How to Make Halloween Treats a Little Less Spooky
Written by Emma Penrod
The calorie counts on most popular Halloween candies vary widely — from jelly beans, which have as little as 35 calories per fun-sized serving, to fun-size Butterfingers candy bars, with more than 100 calories in a single serving. But if you’re looking to cut down on calories or if you’d like a more substantial, natural treat this Halloween season, consider making your own candy. Here are some ideas:
- Make fruit kabobs, drizzling the top with a touch of dark chocolate. To make your kabobs more festive, choose colors such as purple grapes, green kiwi and orange mango. If you have young kids, make frozen banana ghosts by drawing chocolate faces on halved bananas.
- Popcorn balls can be another, easily customized holiday favorite. To keep them healthy, pop your own popcorn and use honey as the combined holding and sweetening agent. For a fun Halloween look, just add a drop or two of food dye and raisins.
- Roasting pumpkin seeds makes a great Halloween tradition. Just save the seeds pulled from your annual jack-o-lantern, rinse them off, and set them out until they’re dry. Then toss them in olive oil before baking at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until the seeds are toasted). Season to taste with salt.
- Small packages of dried fruit are a great replacement for their artificial substitute — fruit snacks or fruit-flavored chewy candies. If you’re feeling creative, kids will love using apple rings, dried apricots and raisins to shape spooky Halloween “eyeballs.” Simply stack an apricot on an apple ring to form the iris and place a raisin in the center for the pupil.
Other healthy foods can be arranged as festive snacks as well. Use a small knife to cut a little slot in a baby carrot, and insert a sliced almond to form fingers. Cut apple slices to resemble a monster’s gaping mouth, and use slivered almonds as the jagged teeth. If you’re especially artistic, you can carve a “brain” out of a watermelon by removing the green rind with a vegetable peeler and carving channels shaped like the folds of the brain with a paring knife. Cutting a flat part off the bottom before you carve will prevent the fruit from rolling.