For the foodie with a sweet tooth, Halloween is a dream come true. It is all about the candy, chocolate, and everything in between. Unfortunately, this can be bad news when you are also trying to fuel up on healthy grub.
It is no secret that commercial candy is teeming with artificial dyes, preservatives, and processed sugar – just to name a few. They can also contribute to unhealthy weight gain, cavities, and energy crashes.
To top it off, store-bought sweets are calorie dense and nutrient poor. They are the farthest thing from “real” food.
Luckily, this does not mean you need to miss out on the Halloween fun. With the right approach, you can create scary good treats while fueling up on vitamins and fiber.
To get you started, check out this list of unique Halloween treats that will help you get the most out of fall. You might be surprised to learn how easy it is to treat your body – and sweet tooth – well.
Treat Yourself With These 9 Healthy Halloween Sweets
1. Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
Always on the go? Spice up your mornings with a nutritious pumpkin banana smoothie. This protein-packed treat will satisfy your sweet tooth while highlighting the best flavors of fall. You can even freeze it for a make-ahead beverage.
In a blender, mix 1 cup milk, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. If you would ike, add 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Make a dairy-version by using almond, coconut, or soy milk.
2. Carrot Ginger Smoothie
For a zesty take on the autumn smoothie, combine carrot and ginger. Together, these two ingredients will boost your immune system just in time for the cold weather.
Start by chopping 2 medium carrots. Blend with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger, 1 cup milk of your choice, and 1 banana. Alternatively, you can swap the milk for orange juice or water. The banana can also be replaced with 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Add a spoonful of honey for extra sweetness.
3. Frozen Yogurt-Covered Apples
This autumn, take a break from the traditional caramel apple for a yogurt-covered version. You will get less sugar and preservatives while satisfying your taste buds.
After your next orchard trip, try this clever hack. Mix yogurt with a combination of honey, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and/or nutmeg. Slice a few apples into wedges and dip them into the mixture. Lay the slices on a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze and enjoy.
4. No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bites
For another energizing treat, whip up a batch of no-bake oatmeal bites. This good-for-you snack is easy to make and requires zero fancy kitchen skills.
In a bowl, mix 1 cup uncooked oatmeal, 1/2 cup peanut/almond/sunflower butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup ground flaxseed, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice. Mold into balls and store in the fridge. Once they have completely set, your oatmeal bites are ready to go.
5. Pumpkin Cupcakes
The versatility of pumpkin puree is something special. Did you know that you can use it as an egg substitute in your favorite cupcake recipe? Simply replace each egg with 1/4 cup pumpkin. It is a fool-proof way to give this basic dessert a fall spin.
The fun does not stop at cupcakes, though. You can also use this hack for cakes, brownies, waffles, and pancakes.
6. Marbled Pumpkin Brownies
Take it up a notch by marbling your brownies with pumpkin-infused cream cheese. This hack is excellent for upgrading a plain brownie recipe that needs an extra something.
Combine a 3-ounce block of low-fat cream cheese with 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Add dollops of this mixture to raw brownie batter while it is in the pan. Use a fork to swirl it around and bake according to the recipe’s directions.
7. Cinnamon Carrot Custard
Custard desserts are often made with high-fat creams and loads of sugar. Fortunately, there is a way to indulge without sacrificing nutrition. The secret lies within carrots and a few clever tricks.
To make a custard out of carrots, boil 1 1/2 cups cubed carrots for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Blend into a smooth puree. Next, add and blend 2 lightly beaten eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup milk of your choice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Evenly divide the mixture into greased ramekins and place them in a deep glass baking pan. Pour enough water into the pan to submerge the ramekins halfway. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool and top with coconut whipped cream.
8. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
It goes without saying that the autumn season is not complete without pumpkin carving. This year, save the seeds and roast them for a quick and tasty snack. It is the best way to make the most out of each and every pumpkin.
Rinse the seeds in water and toss with coconut oil, a dash of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, if you would like. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Use it as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or even pasta.
9. Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait
Sometimes, all you need is a quick fix to cure that stubborn sweet tooth. That is where a homemade parfait comes in. This simple concoction can be customized depending on your cravings and preferences.
Grab your favorite mug and layer plain Greek yogurt with any combination of oatmeal, granola, honey, pumpkin, peaches, apples, canned pumpkin. Amp up the sweetness with dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
Thanks to these healthy ideas, you will be on your way to living it up this Halloween – and beyond. What is candy again?