Halloween used to scare me. My kids coming home with all that junk food sent shivers through my spine. But with a selection of healthy Halloween treats and snacks, it’s a joy, a chance to play dress-up with the kids, and parade around the neighborhood at night, greeting friends, nibbling on healthy, all natural candies, marveling at carved candle lit pumpkins and houses decorated with creepy masks and hanging skeletons.
Natural food stores are well stocked with natural candies: fruit leather and licorice in many sugar-free flavors: strawberry, raspberry, apple and grape. There are plenty of vitamin C lollypops, peppermints, and fruit juice sweetened sucking candies. You will find little bags of organic pretzels, animal cookies, different flavored potato chips and corn chips, small boxes of raisins, chocolates with scary Halloween caricatures on the wrappers like ugly witches and black cats on a pumpkin.
To add to the fun, you can create your own-bagged delights from the bulk bins with all natural pretzel mixes, malt balls, chocolate covered nuts and raisins. Best of all, you can make your own organic candied apples, chocolate-dipped dried fruits, date nut treats and maple syrup sweetened chocolate chip cookie treats that kids of all ages love.
To make your own candied apples, forget the artificial red dyes and sugary caramel coatings. You can dip your apples in agave nectar or rice syrup and then roll the glazed apples in ground up graham crackers or small chunks of all natural sandwich cookies, granola, chopped up raisins, figs, dates, or calcium rich ground walnuts and almonds.
Dried sliced pineapple, pears, apricots, peaches, and oranges half dipped in chocolate are beautiful and easy to make. Simply melt dairy-free chocolate in top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Then, put a piece of dried fruit on a toothpick or dipping fork. Dip it half way into the chocolate. Swirl it around. Lift it out, and let the excess drip back into the pot. Stick the bottom of the toothpick into an apple or pear to catch the chocolate drippings, while the chocolate cools and hardens.
When making your own chocolate chip cookies, take advantage of the large assortment of chocolate and carob chips available at your local health food store: organic dark and organic white chocolate chips, vanilla chips, peanut butter chips, dairy-free espresso chocolate chips, vegan carob chips and guilt-free, sugar-free chocolate chips sweetened with malted barley. Feel free to use any of these in cookie recipes.