Have a Healthy Halloween!

halloween

Halloween is coming! So many sugary treats are spotlighted this time of year and Halloween seems to be the gateway into a sugar and treat filled holiday season. Don’t get sucked into “well, it’s the holidays” trap of indulging too much and regretting it later. You can still have lots of fun with your family and friends by using some of these fun Halloween-themed food ideas instead!

Original Post: 13 Healthy Halloween Treats

Jack-o’-Lantern Fruit Cups
Add color and fun to your Halloween with these smiling jack-o’-lantern faces carved into navel oranges. Slice off the tops of the oranges, scoop out the pulp, use a paring knife to cut out jack-o’-lantern faces, and fill with grapes and/or mixed berries.Jack O' Lantern Fruit Cups Halloween Snack
Photo by Frugal Coupon Living

Orange You Lovin’ Fall Fruit Salad
Save the pulp from your jack-o’-lantern fruit cups to make this fruit salad. Fill small mason jars with pineapple slices, orange wedges, and top with Greek yogurt.
Fruit salad candy corn Halloween Snack
Photo by Amanda Meixner

Slithering Snake Dip
Eek! What is lurking in your hummus? A slithering snake made from black olives! Cute Food for Kids carved beady eyes from string cheese and added a carrot tongue. Even those who hate serpents will love this little guy.
Snake in Hummus Halloween Snack
Photo by Cute Food for Kids

Candy Corn Popsicles
Here’s a healthier spin on candy corn! These colorful homemade popsicles are made from pineapple juice, orange juice, and yogurt. We want the popsicles! Click here to get the recipe.
Candy Corn Popsicles Halloween Snack
Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Mummified Apples
Googly eyes and gauze tape turn green apples into mummies that are almost too cute to bite into.
Mummy Apples Halloween Snack
Photo by Marci Coombs

Monster Pie
Kids will love this Monsters, Inc. tart because it’s so darn cute, and well, because it’s dessert! Visit Creative and Healthy Fun Food to get this recipe that’s got a filling made from avocado, banana, and almond milk!
Monster Pie Halloween Snack
Photo by Creative and Healthy Fun Food

Spooky Spider Eggs
Deviled eggs (like these) get extra creepy-crawly when they’re topped with spiders. To make eight scary spider eggs, cut 12 black olives in half vertically. Place one half in the center of each egg to form the body, then slice each remaining olive half into four sections to create legs. Shiver.

Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Ghoulish Hard-Boiled Eggs
Let your kids in on the decorating fun! Use black foodsafe ink pens to draw ghostly faces on white hard-boiled eggs. This example from Wit & Whistle shows how simple – and cute! – each drawing can be.
Ghoulish Hard Boiled Eggs Halloween Snack
Photo by Wit & Whistle

Frankenstein’s Monster
Is this a trick or a treat? This veggie tray made to look like Frankenstein’s monster is a little bit of both. Let your kids play with their food to help create this healthy platter and they might just be tricked into eating their veggies.
Frankenstein Veggies Halloween Snack
Photo by Blue Skies Ahead

Eyeball Pasta
Start off a night of trick-or-treating with this clever eyeball pasta! Visit Spend with Pennies to see how she used string cheese, black olives, and a straw to create eyeballs of different sizes that stare out of ghoulishly green spinach pasta.
Eyeball Pasta Halloween Snack
Photo by Spend with Pennies

Jack-o’-Lantern Clementines
Pick up a foodsafe pen and the whole family can have fun decorating the skin of clementines, tangerines, or oranges with spooky or smiling faces. Pop these into lunch boxes the week leading up to Halloween.
Jack O' Lanterns drawn on clementines Halloween Snack
Photo by Princess and the Frog Blog

Pumpkin Veggie Tray
This veggie platter is a Halloween party essential! Mom Endeavors shares some tips for constructing this spooky pumpkin from baby carrots and black olives. The stem can be made from broccoli, the end of cucumber, or a celery stick. Serve with Slithering Snake Dip!
Carrot Jack O' Lantern Veggie Tray Halloween Snack
Photo by Mom Endeavors

Banana Ghosts and Orange Pumpkins
Boo! Turn bananas into spooky ghosts with chocolate chip eyes and mouths made from chocolate covered raisins. Make a pumpkin patch out of peeled clementines or tangerines. Just use a sprig of celery in the center for the stem!
Banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins Halloween Snack

Here are 8 more fun ideas for healthy Halloween treats to make for home or for you child’s school party!

