How To Have A Healthy Halloween

Halloween cupcakesAre you ready for Halloween?

While I’m not inclined to don a costume, or deck the house out with carved pumpkins and Halloween décor, I do like to prepare a festive sweet or two for the occasion.

(A gal needs to indulge once in a while).

Even so, I try to find healthier alternatives whenever possible – relying mostly on homemade goodies so I can explore different sweeteners and switch out ingredients as needed.

Of course, one could just as easily focus on savory treats the fit the Halloween theme.

How about a “Black and Orange” Salad – using Forbidden Rice and sweet potatoes?

Or, a nourishing bowl of soup served inside a hollowed out pumpkin?

While that’s all well and good, you’ll probably still want a little something sweet for dessert.

I know I would.

With that in mind, here are my suggestions for a healthy Halloween – so you can have your cake and eat it too!


Cut Back On Sugar

Sounds like an impossibility, doesn’t it?

And yet, for the unlucky few among us who have tested allergic to sugar (or, are super sensitive), this is an everyday reality – not just during Halloween, but all year long.

As it happens, there are many alternatives to refined sugar – things like honey, agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup, stevia and more.

(Agave, once real popular, has more recently fallen out of favor; you can check out this article to learn more).

Stevia is a wonderful alternative, especially for sweetening a beverage, smoothie or dessert, but it’s a bit trickier to use in baking.

I encourage you to be adventurous!

You’ll find a huge selection of recipes on the Internet – perhaps way too many – but you need to start somewhere, right?

Overtime, you’ll discover your favorites, and keep coming back for more.

(Personally, I’ve downloaded more recipes than I know what to do with).

Also, consider non-sugary handouts for trick or treaters – things like pretzels, naturally sweet raisins, or packaged pumpkin seeds.

Who knows what you might find?


GMO’s, Dyes & Other Icky Stuff

Of course, it isn’t just the sugar that can throw you off your game.

Our food supply is rife with ingredients that are not-so-good for you, with GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), preservatives and food dyes being among the main culprits.

How do GMO’s figure in with Halloween candy?

Well, anything that contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn starch or corn-based chemicals and preservatives is likely GMO.

It isn’t something that food manufacturers are going to tell you, so you’ll have to don your detective’s cap and really read those labels.

The same goes for soy.

Food dyes are another area of concern.

A recent article in the November/December issue of the Well Being Journal, states that Blue dye #1 – commonly found in hard candies & lollipops – is a particular area of concern.

“Ordinarily, when Blue #1 is consumed, most of it is broken down in the stomach and liver before it can enter the bloodstream; but when children lick lollipops or suck on hard candies, they are exposed to much more of the dye.”

In other words, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

I recommend that you head on over to your local health food store and check out some of the “healthier” Halloween goodies they’ve stocked for the occasion.

Just be sure to read those labels!


Have Some Chocolate!

Of course, when all else fails, there’s always chocolate.

Which presents a bit of a conundrum, since almost all chocolate candy, desserts and baked goods contain refined sugar.

However, there’s always room for experimentation!

When you rely less on processed or prepared foods, and learn to bake from scratch, you’ll not only have full control of your ingredients – you’ll transform your health in the process.

And a whole new world will open up for you.

For example, let’s take a look at this recipe for Homemade Sunbutter Cups, which relies on packaged Chocolate Chips from Enjoy Life Foods.

(Chocolate Chips are a kitchen staple for many of us, and this is my go-to brand).

These are super simple to make – relying on just two ingredients.

Plus – they’re free of the eight major allergens, are non-GMO, gluten-free and dairy-free, and by using sunflower butter instead of peanut-butter, you also have a nut-free treat!

The easiest way to make these is to melt down the chocolate chips and assemble the candies in no time flat.

If you’d prefer a sugar-free version, try this chocolate coating from the creative mind over at Daily Bites.


Homemade Sunbutter Cups

You will need paper candy liners for this recipe.


1 package Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

½ cup Sunflower Butter


Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, over a low heat. Spread a spoonful of melted chocolate in the bottom of each candy cup.

Add a small dollop (1/2 tsp) of sunflower butter in the center of the chocolate.

Top with another layer of melted chocolate, covering the nut butter completely.

Refrigerate until firm.



Speak Your Mind