October 29, 2013

Options for Trick-Or-Treat Goodies

Options for Trick-Or-Treat Goodies

With childhood obesity rates on the rise, approximately 17% of children and adolescents in the US are considered obese, you might be thinking about what you can do to help promote healthy living.

Halloween is the perfect time to make your impact, whether you have children or not. Why not consider giving a healthier alternative to the regular trick-or-treat candy options this year? We're here to help! Below are three easy, healthier than candy alternatives, that anyone can purchase or make in their own kitchen this Halloween!

Natural Fruit Rolls - These are easy to make or even easier to find in the natural foods section of your local grocery store. If you're buying from the store, make sure you check out the ingredients.

Planning to make your own? Here is what you should do:

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. strawberries, stems trimmed
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. sugar


Directions:

  • Place the trimmed strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree them for a minute or so until smooth. You don't want any strawberry chunks in the mixture. Transfer the strawberry puree to a saucepan and add the lemon juice and sugar. Turn the heat to medium to medium high, and cook the mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and jammy. The goal here is to cook out much of the moisture.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F, or as low as your oven will go, making sure it's less than 200 degrees at the highest.
  • Spread the strawberry jam into a rectangle shape onto a baking pan lined with a silpat or parchment paper. You may use an offset spatula or a regular spatula to help spread the mixture as evenly as possible, until the rectangle is about 1/8 inch thick. Keep in mind the fruit leather will lose some of its thickness in the oven as it dehydrates, so make sure that none of the jam is so thin that you can see through it as you spread.
  • Cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, until the fruit mixture no longer feels sticky, just a bit tacky. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Transfer to a cutting board lined with wax paper, and use a pizza cutter to cut long strips. Roll them up into the fruit rollups, and enjoy!

Recipe from: www.fifteenspatulas.com

Prepackaged Snacks- Pretzels, popcorn etc. Try to steer clear of products with nuts, about 5% of children have allergies to nuts or similar products. We like Snyder's pretzel sticks or Pirate's Booty natural snacks. Either of these can be found at your local grocery store in the snack section or the natural section. Make sure to get the snack size packages or buy in bulk and separate into smaller quantities.

Planning to make your own? Here is what you should do:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese powder, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • Salt and pepper


Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the butter, cheddar cheese powder, mustard powder, cayenne pepper and the popcorn. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and toss to combine.

Recipe from: www.foodnetwork.com

Granola Bars- These are both easy to find at the store or to make on your own at home. If you are purchasing at the store, we like Chewy brand. They come in prepackaged boxes in a variety of flavors and can be found at your local grocery store. If you want to make your own, we have found a great recipe below.

Planning to make your own? Here is what you should do:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1.25 oz. whole wheat flour (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey


Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate ships, and salt in a large bowl, and toss it all around with a spatula until combined.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, vanilla, and honey until smooth and combined. Pour this all over the dry ingredients, and toss all the ingredients together until the wet ingredients have evenly coated all of the oats. Dump the granola mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet and shape it into a large rectangle that's about 9x13 inches, and about 1 inch thick. I find the best tool to use here is a flat turner, to really press and compact the granola together, and square off the edges.
  • Bake the granola rectangle for 40 minutes, until it's golden and dry to the touch. Cool the granola on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, then cut into small bars with a really sharp knife.

Recipe from: www.fifteenspatulas.com

Are you planning to use any of your own candy alternatives?  If so, tell us what you did!

 
John Smith
John Smith

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