Healthy and Halloween are two words you don't normally find together -- until now. As a health-conscious person, you may be wondering how to mesh this fun fall holiday with your values of living a healthy and vibrant life. The intention of this post is to help you do just that!
Here you'll find ideas for treats to serve to your family, friends, and community that are not only tasty, but which will give you peace of mind knowing that you're providing a healthier alternative to the standard commercial alternatives. The options provided below are still treats, intended to be consumed in moderation, but you can rest assured knowing they're lower in sugar, and free from the food dyes, preservatives, corn syrup, and other inflammatory ingredients found in traditional Halloween candy. No sugar-crazed kids this year!
Hard Candies & Gummies Hard candies and gummies are a great option for older kids and adults. This dandelion candy and this herbal multivitamin candy both contain mineral-rich herbs such as dandelion, alfalfa, rose hips, nettle leaf, and turmeric. Each is sweetened with honey, which contains a host of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These elderberry lollipops are a good option to support the immune system.
If you're feeling more creative, try this herbal gummies recipe as a jumping off point. You can choose your own herbal tea of choice based on taste preference and desired health benefits. Local honey sticks are another option that's easy and requires no preparation.
Fruit-based Treats Fruit-based treats are a healthy whole-food alternative to processed treats. You can prepare these ahead of time or make them with kids and party attendees for a fun family activity. We love these fruit bat skewers, banana ghosts and tangerine pumpkins, apple witches teeth, and watermelon Jack-O-Lanterns. For fruit-based treats that don't require any kitchen time, consider organic juice boxes and fruit leather.
Savory Treats If you're hosting a get-together, consider the following festive and fun recipes. These options are savory, spooky, and packed with healthy, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Try these sweet potato Jack-O-Lanterns, rosemary-roasted pepitas, carrot witch's fingers, and rosemary and thyme spiced nuts.
Chocolate Treats Chocolate is a powerful superfood, rich in minerals and antioxidants, which makes it the perfect ingredient for healthier Halloween goodies. Cocoa, the basic ingredient in chocolate, is associated with healthy blood pressure, insulin levels and vascular function. Anecdotally, chocolate is known to elevate mood and support healthy cognitive function. For the greatest health benefit, choose dark chocolate, which contains higher concentrations of cocoa.
Above all, have fun and get creative! Choose a few ideas from this list and make this Halloween fun, festive, and healthy!
Writer Katie Gerber is a holistic health and nutrition coach serving clients locally in the front range as well as online. In 2014, she completed Aviva Romm's Herbal Medicine for Women certification. After thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 and the Colorado Trail in 2016, Katie decided to use her botanical medicine and nutrition knowledge to help fellow wilderness lovers seeking more energy and better health. She transitioned from her career as a pastry chef, and enrolled in the Institute for Transformational Nutrition. She now uses her lifelong passion for holistic health with her background in the culinary arts to help people live healthier lives, in alignment with nature. Katie writes for several publications and speaks at local events. When she's not writing and working with clients, you'll most likely find her in the mountains, in the garden, or in the kitchen testing recipes. Find out more about Katie, her articles, and her adventures at her website.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.