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I simply can’t believe it’s almost Halloween once again. Weren’t we all just playing in the sprinklers but a few weeks ago? Now the leaves are crunching under my feet, the blackberries here in the Pacific Northwest are all gone, and the skies are a chilly, brilliant sapphire blue. It’s the time of year when I can enjoy going out for long walks or bike rides in the cold and look forward to coming home to a mug of something hot alongside a little something sweet.
In the spirit of Halloween, let’s get some ideas for healthy sweets perfect for sharing at your next costume party, or simply alongside that welcoming mug of spiced tea. Halloween doesn’t have to mean cheap processed stuff (and chocolate that isn’t even real chocolate!) when you have incredible options like these. I’ve chosen a few recipes from favorite bloggers that fulfill the requirements for treats that are all natural, healthy and most importantly – sweetly delicious!
I can’t get enough of talented Sarah Britton from My New Roots. Her recipes are inspired: Her flavor combinations leave you wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The next time you lament the dairy-free dessert options at your local market, check out her recipe for Apple Spice Sorbet made with coconut milk, apples, spices, maple syrup and coconut oil. It’s an elegant fall recipe, and I’m tempted to substitute the apples for chunked pumpkin.
If you’ve been reading the Zing blog for any length of time, you’d know that we’re big fans of nutritionists and authors Tom and Alicia over at Nourishing Meals. Alicia’s recipe for Halloween Maple Sunbutter Bites is the antidote to those other chewy rolled candies. With only three ingredients, they are simple to make and are great for parties and trick-or-treaters.
The recipe-sharing site Food52 is always tempting me with new ways to make traditional recipes even better. This is a take on crisped rice treats, but with a little hippie thrown in. Hippie Crispy Treats might need to make an appearance at this year’s office party.
Peanut butter and chocolate are favorites here at Zing (go figure, two of our flavors feature that combo!) Elana’s pantry gives us a chocolate peanut butter fix in candy form with her all-natural Nut Butter Cups.
On the chocolate and peanut butter theme, fellow Dietitian Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean blog adds heart-healthy avocado to this classic combination. Check out her flour-free Peanut Butter Avocado Cookies using just oats, avocado, peanut butter, dark chocolate and natural sweeteners.
The Spunky Coconut is a whiz at gluten and dairy-free baking. These Halloween Cookies are perfect for the kids. While you’re at it, get inspired with her Cherry and Chocolate Halloween Candies.
It just wouldn’t be Halloween without roasting pumpkin seeds. They are full of heart-healthy fats and high in zinc. Here’s a simple recipe from The Kitchn where you can add any spices you have on hand.
How are you making your Halloween a little healthier and tastier this year?
Christine Weiss MS, RD, CDE is a dietitian and Bastyr University graduate who counsels people dealing with food allergies, diabetes and digestive issues. She enjoys working with Zing Bars to raise awareness about healthy living through online media.