‘Tis the season...for scarecrows, halloween costumes, jack o’ lanterns...and candy! Candy?! That’s right: Halloween is a time of year that scares us parents most of all. The idea of bags full of sugar strikes fear into the hearts of parents everywhere.
Is there a workaround? Yes! If you want to minimize the amounts of sweets you, and your little ones, ingest this Halloween season, involve your little ghouls in making healthy halloween treats with you. It’s a fun, and delicious, way to add a learning experience to your Halloween festivities this year.
In rounding up our top five choices for healthy halloween treats, we focused on what we do best at Pure Plates: gluten-free treats that are free of artificial preservatives, flavorings and color. All of the below are 100% tasty and...of course...100% easy to make. We also made sure four of these five ideas are completely vegan -- to accommodate for different diets your kiddos may need.
Ready? Let’s Go!
Banana Ghosts: Bananas & Raisins
I absolutely love this idea because the results are all but guaranteed (and even the smallest of hands can help out to make these).
Raisins (for eyes...note: you could also use mini chocolate or carob chips for this)
1. Cut your bananas into the shape of ghosts (ok: basically just cut them in half or get fancier if you’d like).
2. Use raisins for the eyes. Press raisins into the banana until they take hold.
And...that’s it. You’re done!
We found some variations on this recipe around the web: Frozen Banana Ghosts and Banana Ghost Pops. Yum!
Orange Pumpkins: Oranges & Celery
Want a halloween treat right out of Whole 30? If your kiddos love all things pumpkin (and who doesn’t…), these halloween treats are a must-make.
Celery (a stalk or two should do...note: if you don’t have celery handy, you could also use green pepper!)
1. Peel your oranges (great task for the littles one to work on).
Cut your celery (lengthwise) pieces that are about ½ thick.
3. Insert your celery ‘stems’ into the top of your tangerines.
4. Don’t they look like pumpkins?!
Enjoy: you can check out variations on this idea here and here.
Scary Apples Bites: Apples + Peanut Butter + Slivered Almonds
Move over, candy apples: there’s a new apple treat in town -- and they’re downright scary! Turn slices of apples into some scary looking teeth with slivered almonds.
Peanut Butter (note: you could also use jam or jelly instead)
1.Slice your apples into ½ inch thick pieces.
2.Take two slices and lay one slice out horizontally.
- Stand your second slice upright next to your horizontal slice (this will resemble an open mouth).
- Use peanut butter to connect them.
- Spread peanut butter on the two slices.
Using the almonds, add your teeth to the peanut butter (to resemble teeth in a mouth).
We found this recipe at Oh She Glows - check out the amazing images and get inspired here.
Green Smoothie Monsters
Personally, I think the green smoothie is made for Halloween. Put a green smoothie in a mason jar, draw a scary face on the glass with a washable marker, and you’ve got a frighteningly perfect halloween treat (full of nutritious greens).
Bananas (to keep the smoothie thick)
Spinach (to make the smoothie green)
Blueberries (to make the smoothie sweet)
Water (to make the smoothie easy to mix and drink)
Frozen Mango Chunks (for extra flavor and health)
Non-Toxic Markers (the easy to wash off kind)
When it comes to smoothies, there’s one thing I’ve learned: there’s no one-size-fits-all recipe that everyone loves.
This is easy to make with a high speed blender. Use the above ingredients as a baseline and experiment as you go. You can start by adding just a little bit of water and add more as needed. Test often and add ingredients to taste.
Want more ideas for healthy smoothies? Find Jack O’ Lantern Smoothies, Ghostly Smoothies, and the Blood Shot Eye Smoothie recipes here.
The World’s Cheesiest Ghosts: Organic String Cheese + Markers
Okay, I saved the easiest idea for last (and it’s perfect to stick in a lunch box). Choose a low-fat, organic string cheese and get reacquainted with your inner creative genius.
The string cheese makes the perfect shape for a ghost: all you need to do is add some eyes (and if you’re really in the spirit -- no pun intended -- a mouth, nose, and whatever else you dream up).
To sum up: Halloween isn’t all chocolate bars, tiny packages of sugar this and sugar that, and trips to the dentist. Get creative, make a stop at your favorite produce market or grocer, and get to town making Halloween healthy and fun for everyone.