If you’re planning a Halloween party, or simply are looking to be in the theme of the holiday, but with with your little goblins consuming less sugar, then these simple, healthy tips and tricks will have you screaming for more!
Start by using October’s abundance of fresh vegetables to your advantage, such as pomegranates, apples, oranges, grapes, and peppers. Then use your culinary magic, or better yet, ask the children to participate! As an unique themed cookbook author, I have found that presentation does matter and that children will gravitate to unique-themed food, moreso than candy if it is presented in a magical, creative way. Gina Meyers is the author of the new e-book Catch A Clue Scooby Doo: An Unofficial Halloween Cookbook, Hands on Halloween: Cookbook for Kids as well as From Muggles to Magic: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbookand Love at First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook. Do be left holding the candy bag by getting your little ghosts and witches to try these spooktacular and healthy Halloween meals and snacks.
1. Popcorn, a kid-pleasing whole grain, doesn’t need to be loaded with butter and salt for this Halloween treat. Pop a couple of batches of plain popcorn and allow to cool.
2. Grab a pair of clear disposable gloves that are approved for food handling. Place a piece of candy corn in the glove for the “fingernail.”
3. Fill each glove with air-popped popcorn and tie a black or orange ribbon on the base.
4. For extra fun, fill a glove with water and a little red or black food coloring, wrap the base tightly with rubber bands and freeze solid. Then peel off the glove and add the frozen hand to your punchbowl!
1. Put your bat- and witch-shaped cookie cutters to new use. Cut shapes out of lightly salted soft tortillas. (Flour, corn or whole wheat will do.)
2. Place the tortilla shapes on a sprayed baking sheet and bake at 325 F for 3 minutes. Voila! You’ve got custom Halloween chips to serve with a protein-packed black bean dip or fresh tomato salsa.
3. Bonus: Those cutters are also terrific for adding a new twist to sandwiches. PB&J or hummus on whole-wheat bread is a treat when cut into bite-size ghosts and pumpkins.
Pepper and Orange “Pumpkins”
1. Think outside the pumpkin when you carve! Try using an orange bell pepper as a serving bowl. With a small knife (or a knife from your pumpkin carving kit), cut a circle around the stem. Then remove the seeds and carve a simple spooky face right through the pepper.
2. Pour a little low-fat ranch dressing (or another healthy dip) into the pepper and place carrot and celery sticks in the top.
3. Navel oranges are also easier and cleaner to carve than a pumpkin. Use a small knife to cut eyes, a nose and a mouth — jack-o’-lantern-style — just far enough into the rind to reveal the white pith. Kids will love to peel off the face and eat the juicy orange flesh beneath. Spooky!
1. A plate of nutritious vegetables can be a delight if you let your creativity run free. Use a large tray as your canvas and cut up pieces of crunchy vegetables such as celery, carrots, red pepper strips, snow peas, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower florets.
2. Assemble the veggies to make a skeleton body or a crunchy cat — perfect for dipping into that pepper bowl. Your kids will be screaming for more.
3 cups of popped popcorn
2 Tablespoons of melted butter or margarine
1 Tablespoon of salt
½ cup of sugar
¼ cup of cinnamon
Directions: In a large bowl, place the popped popcorn, pour melted butter or margarine and sprinkle in remaining ingredients remembering to toss and stir the popcorn as you go along.