Halloween is generally known for it’s candy, which can sometimes look harmless because of the small package but carries a whole lot of calories and sugar for hardly any volume. Just to put it in perspective, would you rather have a small handful of gummy bears or a whole pineapple? Both have the same amount of calories, but for most the gummies would not come close to filling up their stomach while a whole pineapple definitely would!
Here are some tricks for healthy treats that will satiate your guests and not give them sugar highs and crashes like most are used to on Halloween night! Some ideas I have seen to be crowd-pleasers for both taste and looks are…
*Hard Boiled Egg Eyes*
Hard boil a dozen eggs, then let cool. Slice the eggs in half,sprinkle a little hot sauce (like tabasco or tapatio) onto the yellow yolk -for a crazy eye effect. Then add one sliced black olive piece to the center of the yolk for the pupil of the eye.
*Cutie Tangerine Pumpkins*
This one I got from one of my past kid clients (thanks Charlotte!), she brought these to school to hand out to the class on halloween instead of bringing candy-way to go! Buy a bag of Cutie brand tangerines, each cutie represents a pumpkin. Stick a sprig of mint in the top of each cutie with a toothpick (for the vine) and then either draw on the peel a jack-o-lantern face or carve one out on each.
*Orange and Black Fingers with Dip*
Make a big tray of black bean hummus (combine black beans,tahini,garlic,olive oil, lime juice,cumin,any other spices and mix in a food processor). Use mini carrots and sliced orange bell peppers as the ‘chips’ and serve them sticking straight up out of the tray of dip.
*Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix*
Add to a big bowl roasted pumpkin seeds, raisins, almonds, and air-popped (not with butter) popcorn. Then mix in pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s, if you do not live near a Trader Joe’s just mix in cinnamon and nutmeg.
*Orowheat Bat Sandwiches*
Slice orowheat sandwich thins into fun shapes by using halloween cookie cutters-some shapes that work well for sandwich construction include, pumpkins, bats and ghosts. Then fill the sandwich thins with an assembly line of sandwich fixings including sliced tomatoes, turkey, chicken, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers and mustard.
Lower calorie beverage options…
For the Kids:
*Make your own ice cubes by filling up ice cube trays with water then adding a few drops of orange,red and green food dye for a creepy twist. Add these cubes to flavored sparkling orange creme water (found at Vons).
*Use fresh squeezed orange juice and then add a splash of low sugar cranberry juice to individual cups. For an extra spooky feel, drop lychees into the juice-they look and feel like eyeballs!
For the Adults:
*Mix together a little bit of vanilla vodka with diet sprite or ginger ale and a splash of orange juice, garnish with a peeled grape.
*Make your own Bloody Mary with plain vodka, low sodium tomato juice, a splash of tabasco, and garnish with celery, asparagus and an olive.
I would love to hear other suggestions on how you enjoy a healthy halloween, please share!
Jessica Hummel, Nutrition Counselor