Did you know…$1.9 billion of candy is sold each Halloween!
That’s 598 million pounds of candy…and 1,280 BILLION calories!!!
As harvest time rolls around this year, we may find ourselves scrambling for goodies that are both nutritious and portable. Instead of picking treats made from pounds of sugar, artificial colorings, additives, and preservatives, let’s go for ones with natural ingredients or make our own!
Fun-sized treats have their place, but why not go beyond Snickers this year with a sweet or savory treat that won’t scare you away?
Try out some of these Healthy Halloween ideas, this week starting with Sweet Options:
CEREAL AND GRANOLA BARS
You can get the best nutritional wallop by picking organic brands, ones made with real fruit and whole grains, or ones with the least processed ingredients. Cereal bars can be a rich sources of fiber, folic acid, iron, and protein!
A fun treat for the kids and adults alike. Take a peeled banana and cut in half width-wise. Push a Popsicle stick into the bottom of each banana, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 3 hours or until firm. Place 1.5 oz white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 1 minute until melted. Spread melted white chocolate on frozen banana halves, press on currants or mini chocolate chips for eyes and mouths!
ORANGE CHOCOLATE ALMOND CLUSTERS
2 cups chocolate chunks, 1 tsp orange extract, 1 cup almonds toasted and coarsely chopped, 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut toasted. Melt chocolate over very low heat, stir in extract, allow toasted almonds and coconut to cool, 10-15 minutes, and then stir them into melted chocolate. Drop heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Allow to cool
Take a bite out of your waistline with these sensible, holiday snacks. What you’ll need: apples and slivered almonds. Quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.
VANILLA ALMOND BUTTER BALLS
Vanilla almond butter – 1/2 cup creamy roasted almond butter + 1/2 tbsp. agave nectar or honey + 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (stir together). Stir in 2 tbsp. golden flax meal. Roll nut butter mixture into ball (approximately 1 tablespoon size). Melt 1 cup chocolate chunks in a small pan over very low heat. Drop balls into melted chocolate and take out with tongs, laying on piece of parchment paper. Allow to harden. Sprinkle with celtic sea salt (optional). Enjoy!
½ cup Medjool dates, pitted; 1 cup walnuts, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder; 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp celtic sea salt (optional). Place dates, walnuts, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt (optional) in a food processor, Magic Bullet, etc. Pulse on high speed until smooth. Remove mixture from food processor and roll into little balls.
Next week we will explore salty and savory Halloween treats. Enjoy!
Written by: Amanda Wood, Registered Dietitian at PRO Medical
Amanda provides nutrition counseling for clients enrolled in the 20/20 Lifestyles program. Her weekly nutrition consultations provide personalized nutrition education to promote weight loss and improve quality of life. Prior to joining PRO Medical, she acquired clinical experience at the Center for Bariatric Surgery, University of Washington Medical Center, and UW Roosevelt Clinic. Amanda also has experience conducting nutrition research on rare micronutrient deficiencies following gastric bypass surgery.