It’s fall, and soon you’ll be witnessing tiny ghouls and goblins with sugar cravings at your door asking for fun Halloween treats. The holiday tradition of handing out sugary candy and other snack varieties loaded with sugar is beloved by children.
However, all those dark chocolate bars, sugar snack packs, and candy corn bags can be the source of a health-conscious parent’s or grandparent’s worst nightmare. Are there any healthy candy alternatives?
Luckily, yes. There are many yummy healthy snack options to replace the unhealthy sugary Halloween food traps.
Read on for some healthier candy alternatives, organic ingredients, and festive sugar-free and gluten-free options to try this fall.
The Dangers Of A High Sugar Diet
It’s well known that a diet high in sugar can be the source of many different health problems. Consuming foods and beverages with high amounts of sugar can have a negative impact on your health. Processed food and sweet treats are common high sugar culprits.
This is especially true for food containing high fructose corn syrup.
It’s important to read food labels to learn which ingredients are present, that way, you can try to avoid sugar (and other unhealthy additives) as much as possible. Sugar isn’t just found in things like ice cream, dark chocolate, and maple syrup though.
You may be surprised to learn just how many grams of sugar and calories are in the flavored Greek yogurt and orange juice many people enjoy each morning.1
Natural sugars also exist, such as those found in fruits like strawberries and oranges (fructose) and those found in milk (lactose).
It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor about how many calories you are consuming from sugary food. They may recommend making some dietary changes to better support your health.
Curb Sugar Cravings With A Healthy Snack
Beat the Halloween purge this year by reducing your sugar intake and focusing on meeting your nutritional needs to curb cravings. Balancing your blood sugar levels is key to supporting your health, as is increasing your intake of essential nutrients and vitamins. Healthy fats, protein, and foods high in fiber are excellent sources of organic fuel for your body.2
The following are excellent sources of healthy fats:
- Fish (especially oily fish such as salmon or trout)
- Dark chocolate (the darker the better, enjoy in moderation)
- Yogurt (again, watch the sugar content)
These foods are considered a good source of protein:
- Legumes, seeds, and nuts
- Healthy seafood, meat, and poultry
Here are some options for food high in fiber:
- Dark chocolate
Festive Candy Alternatives That Are Perfect For Fall: Pumpkin Seeds, Trail Mix, And More
Remember, there is no rule that states that you must have sugary candy or unhealthy treats on hand when trick-or-treaters arrive at your door or during your Halloween party.
When ghosts and ghoulies come knocking this Halloween, you can treat them with festive and healthy candy alternatives.
Some stores have organic candy options for sale. Health food groceries often carry gluten-free vegan options, dried fruits, sugar-free gum, sugar-free candy, and more.
When it comes to trick-or-treaters you might want to hand out healthy store-bought snacks instead of homemade treats (so those with allergies are aware of the exact ingredients).
Here are some healthy candy alternatives to hand out this Halloween:
- Dried fruits
- Fresh fruits
- Honey roasted nuts
- Trail Mix
- Sugar-free candies
- Sugar-free pudding cups
- Packs of sugar-free gum
Check the ingredients on snacks labeled as sugar-free. Many sugar-free snacks contain artificial sweeteners(such as aspartame and sucralose), that can be detrimental to your health. Look for snacks that contain healthy sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia and erythritol.
Make Your Own Healthy Candy Alternatives At Home
When it comes to your own Halloween snacking, it can be fun to make healthy treats at home. When you make a homemade treat, you’ll not only be able to get creative, but you’ll be able to swap out certain ingredients with healthier options.
Here are three recipes for delicious DIY candy alternatives you can make at home for your own enjoyment.
1. Baked Apples
- Baking apples (4 apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold)
- Chopped pecans (½ cup)
- Cinnamon (1 tbsp)
- Vanilla extract (1 Tsp)
- Swerve (⅓ cup)
- Coconut oil or butter (1 tbsp)
- Non-fat yogurt (¼ cup)
- Nutmeg (½ tbsp)
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Using an apple corer or sharp knife, cut out the apple cores leaving the bottom ½ inch intact.
- Combine chopped pecans, cinnamon, vanilla extract and swerve in a bowl to create apple filling.
- Stuff the apples with the filling.
- Place about ¼ tablespoon of butter on top of each apple. Place each apple in a baking dish and pour in the water. Bake until apples are soft and the filling has browned, about 1 hour.
- Remove from pan and let cool.
- Garnish with yogurt sauce and nutmeg.6
2. Gluten-Free Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Chips
- Unsweetened Coconut Shavings (2 cups)
- Cocoa Powder (2 tablespoons, raw)
- Lucuma powder (2 tablespoons)
- Sea salt (½ teaspoon)
- Vanilla bean powder (¼ teaspoon)
- Coconut Nectar (¼ cup raw)
- Soak coconut shavings in water overnight.
- Strain coconut in strainer and place in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder, lucuma powder, sea salt, and vanilla bean powder. Add in coconut nectar and mix well.
- Add mixture to coconut shavings bowl and mix.
- Spread evenly onto a baking tray and bake at 300º F for 8 to 9 minutes.7
3. Healthy Homemade Trail Mix
- Cinnamon (½ tablespoon)
- Dark chocolate (½ cup, chopped)
- Nutmeg (pinch)
- Raw cashews (¾ cup, toasted optional)
- Raw pecans (¾ cup, toasted optional)
- Raw pumpkin seeds (½ cup)
- Raw sunflower seeds (½ cup)
- Sea salt (¼ tablespoon)
- Unsweetened cherries (½ cup)
- Unsweetened raisins (½ cup)
- Place all ingredients into one large bowl and mix well.
- Store in a sealable plastic bag or jar.
- Enjoy for up to one month.8
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