With Halloween just around the corner we can feel the chill in the air and the excitement among kids daring to trick or treat for the thrill of that oh so sweet sugar rush.
Many of you may have parties and with the kids off for mid-term you may be stuck for some healthier options to cater for your little monsters.
We all need some sweetness in our lives now and again, so here are some healthier options that are tasty and nutritious.
Why not get the kids involved too, getting creative in the kitchen is a great way to pass a chilly Autumn day.
Chocolate dipped pumpkin seed brittle with sea salt.
This is your perfect combination of both sweet and salty and what’s great about these bars they are packed with a healthy source of fats from the pumpkin seeds and if you use dark chocolate a source of antioxidants.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (not toasted)
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon large sea salt flakes
- Tape a 24- by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on your work surface.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water and fine sea salt to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook the mixture, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals from the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until the syrup turns colourless ( 10-12 minutes)
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the seeds with a wooden spoon, then continue stirring until syrup crystallizes, 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture will become dry and crumbly.
- Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts completely and turns a deep caramel colour, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pour hot mixture onto parchment and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Immediately roll out the mixture between the two sheets as thin as possible with a rolling pin (pressing firmly).
- Peel back the top layer of parchment and immediately cut the brittle into pieces with a sharp knife (or allow it to cool until firm and then break it into pieces). Cool brittle completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water or the microwave. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds. Dip the cooled brittle in the chocolate then immediately sprinkle the chocolate-covered area with the chopped pumpkin seeds and large-flake sea salt. Let cool until chocolate is firm then serve.
Halloween banana popsicles.
- 4 large fresh bananas not overly ripe, or the bananas may be too soft
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt preferably Greek
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for eyes
- 16 popsicle sticks
- 1/3 cup of creamy natural peanut butter.
- For the Banana Popsicle Ghosts: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel 2 bananas and slice each in half, cross-wise. Slice each half in half again the “long” way, so that you have 4 long, narrow pieces total. Carefully insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of each, then place on the baking sheet.
- For the Banana Popsicle Mummies: Cut the pointy tips off of the 2 remaining bananas, then slice the bananas crosswise into 3 equal round “logs.” Insert a popsicle stick into one end of each, then place on the baking sheet. Freeze all banana pops for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and powdered sugar. Once the bananas are frozen, dip them into the yogurt mixture, then return them to the lined baking sheet. Place 2 mini chocolate chips on each of the ghosts for eyes. Do not place the eyes on the mummies yet. Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour to allow the yogurt to set.
- For the mummies, place the peanut butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl, then heat until smooth and creamy, about 30-45 seconds, stirring as needed. With a small spoon, drizzle on top of the banana mummies to make “bandages.”
- Place mini chocolate chips for eyes. Return to the freezer until the peanut butter is firm, about 30 additional minutes. When ready to serve, let the banana popsicles soften at room temperature for a few minutes. Enjoy immediately, or place in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
Bloody Falafel fingers
These healthy finger food options (excuse the pun) are packed full of protein and fibre and will keep adults and kids alike feeling satisfied.
- 1/2 cup dry chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of drained butterbeans.
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup coriander packed
- 1/4 cup parsley packed
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds or coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper/ or black pepper or to taste ½ a chili pepper. Spice!
- Wash and drain chickpeas and butterbeans and add to food processor or blender. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pulse to form a coarse mixture. You may need to use half the amount at a time.
- If the mixture is too mushy and doesn’t easily stick together you can use a little flour. Form patties or long fingers.
- Bake in preheated 375 degrees F / 170ºc for 25 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. (Turn the tray after 15 minutes to bake evenly). Serve hot. If serving patties, serve with tahini sauce, hummus, lettuce, pickles, onions and tomatoes, as is or in a pita.
- Dip the fingers in ketchup or Sriracha and serve as is or in a Sandwich with Tahini, Onions, greens and drizzle more Sriracha.
If you are looking for more inspiration to cater your party needs, drop into Hughs and check out our selection of party foods.
I hope you enjoy making these Halloween inspired recipes and more importantly eating them.
Happy Halloween folks.