The Scariest Part of Halloween by Cari Culp, RD

Halloween is quickly approaching and the grocery store shelves are abundantly stocked with colorful chemical concoctions, fondly known as candy, that are quite possibly the scariest part of Halloween. Come October 31, almost every child will go trick-or-treating and best of luck to the parent who tries to avoid this. So what is the well-intentioned parent who prefers their child enjoy the holiday eating mostly treats not tricks to do?

Not only is Halloween candy full of tricky chemicals that our body doesn’t recognize, much of it contains trans fat, a chemically altered fat that contributes to cardiovascular disease and inflammation. And, all of it is full of highly processed sugar. You may be wondering how Halloween goes at my house with my 3 year old little Halloween lover so, I thought I would share some of my go to treats to enjoy this Halloween holiday from a real food approach.

First however, I’d like to say that I never want my child to feel deprived of things most other children get to do, which could lead to loss of control when he’s old enough to be left to his own devices so, do we go trick-or-treating? Absolutely! And yes, he eats more conventional candy than I would like on Halloween. My strategy however, involves doing my best to make treats I can feel good about him having, on and around the holiday, and eventually he looses interest in the conventional candy.

Here are three of my favorite real food Halloween treats with ingredients your body will recognize!

Halloween Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup natural almond butter (I like Harris Teeter or Costco brands)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups crispy brown rice cereal (I use Erewhon)

Directions:

Place cereal in a large mixing bowl. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Heat 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add almond butter and brown rice syrup. Whisk constantly until small bubbles begin to form then remove from heat immediately. Whisk in vanilla. Pour mixture into cereal and mix well until all cereal is coated. Transfer mixture to baking dish and press to flatten. Refrigerate to cool then ice with this beautiful Halloween orange icing as desired or slice into bars as is.

*Recipe courtesy of The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook 

Raw Caramel Apple Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • date soaking water as needed

Directions:

Place dates and cashews in two separate bowls, cover each with water and let soak at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Drain dates and cashews but save the date soaking water. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender along with 6-8 tablespoons of the date soaking water and blend until smooth.

*Recipe found here at nourishingmeals.com

Gummy Worms

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup canned, full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup good quality gelatin (I like this brand)
  • Gummy worm molds (like these)

Directions:

Pour berries, lemon juice and coconut milk into a high-powered blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan, add honey and slowly whisk in gelatin. Heat on medium-low, whisking continuously, until the mixture becomes very thin. Remove from heat. Using droppers, drop liquid into molds and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm.

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