October 25, 2016

Healthy Halloween menu ideas

While most people turn to candy and sugary snacks for Halloween, you can use a little bit of creativity and humor to make some of your favorite Food for Health recipes into spooky, fun, delicious — and healthy — Halloween treats.

Try out a few of these suggestions, or add your own healthy Halloween menu ideas in the comments.

Snacks or appetizers:

Tofu and Peanut Butter Dip With Apple Mouths: Insert a few almond slivers along the peel edge of your apple slices to create apple mouths with sharp teeth. If it’s a particularly firm apple, you might need to poke small holes with a toothpick or knife tip first.

Swamp Dip: With a little bit of creative labeling, mango guacamole or kale dip easily turn into swamp dip — any dip with green chunky bits will work. You can also be creative with what you dunk in your swamp dip. Use whole-wheat crackers as gravestones or use cookie cutters to create bat or ghost chips out of corn or whole-wheat tortillas.

Spooky Hummus: Add carrot “fingers” — peel or scrub carrots, cut a flat notch in the end and use a dab of hummus to attach a sliced almond ”nail” to each carrot. Then stand carrot fingers in your hummus bowl. You can add a scarier element by drizzling a little bit of olive oil mixed with paprika to create a “bloody” garnish.

Main courses:

Spider Web Soup: Start with kabocha squash and fennel soup and instead of adding a dollop of sour cream, put the sour cream in a plastic baggie and snip off one of the corners. Use the sour cream in a bag to draw a spider web garnish on the soup. Place the pumpkin seed garnish on one of the strands as a delicious “spider.”

Stuffed Jack-o’-Lanterns (aka stuffed rainbow peppers with carved faces): Before stuffing the peppers, carefully carve out triangle eyes and a toothy mouth, just as you would a tiny pumpkin.

Zombie Pasta: With cauliflower florets serving as brains and spaghetti as intestines, pile this spicy cauliflower and caper tomato sauce on top of whole-wheat spaghetti and tell your kids (or your friends) that it is zombie pasta.

Desserts:

Melted Ghost: Garnish this frozen banana whip with two raisins (or two dried cranberries if you want your ghost to have scary red eyes) to make an easy, delicious — and nutritious — melted ghost.

Graveyard Pudding: Stick a graham cracker in each serving of this chocolate pudding recipe for a smashing graveyard pudding. Use one quarter of a graham cracker — and if you’re feeling ambitious, break off the corners on the top end for a more rounded gravestone look.

Chilled Eyeballs: Peeled grape “eyeballs” are an old Halloween favorite, but you can save yourself the trouble of peeling them — and make it more “a-peeling” as a dessert — by serving frozen grapes instead.