And here are 13 alternatives to handing out candy on Halloween night

 

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Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Punch & Baked Doughnuts

pumpkin-punch

It’s getting closer to Halloween and the treats seem to be everywhere! Show your family how yummy healthier versions of store bought treats can be. Involve your kids to help mix up the pumpkin punch, and they’ll LOVE the magic of making their very own doughnuts at home. These treats aren’t 100% clean, but they’re what I like to call “cheating clean”–a healthier alternative to a cheat meal that’s full of sugar and calories. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Punch

  • 1-2 scoops of mango sorbet (found in the ice cream aisle)
  • half V8 fruit fusion peach mango flavor
  • half FIZZE sparkling clementine beverage (found in the aisle with other glass bottle sodas, although this is NOT a soda)

For some extra fun, have kids decorate their clear plastic cups to look like pumpkins with permanent markers–like a Sharpie (washable ones will smudge all over their hands). Do this BEFORE you mix the punch to avoid spills.

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, milk, egg, oil and vanilla.
  4. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Using a spoon mix until just combined. Do not overmix or the doughnuts will be tough. Use a pastry bag or large plastic bag to pipe the mixture into the donut pan. (You can purchase donut pans online at stories like amazon, or at stored like Bed, Bath & Beyond) Alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the molds, but the finished doughnuts may not appear as even.
  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed gently around the edges. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the doughnuts cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the molds to release the doughnuts. Invert the donuts on the rack and cool completely, or enjoy warm.

Variation: Substitute applesauce for pumpkin for healthy baked applesauce doughnuts

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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Applesauce

applesauce

When life gives you apples, make applesauce! It’s apple season, so take advantage of local You-Pick orchards, buy them fresh at a farmer’s market, or just find a good deal at the store! There’s just something about homemade applesauce….it tastes so much better than store bought and it’s better for you too! Store bought apple sauce has a lot of added sugar and preservatives. I love knowing exactly what my family is eating and that it’s healthy for them!

Apples are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. The flavonoids in apples reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure, reduce excessive fat production in liver cells and lower your risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber in apples lowers your risk of heart disease by decreasing your bad cholesterol levels. Studies have shown the pectin in apples is a natural appetite suppressant, making them a great way to curb your appetite.

Applesauce makes a great healthy snack for kids and adults and it can be used as a substitute for oil in your baking recipes.

Applesauce is seriously so easy to make yourself and can for your family’s use throughout the year. You don’t need any fancy ingredients, tools, or special knowledge. Just follow these easy steps!

  1. Pick your apples. I like red apples for applesauce because they tend to be sweeter.img_7496 You can choose to either peel your apples or leave the skins on. Then just core your apples and cut them into chunks. Keep in mind about 6-8 medium apples will make 1 quart of applesauce.

2. Place apple chunks in a pot on the stove with about 1 cup of water per every 8 apples. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5-7 minutes.

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3. When apples are tender, remove pot from heat and use potato masher to mash apples to desired consistency. For a smoother applesauce, you can put the contents of your pot into the blender. If your applesauce is too thick, you can add water until you reach the right consistency. I try to get mine to be a little runnier than pudding. During this step, you can also  add your sugar or cinnamon. Personally, I don’t add anything to my applesauce. Homemade applesauce is already pretty sweet, and the sauce will continue to sweeten as it sits on the shelf. I’d rather add cinnamon or maybe a natural sweetener to individual servings if I feel like I need it later on.

4. Once your applesauce is at the consistency you want, pour sauce into clean, sterilized jars and put on the lids and rings.

5. In a large stock pot with a lid, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add jars of applesauce.

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Make sure water covers the tops of your jars. Put the lid on your stockpot and process your jars in boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove jars from water to cool on the counter top. As jars cool, the lids should “pop” indicating they are sealed. Sometimes it can take several hours for the lids to pop. If you press down on the tops of your lids and it gives/ makes a popping sound, your jar is not sealed. You can try processing in boiling water again, or just put the jar in your fridge to use in the next few days.

And that’s it! Now you have homemade applesauce to enjoy throughout the year!

For my recipe for strawberry applesauce, click HERE!

Tasty Tuesday: 5 Ways to Use Zucchini

zucchini

It seems like all anyone knows how to do with zucchini is make bread. Which is fine, but some zucchini bread recipes are really unhealthy with lots of added sugar and oil. If you’re looking for some healthier ways to use your garden zucchini, try these 5 healthy, clean eating recipes:

  1. zucchini-pizza-boats6+srgb.
    Photo Via

    Zucchini Pizza Boats

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 boats, about 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 6 small zucchini (2 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (I used Classico Four Cheese)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1.4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, set aside.
  • Cut each zucchini into halves through the length (if they don’t lie flat trim a thin portion from bottoms so that they will lie mostly flat. I only had to do this with one of them). Pat insides dry with paper towels (cut portion). Align on prepared baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic then brush lightly over tops of zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste then brush a slightly heaping 1 Tbsp marinara sauce over each zucchini, leaving a small rim near edges uncoated. Sprinkle tops evenly with mozzarella cheese then with parmesan cheese. Top with pepperoni slices (placing them more near centers as the cheese will melt and spread). Bake in preheated oven 12 – 18 minutes (bake time will vary depending on how thick your zucchini are and how crisp/tender you want them).
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped fresh oregano. Serve warm.
  • Recipe Source: The Comfort of Cooking

2. Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients

  • 3-4 large zucchini
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (panko or itlian or a mixture of both)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil or parchment paper and lightly grease with oil. Set aside.
  2. Combine 2 eggs in a small shallow bowl and set aside. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in another bowl and set aside. Pre-pare zucchini by trimming the ends and cutting into ½ inch strips or slices.
  3. Dip zucchini strips into egg mixture then in breadcrumb mixture and transfer to pre-greased baking sheet. Repeat until all the zucchini strips are coated with egg and breadcrumbs.
  4. Seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic powder then drizzle with olive oil or generously spray with cooking spray.
  5. Bake in preheated oven, turning once, until golden and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and crispy. Enjoy hot with chipotle sauce, ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce!

3. Zucchini Salsazucchinisalsa

4. Zucchini Tots

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 packed cup grated zucchini
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel until you have 1 packed cup.  Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini, there will be a lot of water. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small ovals. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, turning halfway though cooking until golden. Makes 16.

5. Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles (Thanks to Jackie, one of my challengers for sharing this with me!)

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Photo Via

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each, ends trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 6 oz skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp crushed dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions along diagonal

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp reduced soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Directions:

Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade (this makes a thicker noodle), or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long so they’re easier to eat.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about  30 seconds. Add the bell pepper, stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don’t worry the zucchini will release moisture which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, mix in chicken and divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with peanuts and scallions.

Tasty Tuesday: Going Bananas over these clean eating recipes

bananas

Have some bananas lying around? Don’t let them go to waste! Try these delicious, clean-eating recipes that use bananas for a healthy treat.

Bananas are naturally fat and cholesterol free. Use mashed bananas to substitute for some or all of the butter or oil when making cookies, for example, for a healthier treat. Bananas are known for their high potassium content, with over 400 mg potassium in a single medium-size banana. According to Colorado State University Extension, potassium is necessary for good nerve and muscle function as well as for maintaining a healthy balance of fluids in the body. The potassium in bananas can help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Bananas also have Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Manganese, and Fiber. (source)

So why no banana bread? An average slice of banana bread has 196 calories and 33g of carbs. This first recipe is way to still get than banana bread goodness with less calories and carbs: a serving a cinnamon bananas has only 73 calories and only 19g of carbs.

Recipe2.CinnamonBananas

Next up, try this Elvis Shake for a refreshing drink:

  • 2 large bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (can use almond, soy, or coconut milk)
  • 6 tablespoons nut butter (either peanut or almond)
  • 2 table spoons honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups crushed ice cubes

Place ingredients into blender and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately.

avacadopudding

Need a chocolate fix? Number 3 on the list is a childhood favorite: Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

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No. 4: 2 Ingredient Flour-less Pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

mash eggs & banana (and cinnamon)  together and fry them like regular pancakes! Serve with fresh fruit

No 5: Try these energy bites for an afternoon pick me up! I love when I can “clean cheat” a snack that tastes like a treat!

Recipe1.energyballs

 

 

 

Tasty Tuesday:Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

avacadopudding

Does anyone else get freaked out by foods that don’t seem to expire? Pudding is one of those store bought foods that has so many added and processed ingredients in it that it seems to have an eternal shelf life (seriously, my friend opened a package from her parent’s food storage room that “expired” in the 90’s and it looked exactly the same as a new package–not cool!) Unfortunately, pudding is a food that kids love and beg for when we’re at the store. Heck, even some adults love the creamy texture and sweet flavor.

I was able to find a clean eating version of this popular snack and it’s amazing! So many good for you ingredients and this is one of those fun recipes that kids can help with.

Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

  1. place avocados, bananas, and honey into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth
  2. add vanilla extract and unsweetened cocoa powder to avocado mixture and continue blending until well combined
  3. divide pudding into 4 single serve cups and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. These are best served very cold.

 

Tasty Tuesday: Guilt Free Frozen Treats

 

frozentreats

The days are getting hotter around here and sometimes a frozen treat just sounds so good! Keep cool this summer with these guilt-free frozen “ice cream” ideas. Both are dairy free and come together in less than 15 minutes. And the process of watching the ingredients turn into “ice cream” is so magical, your kids will love helping you prepare this too!

2 Ingredient Dole Whip:

 

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or you can use almond milk)

1 Cup frozen pineapple

Place ingredients in food processor (or a blender works if you don’t have one) and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency.. Eat immediately or put in freezer for later. Makes 2 servings

4 Ingredient Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream

2 bananas frozen in slices

1/2 cup strawberries

1 and 1/4 tsp Vanilla

1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

Place all ingredients in food processor (or blender) and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Eat immediately or put in freezer for later. Garnish with fresh strawberries if desired. Makes 4 servings

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