It may be Halloween, but that doesn’t mean you have to ghost your diet. Read on to explore our selection of healthy Halloween treats.
We get it: Halloween isn’t necessarily the time of year you’re most concerned with healthy eating. After all, “trick-or-treat” is basically just another way of saying “trick-or-eat unhealthy things.”
Nevertheless, there are plenty of delicious Halloween foods that you can enjoy this year without absolutely trashing your diet in the process. So sit back, relax, and check out some of our favorite Halloween foods for health-conscious revelers.
Healthy pumpkin pie
Sounds like a bit of a contradiction, doesn’t it? Well, there are plenty of ways you can take the sinful pumpkin pie and make it healthy. After all, the pumpkin itself is a remarkably healthy ingredient, containing boatloads of fiber, iron, and vitamins—there’s no need to stuff it up with useless carbs.
So, what’s the secret to a dreamy Halloween pumpkin pie? Well, there’s one very simple method: just take the crust off. That’s an awesome way to slash carbs, helping you to create a Halloween treat that won’t make your diet do a runner. Check out a couple more frightfully healthy pumpkin recipes in Country Living. From pumpkin oat cookies to a pumpkin smoothie bowl, they’ve got you covered for pumpkin goodness!
Dark chocolate + apples
Okay, it’s not going to win any healthy eating awards, but the winning combination of apples dipped in dark chocolate may help to improve your heart health. With potential health benefits including a reduced risk of atherosclerosis (hardened heart arteries), better defense against blood clots, and improved circulation, this is one Halloween treat that may work as a perfect replacement for candy or chocolate. Plus, it’s really delish.
Word of warning: some of the reports suggesting that “chocolate may actually be good for you” are, to put it mildly, dubious. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of chocolate’s purported health benefits are bogus, and since a recent study has indicated that eating chocolate may be linked to lower risk of cardiovascular health, there could be something to the idea that dark chocolate + apples = a healthy heart. That said, it’s always best to exercise a bit of common sense when you encounter health claims that run counter to received wisdom.
Speaking of apples, why not really embrace one of the classic fall flavors and bake up a tray of apples — topped with oats and cinnamon, of course! Not only does this make for a ghoulishly tasty dessert, but it’s also great for anyone looking for a healthy alternative to traditionally sugary Halloween dishes. There are loads of different ways to customize your baked apple dish. Add in raisins and lemon zest or soak it in cider brandy for a slightly boozier take on this stunning Halloween treat.
Anyone who saw Scream—maybe the ultimate Halloween movie—at a formative age will have the memory of Jiffy Pop popcorn seared into their retinas. Okay, so we’re probably stretching the definition of “healthy” Halloween food to the breaking point with this one, but with its high fiber and low calorie content, homemade popcorn may actually have a variety of health benefits. From “apple pie” flavor to “lemony kale,” this list by Greatist is a great source of ideas for healthy popcorn.
Although it doesn’t necessarily sound like a Halloween staple, kale actually has a bit of a storied history when it comes to the spooky season. Once upon a time in Scotland, Halloween was an opportunity for young people to head out into the garden and pull up kale stalks, which were then used to predict your romantic future. It was said that the shape and length of the stalk could be used to determine your future lover’s height and physical appearance, while the amount of soil clinging to the roots represented the size of dowry you could expect to collect. This Halloween, why not honor this old tradition with a healthy (and surprisingly tasty) kale dish?
Want to boo-st your diet this fall? We hope this list has given you some inspiration when it comes to nutritious Halloween food. For a little extra help navigating Halloween’s scary food choices, check out our Halloween Food Pyramid.