Oh, Halloween. It's some of our staff's favorite time of the year. The spookiness and wonder and excitement of it all makes it unlike any other holiday. And whether you're dressing up and partying all night or taking the kids out trick-or-treating, Halloween is a great way to get out of your routine for at least one night, get creative, and – most importantly – get spoo(oo)ky.
Celebrating Halloween is also a (not so) great way to pack some serious sugar into your system. What with candy at every turn and endless sugary blood-themed party beverages, Halloween proves to be a hard time to stay on track for even the most health conscious humans. So here are some tips and tricks to help you cut down on the sugar while fully celebrating All Hallows' Eve.
Swap out the more traditional candy choices in favor of slightly healthier ones. We suggest all natural dark chocolate peppermint patties or organic, fair trade mini dark chocolate bars for trick-or-treaters. While we know no candy can be considered healthy, at least you can feel a little better knowing you're giving out (or eating...) all natural, fairly traded products. And by switching to dark chocolate, you're able to cut a bit of that unwanted sugar out of there, too.
Trade in sugary alcoholic party drinks for Sangria. "Sangria” is derived from the Spanish term for “bleeding,” so the dark red drink makes a perfect Halloween cocktail. Here's the recipe we like to use:
Pour a few bottles of inexpensive red table wine into a punch bowl. Add a shot of cognac for every bottle of wine you use (you can throw an extra shot in there if you want). Add one part club soda for every two parts wine. Then add whatever red fruit you'd like to use. We're into figs, cherries, red grapes and anjou pears. Sweeten to your liking with organic agave. Serve over ice with spooky straws.
And voila! As long as you drink this sangria in moderation, it's really not terrible for you. Plus, it's simple to make with all natural and organic ingredients.
Invest a little time to make homemade party snacks. Although more labor intensive, swapping a giant candy bowl for a homemade treat will save you a lot of calories. We're big fans of Chocolate Covered Katie's vegan candy corn and chocolate pumpkin fudge.
Limit your child's candy intake. While a lot of people grew up lugging around a pillow case door to door, providing your kid with a smaller container for trick-or-treating greatly limits the amount of candy they can take home. Put a cap on the amount of candy your child consumes daily, too. Try to limit candy intake to three days a week after Halloween, and slowly phase it out to one day; most kids will forget about the candy in a couple of weeks or so.
Go pumpkin crazy. Pumpkins are soo good for you. They're rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C; and contain high amounts of potassium and zinc. And that's just the “meat.” The seeds are super rich in protein, plant-based fatty acids and magnesium. Pumpkin is truly a wonder food. All you have to do is cut a baking pumpkin up into large chunks, roast it, peel the skin off and puree it. Then you can make soups, sweets, whatever you want.
Halloween doesn't have to ruin your diet. Besides, we all know a little candy never hurt anyone, right?