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  • Amanda Nicole RDN

Healthy Halloween Treats


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, trick-or-treating may not be possible for your family to participate in safely.  Just because trick-or-treating may not be happening this year, doesn’t mean you and your family can’t celebrate Halloween! I have compiled a list of my favorite Halloween treats and snacks that you and your family can make together for a fun Halloween night in, full of healthy treats and zero tricks.  I have also included some of my favorite store-bought treats that are 100% Dietitian approved!  I hope you enjoy these festive healthy recipes and have a Happy Halloween! 


White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts

Ingredients: 1 carton of strawberries, 2 cups white chocolate chips, 1 cup dark (or milk) chocolate chips, 1 and ½ tbsp coconut oil.  


Directions: 

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry strawberries leaving stems on

  2. Microwave white chocolate chips with 1 tbsp coconut oil in 30-second increments until melted and smooth

  3. Dip each strawberry in melted white chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet

  4. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes until set

  5. Microwave dark chocolate chips with ½ tbsp coconut oil in 30-second increments until melted and smooth

  6. Spoon melted chocolate into a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut a small hole on one corner

  7. Remove strawberries from the fridge and pipe dark chocolate ghost faces on them

  8. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!


Benefits of these ingredients: Strawberries are high in fiber and antioxidants, specifically polyphenols(5).  White chocolate contains Calcium that is essential for strong bones and teeth, and heart, muscle, and nerve function (7).  Dark chocolate is rich in Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus, and Flavanols that may help with heart health (4).  The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil makes it a heart-healthy because it does not affect the biosynthesis and transport of cholesterol (2).


Pumpkin Patch Fruit Ghosts and Ghouls

Ingredients: 5 clementines peeled and left whole, 1 celery stalk, 2 bananas, ½ cup milk or dark chocolate chips + 1 tsp coconut oil, ½ cup white chocolate chips + 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 granny smith apple cored and quartered, 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter, 16 sunflower seeds, 1 strawberry sliced.


Directions: 

For the Pumpkins: 

  1. Cut celery stalk lengthwise and then cut into 5 ½ inch ‘stems’

  2. Insert stems into tops of clementines


For the Ghosts:

  1. Cut each banana in half to make 4 ghost heads 

  2. Microwave dark/milk chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30 second increments until melted and smooth

  3. Spoon melted chocolate into a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut a small hole on one corner

  4. Pipe faces onto ghosts and refrigerate for 10-15min to set 


For the Apple Ghouls:

  1. Microwave white chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30 second increments until melted and smooth

  2. Spoon melted chocolate into a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut a small hole on one corner

  3. On parchment paper, pipe 6 ⅛ inch white chocolate circles

  4. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set

  5. Using the leftover melted milk/dark chocolate from the ghosts, pipe small dots onto the white chocolate circles to make eyes, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to set

  6. Cut out wedges in the center of each apple quarter and spread each wedge with peanut butter

  7. Poke the pointy end of each sunflower seed into the top of each wedge to form teeth

  8. Place the strawberry ‘tongues’ in each wedge under the teeth

  9. Using peanut butter, secure the eyes onto each apple quarter 


Benefits of these ingredients: Celery contains a high amount of vitamin K, one cup contains about 30% of the recommended daily amount (12).  Clementines are nutrient rich and contain vitamin C, potassium, folate acid, and Beta-cryptoxanthin (8).  Bananas contain potassium and magnesium which are essential for heart health, they are also a good source of fiber (1).  Apples contain high amounts of polyphenols which have shown to benefit health against cancer, asthma and pulmonary dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others (6).  Peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons making it an excellent source of plant protein (10).  Sunflower seeds contain high amounts of vitamin E and selenium which function as antioxidants and protect against free radical damage (9). Strawberries are also packed with vitamins including potassium, manganese, and vitamin C, just one serving or about eight strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange (5).   


