October is a tough month to stay healthy. You’ve got pumpkin pie, chocolates and candies surrounding you at all times, and it only gets worse as the month comes to a close. Whether its sneaking that piece of your kid’s Halloween haul or all of the tempting smells and flavors of the season that are so hard to turn down, there’s always something to lure you back to the sweets.
So how do you lighten up your diet without completely cutting out the candy corn? A good start would be to try one of these healthy Halloween treat alternatives with the family. Just be sure not to tell the kids these are healthy – they may go right back to their candy bars!
Halloween Apple Cutouts
– Mini Halloween Cookie Cutter Set
– 5 Granny Smith Apples (or more for a larger crowd)
– Store bought or homemade caramel dip (or peanut butter)
- Cut apples into thin slices across apple, leaving round apple pieces.
- On a cutting board, use mini cookie cutters to cut out assorted halloween shapes in apple pieces. Save both pieces.
- Arrange both the cut-out shapes and round pieces on plate with a bowl of caramel dip. You can sprinkle apple pieces with lemon juice to preserve and prevent browning. However, it is best to prepare these treats just prior to serving.
White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts
– 30 fresh strawberries
– 8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
– 1 teaspoon shortening
– 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
– 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in extract.
- Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts’ tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze 5 minutes.
- In microwave, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each ghost. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Banana Ghost Pops
– 1 cup dried shredded coconut
– 6 raisins
– 12 chocolate chips (mini)
– 3 bananas
– 1.5 cups of orange juice (You can drink it after you dunk the bananas.)
– 6 Popsicle sticks
- Cut the banana in half widthwise and insert a Popsicle stick into the flat end.
- Freeze for a few hours
- Dip in orange juice, followed by shredded coconut. Be sure to grab the dried shredded coconut. We found that moist coconut flakes did not stick to the banana well.
- Place two chocolate chips for eyes and a plump raisin for the mouth.
– Mozzarella string cheese
– Green bell pepper
– Cream cheese
- Wearing plastic gloves or sandwich bags over your hands to keep the cheese as smudge-free as possible, use a paring knife (parents only) to cut each string in half and then carve a shallow area for a fingernail just below the rounded end of each half.
- Mark the joint right below the nail as well as the knuckle joint by carving out tiny horizontal wedges of cheese, as pictured.
- For the fingernails, slice a green bell pepper into 3/8-inch-wide strips. Set the strips skin side down on your work surface and trim the pulp so that it’s about half as thick. Then cut the strips into ragged-topped nail shapes and stick them in place at the ends of the fingers with dabs of cream cheese.
– Slivered almonds
- Quarter and core an apple
- Cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter
- Press slivered almonds in place for teeth
Do you have a favorite healthy Halloween snack? Put on your chef hats and chef coats and post it in the comments below!