Halloween festivities are in full swing and while it looks a little different this year, one thing remains constant: Candy. Those tiny, bite-sized, sugary treats wrapped in shiny paper tempt everyone this time of year. "But they're so small", you argue, "what's the harm, right? Maybe just one more mini Milky Way, Kit Kat, and Snickers before bed?" We make deals with ourselves and then end up eating even more because they're so small, but it adds up. The combination of sugar, dairy, and other inflammatory processed ingredients can wreak havoc on our skin, stomach, and sleep.
However, opting for healthier treats is gaining more popularity these days and Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., A.T.C. of The Food Network has even compiled a list of some alternate but equally yummy treats and recipes that anyone can follow in order to normalize healthy eating, even on holiest of junk food holidays! So next time you're at the grocery store, skip the overpriced, overstuffed bags of candy, and grab some of the healthier options below. Get your family together (and off their phones!) and make it a night of Halloween fun that you can repeat year after year.
- Homemade Lollipops
- Pretzel Dippers
- Dark Chocolate
- Fruit Juice Gummies
We've copied some of the recipes below but you can also find them (and more healthy alternatives) on the Food Network website:
Popcorn:Heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil (theaters use coconut oil) until very hot but not smoking (400 to 460 degrees) in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pan with a lid. Add a few kernels-when they pop, add 1 cup kernels in a single layer and put the lid on, leaving it slightly ajar. Shake the pan during popping to keep the kernels from burning. When the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat until the popping stops.
Italian: dried oregano, dried basil, grated Parmesan cheese
British: sea salt, vinegar powder
Tex-Mex: chili powder, dark brown sugar
Asian: wasabi powder, sugar, sea salt
Indian: ground cumin, curry powder, fine salt
You can use pre-made lollipop molds, but it’s even more fun to pour chocolate pops freeform. These impressive treats literally take only minutes to make! Get the kids in the kitchen to help decorate.
Line a sheet pan with a nonstick baking mat and arrange lollipop sticks in a row about 6 inches apart. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Pour a heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate over the top quarter portion of each lollipop stick. Decorate as desired and allow to set for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy immediately or wrap in plastic and use within 3 days.
Per serving (1 piece): Calories 63; Fat 4 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 8 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g
Fruit Juice Gummies:
In a small saucepan, combine juice and sugar; bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle gelatin evenly into juice mixture and whisk well until liquid is smooth and glossy. Pour into molds and transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from molds and store in the refrigerator.
Per serving (20 pieces): Calories 23; Fat 0 g (Saturated 0 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 6 mg; Carbohydrate 4 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 2 g
Enjoy and have a happy and healthy Halloween!