Healthy Halloween Treats: Best Dinner Ideas For The Haunting HolidayMartina Crocker
Halloween has grown into one of the most popular holidays of the year. According to the National Retail Foundation (NRF), nearly 70-percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year and $2.6 billion will be spent on candy. However, you don’t have to suffer sugar-overload this Halloween. Healthy Halloween treats are not only possible, but they can taste great and look spook-tacular.
Check Out These Dinner Ideas Perfect For The Healthy Halloween Treats
Monster “Eyeballs” Over Witch’s Hair
All ages enjoy a delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs, which is a great dish to remake healthy and Halloween-ized. Make a batch of turkey meatballs instead of the traditional fatty ground beef version and serve with zucchini “noodles” tossed with Ascolano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh garlic, oregano, and basil.
Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin Bowl
Celebrate fall flavors with your favorite butternut squash soup recipe and serve it in a mini-pumpkin “bowl” as a main dish or appetizer at your Halloween dinner. For the bowls you’ll need small baking pumpkins.
- Wash the outsides of the pumpkins.
- Cut the top off to create a lid, and set aside.
- Scoop out the “guts” and seeds.
- On the inside of the pumpkin, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel Sea Salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- Place the lids and seasoned pumpkins on a baking sheet.
- Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes until inside is tender.
When the bowls are done, fill with the soup, garnish as preferred, and serve.
Natural food flavors and colorings are healthier alternatives when planning a Halloween party menu. Create a unique plate of pasta that looks like Frankenstein and boasts bold flavors.
Prepare about two pounds of whole wheat pasta—cavatappi or rotini work best. Place the cooked pasta in the refrigerator and prepare pesto in the food processor by blending fresh basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and a dash of sea salt. Toss the pasta with the pesto and arrange it on a large serving platter in the shape of a square Frankenstein head. Finish “Frankie” by adding kalamata olives as hair, red bell pepper slices for a mouth, and cherry tomatoes for eyes. Cut cucumber to form his bolts.
Embrace the orange-and-black color scheme of the holiday with a salad that can be served as a side or main course. If serving as a main dish, add grilled chicken. Simply assemble the following ingredients in a large serving bowl:
- Mandarin orange slices, cut in half (use fresh, not canned)
- Kalamata olives or black olives
- Baby spinach
- Crumbled feta cheese
Toss the salad with Tuscan Herb Balsamic Vinegar and toasted pine nuts before serving chilled.
Pizza at a Halloween party is yummy, but “haunted” pizza takes it to the next level. It’s all about the ghostly toppings for this special treat, but your guests will love a whole-wheat crust with its edges brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with a mixture of parmesan and Italian spices. Add a layer of your favorite marinara and then top with mozzarella slices cut into ghost shapes. For ghost eyes, use chopped black olives. Don’t forget the delicious, yet nutritious desserts!
When setting out a buffet of treats, be sure to include a few grab-and-go desserts. Mini Jack-o-Lanterns require no baking and you can even get the kids to help prepare. All you need are whole mandarin oranges, washed and dried and edible markers.
On each orange, draw a jack-o-lantern face with a black, edible food marker, then arrange on a serving tray. These also are a fun treat for trick-or-treaters.
Pumpkin Cake Pops
Pumpkin cake is a healthier alternative to traditional vanilla and chocolate desserts. It’s packed with vitamins from the pureed pumpkin and generally, most recipes use less sugar or sweeteners than other cakes. Choose the recipe that you like, and make it to fit a sheet pan.
Make a cream cheese frosting by combining:
- 8-ounces of cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1.5 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
If you’ve never made cake pops before, the Windsor Cake Academy has a helpful tutorial. The pumpkin cake will be mixed with the cream cheese frosting, and then rolled into balls. After the balls are chilled, stick the pop sticks in them, and then dip them in a thin coating of almond butter glaze. For the glaze, combine 1 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup coconut oil, and 1.5 tablespoons raw honey. Tap the excess glaze from the pumpkin cake pops and cool in the fridge until ready to serve.
A classic favorite, monster cookies can be made healthier and the recipe adjusted to adjust for allergy restrictions. A basic monster cookie recipe calls for 4.5 cups of whole oats; increase the measurement to 5 cups. Substitute the 1.5 cups of peanut butter for organic, natural almond butter (without any sugar added). Substitute 1 cup dried cranberries for the candy-coated chocolates. Decrease the chocolate chips to 2/3 cup and add 1 cup slivered almonds. You may also opt to swap the white sugar for raw honey.
Orange-and-Black Frozen Treats
This delicious, nutritious treat is easy and fast to prepare, but be sure to leave time to chill properly. You’ll need a container of orange sherbet and several regular oranges, cut in half and the fruit scooped out (reserve to make orange juice for breakfast).
You’ll need fresh blackberries, washed, and patted dry. Fill each orange with the sherbet and top with several blackberries. Place in the freezer until set; serve chilled.
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
Tis the season for pumpkin! You can make a delicious pumpkin mousse without the heavy whipping. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup pumpkin puree with 1 cup (chilled) coconut cream, 1 tablespoon powdered coconut sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Whip with a hand mixer until the mousse is smooth and fluffy.
Fill four parfait glasses to about the halfway point with the mousse. Add a thin layer of whipped cream, sprinkle a layer of pomegranate seeds, and another think layer of whipped cream. Top with a dollop of the pumpkin mousse. Chill and serve cold.
Whether planning a Halloween party for kids or adults, you can go healthier without sacrificing taste and Secolari® products make it easier.