For many of us, the scariest part about Halloween has nothing to do with ghosts or ghouls or even goblins. There is a far more frightening force on the loose this time of year…the big bad CANDY MONSTER! AHHHHHHHHH!
Okay, maybe that was an overreaction. But we all know how terrifyingly tempting that big ‘ol bag or bowl of candy can be. It’s around you at work and school all day, and then of course the kids bring home their hefty haul of junk food on the big night. Resisting these tasty treats can be tough, but there’s no need to deprive yourself of sweet seasonal delights altogether. Check out these lighter, more nutritious snack alternatives that pack all the fun and deliciousness of the season without so many empty calories.
Honey Popcorn Balls
Popcorn can be a nutritionally smart snack when prepared properly, as it is packed with antioxidants and fiber. These sweet delights are made with just four ingredients – air-popped popcorn, honey, butter and sea salt – and super easy to make. Simply bring equal parts butter and honey to a boil for about a minute, pour over popped popcorn in a roasting pan, and bake until the mixture is a deep gold color. After it’s just cool enough to handle, shape small handfuls into 1½-inch balls and let them cool. Voila!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Carving that spooky jack o’lantern masterpiece is just the beginning of the fun. Make sure to save all the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin for a smart seasonal snack. All you’ll need to finish them is a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Simply scatter the seeds onto a sheet pan, drizzle with oil and dust with sea salt and pepper. Bake at 325° for about 15 minutes or until toasted.
A sweet autumn treat built around fresh, seasonal fruit and nuts? Yes, please! While we know caramel is a bit of an indulgence, when paired with nutritionally dense fruit and nuts, it’s a more balanced indulgence than most anything in that bag of candy.
You can prepare your caramel apples in a few different ways, too: the whole apple coated with a thin layer of caramel and crushed nuts, apple slices dipped in caramel and dunked in nuts, or candy apple “lollipops” with the nutty, caramel-coated slices on a wooden stick.
Orange Peel Jack O’Lanterns
This is one of our favorite Halloween tricks: A spooktacularly festive orange peel jack o’lantern that doubles as the perfect vessel to hold a light desert. And they’re easy to make – just think a downsized version of a standard pumpkin jack o’lantern. Start by cutting off the top of the orange and using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the flesh from the inside (not a bad snack all by itself!) Draw your spookiest face on the outside of the peel with a pen and cut out the shapes with a paring knife or scissors. Fill the inside with a light snack like fresh fruit salad or Jell-O and let the kids dig in!
Spiced Apple Cider
This list of smart snacking options wouldn’t be complete without something to drink on a cold October night. Well, ‘tis the season for warm spiced apple cider! You can either buy it spiced already or do it yourself. Dust the top with cinnamon or garnish with a whole cinnamon stick for a heart-warming treat and the perfect accompaniment to our deliciously nutritious new Sea Salt Caramel Balance bare® bar.