How can you write a Halloween post, Helen? You’re a nutritional therapist, fer cryin out loud—Halloween is nothing but sugar, the very antithesis of all you represent!
Well, actually…Halloween does not, historically, have anything to do with sugar. Harvest, yes; commemorating the end of summer and coming of winter, yes.
Bags and bags of artificially colored and sweetened candy? Not so much.
These treats which caught my eye have more in common with earlier celebrations of Samhain than the candy-based festivities we are now overwhelmed with.
You will need only a few ingredients. Ingredients which all, in their own way, support health rather than tear it apart.
And, goodness knows, with all the stress whirling about us these days, we do not need to tear ourselves apart any more than we do. Not being a doomsayer, but realistic in understanding the soup in which we swim.
When it comes to treats, we get to be in control and these couple of cute recipes will help you with that.
Apples are packed with goodness. Fiber. Low in sugar. Cancer-protective, diabetes-preventative. Good for heart and lung health. Apples can also support us in losing weight. “An apple a day” is not an idle saying.
Almond butter has protein and healthy fats.
Cashews, macadamias, or other nuts have essential minerals and a dose of good fats and proteins.
Bananas. Especially when we choose “green-tipped” ones are full of micro-nutrients and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. They can help us balance our blood sugars and support our digestion. The riper they are, the more sugar they contain—so be wary.
Coconut has a beneficial fatty acid profile as well as trace amounts of fiber, essential minerals, and a small amount of protein.
Pomegranate “arils” are full of anti-oxidants which make them one of the leading anti-inflammatory foods in our lexicon of anti-inflammatory foods. Think cancer-prevention—as in breast, colon, and prostate. They have been shown to be blood-pressure reducing, arthritis and dementia avoiding—and they’re anti-bacterial, as well. Anti-oxidants are queen—and pomegranates have them in spades. They do have a decent amount of sugar, so I don’t encourage us to drink the juice, but rather to eat the seeds or take the extract—which is made from the skin.
Choosing these foods not only keeps our blood sugars from spiking and crashing, but it also helps reduce our anxiety. The anti-oxidants act on the whole body—including all that goes into creating our thoughts and moods.
What we eat affects how we experience life.
Here are a couple of fun snacks to make with—or without—kids. We don’t need an excuse to eat well or experience joy, so have fun with your foods whether it’s Halloween or not!
Crazy Mouth Apples
Grab an apple—hopefully organic! I chose green as they’re less sugary and possibly more ghoulish.
Core and slice into wedges.
Spread one side of each slice with nut butter.
Sandwich nuts between the edges of two slices to create teeth.
Hairy Banana Ghosties
Peel and slice a banana in half.
Roll each half in finely-shredded (unsweetened) dried coconut flakes.
Decorate with pomegranate aril “eyes”.