Kids often get very excited about candy at Halloween. This can often result in the child becoming sick from eating too much candy. While there’s no need to totally restrict candy at Halloween, it is a good idea to limit candy and offer healthy cookies and other Halloween treats as substitutes. Using these treats, you can distract kids from the candy and still have plenty of fun at Halloween.
Since Halloween often centers around pumpkins, making pumpkin cookies and treats is a good way to celebrate. You can also make delicious ghost, zombie or haunted house gingerbread cookies with the right cookie cutters. The cookies should be low-fat, so replace at least half of the butter, margarine, shortening or oil with applesauce or mashed fruit. Also, your healthy Halloween cookies should preferably be made with whole wheat flour. If you can find whole wheat pastry flour when baking, you’ll get a better result than with regular whole wheat flour. Also, consider using other whole grains such as rolled oats in your healthy pumpkin cookies. Also consider adding healthy ingredients such as peanut butter, chopped nuts and dried fruit to your healthy Halloween cookie recipe. Most cookie recipes can tolerate the addition of at least a half cup of fruit or nuts. You could also substitute fruit and nuts for other ingredients such as chocolate chips that are included in Halloween cookie recipes. You can use canned pumpkin in your recipe, but fresh pumpkin is even more nutritious. Try this Halloween pumpkin cookie recipe to get you started.
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
15 ounces pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup raisins or chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Beat the eggs. In a separate bowl, mix the vegetable oil and sugar together. Mix in the applesauce, pumpkin and vanilla, then add the eggs. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Drop the pumpkin cookies by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until they’re slightly brown. These cookies are soft like cake because of the oil, pumpkin and applesauce.
You could also pop a batch of homemade oil-popped popcorn for your Halloween party with the kids. Add some spices such as salt, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin or cayenne pepper in small quantities. Let your little goblins taste-test the popcorn before Halloween to ensure that they like the recipe.
Also consider making pumpkin bread for Halloween. Pumpkin yeast breads are typically very low in sugar. However, pumpkin quick breads are also much lower in sugar than candy. You can easily add nuts or dried fruit to pumpkin quick breads or bake them in a muffin pan.
You can also distract the kids from candy and sweets at Halloween by making pumpkin seeds. When you cook fresh pumpkin or just before you carve a pumpkin, remove and wash the seeds thoroughly. Place them in a colander to drain, then spread them over paper towels to dry. Then place them on a baking sheet and toss them with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and some salt. You can make them spicier by adding a small amount of onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt, cayenne pepper or chili powder to the oil and salt mixture. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the pumpkin seeds at 250 degrees for between 10 and 20 minutes. Keep the oven light on and watch them carefully. Remove the pumpkin seeds from the oven and turn them over with a spatula. Bake them some more until they’re golden brown.
Serve sugar free drinks such as fruit juices, mulled apple cider or milk to wash down these healthy and delicious Halloween treats.
These healthy Halloween pumpkin cookies and treats should help to steer your kids away from the candy without putting a damper on their fun. For more healthy Halloween recipes, read Easy Ways to Make Healthy Halloween Pumpkin Treats.