This time every year, my mom and I start planning our Spooky Halloween dinner. The house is decked out with cob webs, ghosts, pumpkins, lights and candles when everyone shows up in their costumes. The table is filled with a feast of ghoulishly named dishes and treats.
We wanted to share some of the nutritious, or boo-tricious, ideas that we put on the table so you can do something a little better than a bowl full of artificially flavored goo (aka candy). I sat down with my mom and came up with some of our favorites.
Blood Bath Punch
We always use a veggie and fruit juice blend. There are a ton of 100 percent blends that have tomato juice in them, so they’ll have a good red color. You can also use cranberry or red grape. I would recommend diluting full-fruit blends with some filtered water because of all the sugar, eek!
Roasted Ears with or without Wax
You might have guessed it, but this one is oven-roasted corn, with or without butter. We like to leave the husks on when roasting, so gently pull them back to clean, remove the silks, salt and brush with a little olive oil. Pull the husk back over the corn and roast for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Any spinach and artichoke dip recipe will do for this funny concoction. Stay away from ones that use butter or mayo, and opt for ones that use Greek yogurt or another healthy choice. We use veggies, such as carrots, broccoli or cucumbers, for dipping.
Not for the faint of heart, this one comes straight from the creative mind of my mom herself. Tomatoes, balsamic vinegar dressing and feta cheese make up this simply sinister side dish. Enjoy!
Cheese Ball Bats
This is basically a cheese ball made into a bunch of tiny cheese balls. Roll them in crushed organic, blue corn chips and use sliced olives for eyes. Use whole chips for wings.
Rats in the Garden
If you are looking for something easy, this one fits the bill. Just toss all your favorite veggies on a plate with some yummy dip and add the rats—fake ones, of course. You'll have plenty of time left to spend with your little ghouls.
My mom makes the best chicken stew with okra, corn, onions, tomatoes, beans and rice. She puts a spin on it for Halloween by tossing the cooked rice on top. Any stew will work! Voilà, maggot stew.
On the Dark Side
We take adorable skeleton hand cups and fill them with dark chocolate candies. Our talking skeleton holds them on a silver tray for guests to take as they please.
You can really do a lot with this one, however, we make whole-grain mini pumpkin muffins. A quick Google search will provide multiple recipes to choose from. They’re always a hit and taste incredibly festive.
I’ve always thought of a candy apple as a "better" choice when it comes to fall treats. However, there is no denying that the caramel coating, containing corn syrup and food coloring, is usually pretty bad. I went online and was surprised to find a lot of natural candy apple recipes. Some recipes made caramel out of dates or even apple juice. We haven’t tried these recipes, but we like to dip apples in dark chocolate and roll them in nuts. Here comes the fun part: We spike them with just a tiny bit of cayenne pepper, hence, "poisoned apples."
The last thing you need to do is create a truly haunting table! We hope that these Halloween goodies will help make you and your little monsters happy and healthy this Halloween.
Karyn Wofford is a type 1 diabetic, EMT and Certified Wellness Specialist. For years she has educated herself on wellness and natural, wholesome living. Karyn’s goal is to help people be the healthiest they can be while living fun, happy lives.