Apple Monster Teeth

Ingredients: 1 red apple, 1 bag of mini marshmallows, 2-3 tbsp creamy peanut butter


Directions: 

  1. Core and slice the apple into 8-10 slices depending on size

  2. Spread one side of each slice with peanut butter

  3. Place mini marshmallows on peanutbutter of one slice, and secure with peanut butter with another slice

  4. Repeat with each slice until all are used 


Benefits of these ingredients: Apple consumption has been shown to have beneficial effects on  weight management and diabetes (6).  Peanut butter is high in mono and polyunsaturated fats which can help improve cholesterol levels (10).


PB&J Spiders

Ingredients: 1 box of store bought crustless PB&J sandwiches, 40 pretzel sticks, chocolate chips, 1 tsp peanut butter


Directions: 

  1. Poke pretzel sticks into crustless PB&J to form eight legs

  2. Using a small amount of peanut butter, secure chocolate chips onto the bread as eyes

  3. Repeat with each sandwich until all are transformed to spiders


Benefits of these ingredients: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may seem childish but they are packed full of vitamins! One sandwich typically contains 20% of the recommended daily vitamin E intake, 27% of folate, and 42% of niacin.  They are also a good source of the minerals iron and zinc (3).  


Perfect Snacks Peanut Butter Cups



Short on time but still want a nutritious treat? Perfect Snacks Peanut Butter Cups are here to help!  I have been loving these lately and they come in so many different flavors there is something for everyone.  They have half the sugar as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup as well as 7 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber making them a more filling balanced snack.  They are made from clean ingredients including fresh ground organic peanut butter, honey, and 20+ organic superfoods and fair trade dark chocolate.  The dried whole food powders make them an excellent source of vitamins and fiber and include kale, flax seed, rose hip, orange, lemon, papaya, tomato, apple, alfalfa, celery, kelp, dulse, carrot, and spinach (11).   


I hope you find these festive treats fun to make and delicious to eat, they are quick and simple to make and made with nutritious ingredients.  They are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween and make great treats (no tricks!) to gift to friends and family.  And if you don’t have time to make homemade treats, try Perfect Snacks Peanut Butter Cups, they are so good even your kids will love them and are a great balanced snack for when you want a little something sweet.  Happy Halloween!


References:

  1. Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN, A. (2018, October 18). 11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas. Retrieved October 04, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-bananas#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

  2. Boateng, L., Ansong, R., Owusu, W., & Steiner-Asiedu, M. (2016, September). Coconut oil and palm oil's role in nutrition, health and national development: A review. Retrieved October 04, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044790/

  3. Busch, S. (2018, November 21). What Are the Benefits of Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches? Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-peanut-butter-jelly-sandwiches-5553.html

  4. Dark Chocolate. (2020, June 10). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate/

  5. Gabrick, A. (2008, March 31). Nutritional Benefits of the Strawberry. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutritional-benefits-of-the-strawberry

  6. Hyun, T., & Jang, K. (2016, September 19). Apple as a source of dietary phytonutrients: An update on the potential health benefits of apple. Retrieved October 04, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225682/

  7. Ipatenco, S. (2018, November 27). Is White Chocolate Healthy? Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/white-chocolate-healthy-3895.html

  8. Kelly Plowe, M. (n.d.). Clementine Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Retrieved October 04, 2020, from https://www.verywellfit.com/clementine-nutrition-facts-4584911

  9. McCulloch, MS, RD, M. (2018, November 22). Are Sunflower Seeds Good for You? Nutrition, Benefits and More. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sunflower-seeds

  10. Peanut Butter Benefits: Nutritional Facts & More. (2020, May 15). Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://peanut-institute.com/peanut-products/peanut-butter/

  11. Peanut Butter Cups - Fill your cup one (or two) cups at a time! (n.d.). Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://perfectsnacks.com/collections/cups

  12. Szalay, J. (2015, April 28). Celery: Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts. Retrieved October 04, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/50640-celery-nutrition.html


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©2019 by Amanda Nicole RDN LLC