Last week I did a recipe round up of the foods to eat when you’re sick, but I also talked about the fact that eating tons of sugary processed treats can weaken your immune system and make you susceptible to sickness. “But Katy! Halloween is right around the corner! What am I supposed to do?”
I know, I totally get it. I have to will myself away from the Halloween Candy Isle at the Grocery Store every time I walk in. Even though I KNOW in my bones that junk food is evil, bad, and toxic, I have to actively tell myself to not eat candy all the time. I’m just being honest. BUT I also know that willpower is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. I also know that if I keep healthy food in my house, I am less likely to succumb to temptation.
So maybe you are new to the paleo thing, and wondering how on earth you can navigate this sugary holiday without falling too far off track? Maybe you are anxious that your kids will mutiny and run screaming from the house, vowing to eat all the candy they absolutely can! Well, Matt and Stacy have been doing the Healthy Halloween Thing for 3 years now, and the 4th will be just as fun and just as healthy!
Back in 2011 when they were Paleo Newbies, they wrote about how Halloween is not Scary, with some great suggestions of activities to do around Halloween to get in the positive, healthy spirit, like going pumpkin picking at a local farm, attending a local festival or parade, and also strategies about how to let your kids trick-or-treat, and how to deal with the aftermath, like this fun new game called “Switchcrafted,” which is a book and a game that you can use to switch out your kids candy for healthier foods instead.
They also wrote and hosted their first Healthy Halloween Round Up, where other gluten-free and paleo bloggers submitted recipes for a healthier Halloween feast! By far one of the most adorable recipes was from Lexi’s Kitchen for Kids DIY Banana Mummies & Things.
In 2012 Matt and Stacy hosted their 2nd Annual Healthy Halloween Round-Up and had some really awesome recipe entries! My favorites from this post are the Pumpkin Ice Cream that uses only 4 ingredients from Eat Recycle Repeat and the Pumpkin Snickerdoodle from Tessa the Domestic Diva!
In the Halloween Round Up last year in 2013, Matt and Stacy collected some awesome new recipes from all the healthy bloggers. You can tell that the gluten free/paleo community as a whole is getting better with their recipe creations and their photography by these beautiful recipes. In particular, I really like the Paleo Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Nut-Free) by Tessa the Domestic Diva, Chocolate Fruit Bugs by The Fit Cookie, Paleo Almond Joy Bites by Plaid and Paleo, and these awesome, but spooky Spooky Ghosts and Eyeballs by Equally Yolked! Some other great Halloween Ideas from this 2013 round up were the Yummy Mummys aka Halloweenies by Nom Nom Paleo, and the The Halloween Menu from Gather by Primal Palate that was actually shot at Matt and Stacy’s house!
So those were the great Healthy Halloween recipes of years past, but how about some new fun recipes and ideas to add to the list for this year?
Whole Fruit Based Halloween Treats
While browsing around Pinterest, I was impressed at some of the really creative ideas that are shockingly simple, and use only a few ingredients. I particularly liked these three whole fruit ideas for Apple Mummies from Two Healthy Kitchens, 3 Ingredient Apple Bites from Oh She Glows, and this idea from pinterest to turn simple easy-peel tangerines into mini pumkins with a stick of celery, and bananas on popsicle sticks become friendly ghosts with a few dairy-free chocolate chips.
Cara from Fork and Beans is a very creative blogger, who also happens to be gluten-free and dairy-free, so naturally lots of her recipes are paleo. She has had some very creative Halloween ideas in the past, like her Raw Witches Fingers, and this year is no different! She recently blogged Halloween Fruit Dip and Sun Butter and Apple Jack-O-Lanterns, which are both very simple and delightfully healthy since they are whole fruit based. Cara’s recipe for Raw Witches Fingers contain nuts, but if you wanted to make a nut-free version, you could totally use Matt and Stacy’s recipes for Apple Pie Nut-Free Larabar Wannabes or their Nut-Free Banana Bread Ball recipe. For the “nail,” you could use dehydrated apple chip pieces or large coconut chip flakes instead of the almonds!
