat dipping the chocolate mixture until they are well coated. This could take 2-3 dips!
Healthy Halloween No-Sugar Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies are a Halloween classic, but this recipe skips the refined sugars in favor of glycemic-friendly monk fruit sweetener. The kids will never know!
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 cup almond butter
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 2.5 cups almond flour
- 1.5 cups coconut flour
- ⅖ cup of coconut oil (solid)
- 2 cups monk fruit sweetener
- 3 tsp vanilla bean or vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp powdered monk fruit sweetener (to sprinkle on the cookies)
- Optional: Halloween decorations (like sprinkles and icing) — opt for the kind you can find at natural food stores without nasty ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- In a mixing bowl, combine the liquid ingredients (eggs, almond butter, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract) until smooth. You can use a fork or an electric hand blender.
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit sweetener, cinnamon, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt).
- Using your hands, slowly mix in the liquid into the dry mixture, mixing as you go to form a dough.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes
- While you wait, mix the topping monk fruit and cinnamon, and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On the baking sheet, roll out the dough using a rolling pin, and using a Halloween-shaped cookie cutter, cut shapes and place onto a baking tray. Alternatively, you can simply roll cookies into 1 inch balls and press down with your hand to form round cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes and let cool for a few minutes before serving!
Healthy Halloween Candy Apples
This old school Halloween classic is one of the easiest healthy-swaps that skips over the refined sugars in favor of a sticky caramel made with dates and coconut.
- 3 small/ medium organic apples
- 3 sticks to hold the candy apples
- 16 pitted Medjool dates
- ¾ cup of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or extract)
- Optional: 1 cup of crushed almonds to roll the candy apples in)
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend on high until the mixture is smooth.
- Puncture the apples through the base of the apple halfway into the core.
- Dip the apples into the caramel sauce until it’s fully covered and place them on a tray with baking paper.
- Refrigerate the apples for 15 minutes at a time to cool the caramel and dip again until they’re well coated.
- Roll the apples in the crushed almonds, and store in the fridge until ready to eat!
Hairy Spiders (Cacao Bliss Balls)
Rolling cacao bliss balls in coconut and making spider legs using all-natural licorice is an easy way to turn a nutritious snack into a spooky Halloween treat!
- 15 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup almond meal
- ½ cup shredded coconut + ½ a cup to roll the balls in
- ⅓ cup organic coconut oil or cacao butter (melted)
- ⅓ cup cacao powder (or carob powder)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 or so strands of all-natural black licorice
- Optional: chocolate chips for eyes
- Place all the ingredients (except for the coconut to roll in) in a food processor and blend until dough forms. The pitted Medjool dates can be used straight up if they are soft, but if they are firm, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes first.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls
- Cut the licorice into small (about 1 inch) pieces, and stick them into the balls to give each ball 8 legs (4 on each side).
Hope you enjoy these spooky treats with a healthy twist. Wishing everyone a healthy and safe Halloween!