Making Halloween a little less spooky for your gut health
In my humble opinion, do you know what’s scarier than ghosts and goblins? Gut dysbiosis!
While it’s one of my favorite holidays, Halloween is known for going door to door and filling up every type of candy you can imagine. While it’s the norm to fill up on classics like snickers and Twizzlers, everything is okay in moderation. However, there are ways to have a GUT healthier Halloween without the sugar crashes and tummy aches. What’s fun about that?
And the sugar is not the scariest part! Candy contains chemical additives like food colorants, dyes, and emulsifiers (chemical binders associated with digestive illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease and microbiome imbalances).
Read on for some delicious swaps.
Every year we have some type of festivity, and we usually try to keep processed foods to a minimum; let me tell you, you can have a lot more fun and get a lot more creative than just filling up that plastic jack-o-lantern with that mega bag of fun-sized candies!
Healthy Halloween Treat: Chocolate Peanut Butter Spiders
I adapted this recipe from Healthy My Lifestyle. These adorable little creatures are the perfect savory, sweet, and crunchy combo and have become a Halloween staple in my house.
- 32 pretzel sticks
- 1/2 cup of all-natural peanut butter (could sub almond or other nut butter)
- 100 G of vegan dark chocolate
- 3 Tbsp Ground Flax
- Mix peanut butter and flax in a bowl. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes until it’s cold and firm.
- Using a tablespoon as measurement, roll the peanut butter into balls.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper and place the rolled balls onto it.
- Harden in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Heat the chocolate in the microwave for 20 second internals until melted completely. Stir in between.
- Once the balls are hardened, remove and add pretzels, breaking them in half to create legs.
- You can add decorative eyes or use hemp seeds.
Healthy Halloween Treat: Chocolate Mousse Tombstones
Similar to the classic “worms in dirt” treat that many 80s and 90s kids might remember, these creamy and delicious little treats contain protein-packed tofu.
- 1/4th cup of chia seeds
- 3 Dates
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 16 oz silken tofu
- 1 cup of chocolate granola
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- A small amount of white or dark chocolate (for the R.I.P.)
- Mix all the ingredients together in a blender (except the granola.) Place in the fridge for 1 hour. It should cool and become firm.
- When ready to eat, top with granola as the “soil” and decorate with a whole wheat cracker or cookie with R.I.P. written on it. To add R.I.P. to the tombstone, add a little melted chocolate into a piping bag, or ziplock bag with a very tiny end of the tip snipped off.
More Healthy Halloween Treats
Here are some more easy and nutritious recipes and ideas (both sweet and savory). Say “R.I.P” to those ultra sugary and fatty treats once and for all.
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds – If you’re carving pumpkins, this is a great way to make use of the seeds and other nutritious parts of this seasonal favorite. Pumpkin seeds can be seasoned to be salty or sweet and contain 5.3 g of protein and 5.2 g of fiber! You can even dress them up with a little cinnamon which also has health benefits. Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants.
- Whole food truffles – Swap candy for whole food truffles. The darker the chocolate, the better it is for gut health! Dark chocolate is a probiotic so indulge guilt-free (in moderation).
- Petri dish chia pudding – Chia seeds are another great source of protein and fiber. Sprinkle a little turmeric on this concoction, and you’ll have a treat fit for a mad scientist.
- Guacamole and baked corn tortilla – Avocados contain healthy fats and are considered a synergistic food when eaten with tomatoes! When combined in guac, the pair can reduce your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The green look goes with the creepy Halloween aesthetic as well.
- Pico de gallo salsa – What’s guacamole without a little pico? This is an easy and inexpensive option.
Tag me on IG if you make these so I can see!
- Hummus, olives, and veggies – Chickpeas are a legume and a great protein source. Olives also provide a good source of fat and antioxidants, and, as you know, veggies are packed with great vitamins and fiber to feed your gut. Get creative with the olives as eyes and veggies as mouths or legs for a fun Halloween theme.
- Mediterranean bean salad with tricolor beans, quinoa onions, peppers, and parsley – This will add some color and texture to your spread and is a filling option to feed a crowd.
- Roasted veggies – You can get creative here as well! Cut the veggies in Halloween-themed shapes or serve them in something a little out of the norm, like a cauldron or fun platter.
- Spooky char “boo” terie board – This is where you can get super creative, load up a board with fruits and veggies cut in fun shapes and have fun with it. Make ghosts out of bananas, monsters out of apples, or add a pop of color using beets. Your kids will love it, and the possibilities are endless!
- Roasted buffalo cauliflower with vegan ranch – Instead of picking up a tray of chicken nuggets, try this delicious option.
You can stay healthy this holiday season
We don’t have to slack on our health just because it’s a holiday. Eating healthy also doesn’t have to mean that you’re sacrificing fun! Finding ways to make healthy swaps can actually challenge your creativity and personalize your event so much more than ordering a pizza or dumping a pack of Oscar Meyers into a crockpot (trust me, your guests will thank you, too!)
If you don’t have the time to get super creative with it, or you’re not quite ready to commit to a fully health-conscious Halloween, that’s okay! I hope this blog provides you with both easy and fun ways to make the most of your healthy Halloween. Happy haunting!
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