Spooky Deviled Eggs
There are also lots of egg inspired Halloween Ideas out there, which is awesome because I love almost all deviled eggs! My favorite ideas were these pictured below, including these Avocado and Wasabi Deviled Eggs by Family Spice. They suggest that you pipe the chilled filling so that it resembles creepy worms, but I think you could also use a Potato Ricer to get the same effect much faster (I saw that technique used to make frosting look like spaghetti noodles while I was studying pastry and cake decorating in culinary school). That recipe also uses a technique described for How To Make Spooky Spiderweb Eggs by using organic frozen cherries or blueberries to create a naturally colored spider web pattern on boiled eggs – how cool! I also really like the orange Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs (easily made paleo by using a paleo mayonnaise) that look like little pumpkins, and of course you can use your favorite paleo deviled egg recipe to make these spider deviled eggs with the addition of some simple black olives! You can also use black olive rings to make googly eyes by making Guacamole Deviled Eggs, then topping with “bloodshot veins” made by piping on Paleo Siracha (or your favorite hot sauce or plain tomato paste) and topping with the sliced black olive rings.
Savory Spooky Recipes
Ali over at Inspiralized has two Primal recipes for Spooky Green Monster Zucchini Noodles and Spooky Sweet Potato Worms with Oozing Beef Eyeballs. To make these recipes dairy-free, we suggest that you substitute a simple nut-based ricotta cheese in the Oozing Beef Eyeballs, and maybe try substituting The Spunky Coconut’s Diary-Free and Nut-Free AIP Hard Cheese for the Mozzarella in the Green Monster Noodle recipe.
My other favorite savory Halloween idea from this year is the Paleo Mummy Dogs (Top 8 Allergen Free) by Predominately Paleo. Aren’t they adorable?
Paleo Halloween Sweet Treats
But I know if you have kiddos you probably can’t get away with not having any Halloween Treats around. I can’t really make any myself because if I do, my husband and I end up eating the whole batch in one huge binge, but I can’t wait until we have a whole brood of munchkins around so that I can make a few treats for the whole family to share. So what would I make if I could?
Well first off I would make these No Bake Twix Bars by Detoxinista because Twix Bars used to be my favorite candy ever. I would also probably make Matt and Stacy’s S more’s Marshmallows because I have been seeing all sorts of S more’s flavored candies in the grocery store (that I keep trying to avert my eyes from) and their recipe is a tried a true favorite.
I’d also make their Pumpkin Delight Cookies, because I actually made them last year as soon as they posted the recipe and I LOVED them. I used their nut-free variation with homemade sunflower seed flour, and filled mine with apple butter. YUM. Perfect in the morning with coffee, and very lightly sweetened. I’ve also been seriously considering making a tiny batch of their new Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies that have me positively drooling over my keyboard. Matt and Stacy are the Whoopie Pie King and Queen, and I love their Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pie recipe. Last time I made that recipe, I made the full recipe and me and my husband ate the whole batch in one night… oops.
Some other cool ideas that caught my eye on pinterest were these cool Candy Corn Popsicles by Paleo Girl’s Kitchen and these Halloween Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting by Queen of Quinoa. The popsicles are sweetened with mostly fruit and a touch of honey, and that awesome orange “frosting” on those cupcakes is made from whipped sweet potatoes and maple syrup. This recipe does a great job of moderating the added sweetener, as their is only a 1/4 cup of honey in the cupcake batter, and 3 tablespoons of maple syrup in the “frosting.” And that is for the whole batch! So even if I were to snarf half a batch in one night (cough cough…. who said that?) I wouldn’t be doing that much damage…
The Teal Pumpkin Project
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Teal Pumpkin Project. This awesome new campaign encourages people to have some non-food treats as an alternative to hand out to kids with allergies. Matt and Stacy have handed out non-food treats in the past, like temporary tattoos or spider rings, but this year it is an official THING! If you want to participate, paint a pumpkin TEAL and place it out front. Other allergy concious families will know you have a special non-food treat for their kids, and it can also be a great way to meet other families that are allergy conscious. I think this is especially cool because growing up, my brother was (and still is) allergic to milk, so my mom had to go through his treats and show him which ones he could eat.
♥ I hope you all have enjoyed this Halloween Round Up and I hope you and your families enjoy a healthy and happy Halloween! And for what it is worth, when I was growing up we didn’t go trick-or-treating every year, and I don’t think I was cheated at all. Sometimes my mom was able to distract us with a church/community festival or party at a friends house, and some years we did talk her into letting us go trick or treating. Even though we weren’t paleo – and paleo wasn’t even a thing then – she would limit the amount of candy we ate each year and tell us to choose 10-15 pieces to keep, and then she threw out the rest. (Nowadays you can donate extra candy to send to troops over seas!) I still had fun, and I also learned important lessons about limits and self-control. Whatever you choose to do this year, have a happy and safe holiday! ♥