It’s Halloween time! And that means we’re seeing thousands of food and drink recipes, in the name of celebrating the art of horrible, half-assed Halloween puns...
You’ve heard the greatest hits:
“Bring your own boos!”
“So good it’s scary.”
“Rest In (Reese’s) Pieces.”
“Mummy’s favorite cupcakes.”
Bad puns aside...Halloween is freakishly fun! And despite the fact that it’s the sugariest holiday of all...
...it can also be healthy!
Take the ever-symbolic pumpkin, for example:
It’s vitamin-rich AND has numerous benefits that help your immune system, eyes, heart, skin, weight management and much more—PLUS pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients that boost bladder and heart health. (No wonder Linus from Charlie Brown thought the pumpkin was so great!)
But beyond the pumpkin’s natural healing powers, there are other cool ways to make Halloween food at least a little nutritious. Consider collagen: the super protein that can be mixed as peptides into just about any recipe you can dream up to offset a piece of that Kit-Kat bar. In fact, Havasu Nutrition’s Collagen Peptides + Probiotics also has good bacteria to help your digestive tract while you digest all that less-than-nutritious candy corn.
If you’re hosting a (socially distant) party in the neighborhood, or just wanting to make some special memories with your family at home, I think you’ll agree that these 15 healthy Halloween food and drink recipes are, you know, a bloody good idea:
1. Pumpkin Protein Balls
This is NOT your grandmother’s dough. Pure pumpkin puree has antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and minerals. Coconut flour is naturally gluten-free and keeps these balls soft and easy to shape. Collagen peptides add nine grams of protein per ball, without affecting the flavor. Collagen is a natural key protein that our bodies lose as we age, so this is a great way to supplement it and provide many benefits including better hair, nails and skin.
2. Dracula Dentures
Sink your teeth into these! From Transylvania to Pennsylvania, what vampire doesn’t love some good red food coloring at this time of year? All it takes is a half-hour and you own the holiday. You even benefit from those healthy almonds that are sliced to make the fangs!
3. Olive Spiders and Snakes
Add some flair to your Spooktacular Halloween table with these ghastly garnishes. Black olives can be shaped into creepy crawly spiders with a little help from rosemary, and kids will love how you string them together with a hint of carrot to make a slithering snake-snack.
4. Pineapple Jack-O’-Lantern
You can’t go wrong by carving a big, orange pumpkin and then putting it out on the front porch while the contents of it are fashioned into a delicious pumpkin pie. But you can shake it up a little bit, and it’s still healthy. How about a Hawaiian Halloween touch this time? Print out this stencil and core out the contents of the pineapple for healthy treats galore, and then carve your freaky face and put the lid back on.
5. Vegan Pumpkin Soup
When the temps cool down in late October, the savory warmth of vegan pumpkin soup is just what the Doctor (Jekyll) ordered. This recipe from eatingwell.com is filled with spices and creamy cashews. Did you know that cashews are low in sugar but rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats and plant protein? The nutrients can give you more energy and boost brain and bone health as well as immunity. Make it your showstopper dish and serve it in a hollowed-out roasted pumpkin.
6. Frankenstein’s Fingers
If you’re into using party snacks as a creative outlet, consider using string cheese to make these really gr-ewww-some finger foods. A little sugar-free ketchup for blood, and voila! Kids will love it, and best of all you can’t tell them to keep their fingers out of their mouths.
7. Spooky Smoothie
Again, you can add collagen to virtually everything and call it good. But here’s one you have to try! This blueberry and avocado smoothie has an grossly green tinge perfect for Halloween and is loaded with great fats and collagen peptides.
8. Halloween Veggie Tray
There are lots of variations on the veggie platter, but the reason this one is a no-brainer is that skeletons have no brains. Skeletons also have no fat. You can follow the ingredients here or improvise with your own crudités. Serving size is just 96 calories.
9. Melon Brain
“Watermelon is a great dessert when cutting the junk food out of your life and incorporating more whole food,” says foodie Heather Cooan. Take a look at her mad carving skills and see if you have what it takes to make a “smart” table centerpiece.
10. Witches’ Brew Skinny Margarita
Hibiscus tea and pomegranate juice provide the red color, and you can rim the glass with black lava salt to give an overall creepy touch. Add some agave nectar if you want a little more sweetness. See eatingwell.com for a list of 14 more Halloween cocktails.
11. Aldi Halloween Cheeses
Aldi has you covered this year with a limited-edition Halloween collection of cheeses that almost looks too scary and too cute to eat.
12. Candy Corn Cobs
OK, so it only looks healthy…does that count? This is the perfect trick to pull on any Nebraska family. Imagine if Pa comes in after harvesting the fields at sundown and Ma has this on his plate. Or vice-versa. Talk about trick or treat!
13. Halloween Jell-O Shots
Someone’s going to need a few of these after making all these dishes! Combine vodka with a sweet snack, and use this basic recipe with any flavor of Jell-O. Garnish them with a few ghoulish gummies! See 30 more Halloween Jell-O Shots at Country Living.
14. Mummy Halloween Cupcakes
Imagine if every house had these waiting for your plastic pumpkin on October 31! These cupcakes are great for any party and you can reduce the sugar content as needed to watch the pounds. Cupcakes from the crypt are especially fun to make because you can let your sinister self come out with that piping. See more sweet spells here.
15. Tart Cherry Eyeball Punch
Lychees contain lots of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and they can help protect you against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So why not carefully stuff blackberries into each one and then chill for a great gorged-out eyeball! Stir together the reserved syrup, four cups of tart cherry juice and one cup of fresh orange juice in a large pitcher. Grownups can spike the punch, of course. So gross and so good!