by AnnaMarie Couce
Now that it is October, we are all excited about Halloween. It is easy to be tempted by all of the candy and treats lying around this month. Here are some fun recipes to swap out your candy bars for that will still satisfy your sweet tooth!
1. Dark Chocolate Covered Apples (1)
Caramel apples are a fall tradition, but the sugary caramel can cause a large spike in blood sugar. Try this recipe to boost the nutritional value of apples. Apples contain an anti-inflammatory compound called quercetin; flavonoid-rich dark chocolate boosts the benefits when eaten together. Because of this, dark chocolate and apples are great for heart health! (2)
Ingredients: 4 apples, 4 skewers, 1 cup dark chocolate, and parchment paper
Directions: Remove the apple stems and insert the skewers into the top of the apples. Melt the dark chocolate baking discs or chips using a double boiler or in a microwave. When the chocolate has melted, slowly rotate each apple until all sides are covered in chocolate. Place on a tray lined with parchment or wax paper and set in the fridge to cool.
2. Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (3)
After carving your jack-o-lanterns, make sure to save the seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E. Antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. (4) This recipe is a different take on the typical roasted pumpkin seeds.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. If your pumpkin seeds are wet from washing, dry them a bit on a clean dish towel or on paper towels.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl. In a small microwave safe bowl, add the butter, oil or coconut oil, and honey. Microwave until the butter melts and the honey is runny. Pour the honey mixture over the pumpkin seeds and stir. Add the cinnamon and stir again.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over both ends. Dump the pumpkin seeds into the middle of the paper and place it in the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the seeds and honey are a deep golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. When the seeds are roasted, remove from the oven and stir again. Stir a few times as they cool to keep them from sticking in one big lump. Enjoy the seeds once they are cool enough to eat. Store uncovered for up to one week.
3. Kettle Corn (5)
Popcorn provides a significant amount of fiber. One serving of popcorn contains 16 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake. High fiber foods keep you fuller longer, making this a great snack! (6)
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the popcorn kernels, sugar, and salt. Add the coconut oil to a medium pot, and melt over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the popcorn kernels and stir with a spatula until they’re evenly coated.
Cover the pot with a lid, and shake it every 2-3 seconds until you can count 5 full seconds between pops. Immediately pour the popcorn into a large bowl, and let it cool for 5 minutes before breaking apart any large clumps.
These treats are no trick. Have a happy and healthy Halloween!
- Steinhilber B. 10 Healthy Halloween Treats for Kids. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-halloween-treats-for-kids.aspx. Accessed October 9, 2019.
- Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutrition Journal. 2004;3(1). doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-5.
- Griffiths M, Griffiths M, Sara, et al. Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe. Bless this Mess. https://www.blessthismessplease.com/honey-roasted-pumpkin-seeds-cinnamon/. Published September 19, 2019. Accessed October 9, 2019.
- Kwon Y-I, Apostolidis E, Kim Y-C, Shetty K. Health Benefits of Traditional Corn, Beans, and Pumpkin: In Vitro Studies for Hyperglycemia and Hypertension Management. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2007;10(2):266-275. doi:10.1089/jmf.2006.234.
- Alycia, Amy, Kelle. Home. Amys Healthy Baking. https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2015/03/09/skinny-stovetop-kettle-corn/. Accessed October 9, 2019.
- Anderson JW, Baird P, Jr RHD, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition Reviews. 2009;67(4):188-205. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x.