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20 Spooky-Yet-Healthy Halloween Recipes

20 Spooky-Yet-Healthy Halloween Recipes

Halloween may be associated with people stuffing their gullets with sugary snacks and junk food galore, but there are ways of celebrating this festive night that won’t result in a diabetic coma. There are plenty of recipes that are as healthy as they are delicious, and you don’t have to skimp on the creep-out factor either.

Whether you’re throwing a party, bringing a contribution to a potluck, or celebrating in blissful solitude, here are some fabulous Samhain snacks that any ghoul would be happy to snack on.

Spider Guts Smoothie

Goblin Green Smoothie

    Photo: The Tree Apprentice, via Flickr

    It’s great to start your day off with a smoothie, and a frothy, green, bubbly drink is just perfect for Halloween breakfast. There are countless green smoothie and juice recipes out there, but if you don’t already have a favourite, try this one out:

    • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
    • 1 cup coconut water
    • 2 cups frozen green grapes
    • 2 peaches, sliced

    Puree all the ingredients in a blender until the mixture is gorgeously smooth. If you find that it’s a bit too thick, add a bit more coconut water, tap water, or even a splash of non-dairy milk.

    Goblin Eggs

    Another great breakfast dish: Take half an avocado and remove the pit. Poach an egg until it’s well set, drain it with a slotted spoon, and plop it into the hollowed avocado. Sprinkle with black salt and cracked pepper (even some black caviar if you’re feeling extravagant), and serve warm.

    Creepy Teeth Apple Bites

    Slice a wedge out of an apple, and then cut a smaller wedge into it to make a mouth. Fill the cavity with nut butter or fruit preserves, and then push slivered almonds into the apple flesh to make craggy teeth.

    “Candy Corn” Parfait

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    Candy Corn Parfait

      Photo: Sallypenut via Flickr

      Have you ever eaten candy corn? They’re those unbelievably sugary niblets that are yellow at one end, orange in the middle, and white at the tip. Hideous. That said, you can make a splendidly healthy parfait in these very colours, by layering fruit or vegetables with toppings of your choice. Here are a couple of options:

      • A base layer of crushed pineapple, mid layer of mandarin orange slices, and low-fat yoghurt topping.
      • Chopped pineapple base, middle layer of crushed cantaloupe, and low-fat cottage cheese on top.
      • Reversed candy corn colours with an herbed yoghurt dip on the bottom, followed by layers of baby carrots and sliced yellow pepper.

      Witches’ Fingers

      Wrap pickle wedges or spears of steamed white and green asparagus with ham or smoked turkey.

      Spiderweb Eggs (or “Rotten” Eggs”)

      Spiderweb Eggs

        Photo: Nichelle Stevens, via Flickr

        To create a spiderweb pattern on a hard-boiled egg, just boil a dozen eggs for 10 minutes in 8-10 cups of water, along with 2 cups of blueberries. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, tap one side of each lightly so the shell crackles, and then place them back in the berry water. Keep the saucepan in the fridge for a few hours until the eggs are completely cool, and then peel them: you’ll find a lovely spiralling web etched onto each egg. (You can also use black tea for this for brown webs.)

        Graveyard Dip

        Graveyard Dip

          Photo: Mike Dory, via Flickr

          There are a few ways to go about creating a dip that looks as though it’s been created from cemetery dirt: one is to make a tapenade from dark olives (like Kalamata, or Spanish black) with capers, garlic, oil, and lemon juice, another is to create a spicy black bean dip, and some people might even prefer to use guacamole or spinach/artichoke dip as their base. Let’s use a recipe for the black bean option, shall we?

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          • 1 large can of black beans, drained and rinsed
          • 1 roma (plum) tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
          • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
          • 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
          • 1 garlic clove, chopped
          • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
          • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
          • Salt (to add later)

          Pulse the first 7 ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is fairly smooth, and well combined. Add salt to taste, and feel free to adjust the acidity (with the lemon juice) as well as the spice level as desired. To serve, pour the dip into a shallow bowl, and tuck melba toast squares, Crispers or vegetable chip “headstones” into it, with extras on the side.

          Dark and Creepy Crudites

          A large platter that’s covered in black, purple, and grey tidbits can look incredibly creepy, but so delicious. Items to place on yours can include:

          • Black and purple grapes
          • Black figs
          • Deep purple plums
          • Black radishes
          • Black and Kalamata olives
          • Blackberries
          • Black currants

          Strips of Skin

          Spread layers of prosciutto and other cured meats on a large wooden cutting board, and jam a meat cleaver vertically into the board for effect.

          Blood and Eyeball Soup

          Blood Eyeball Soup

            Photo: Nicole McGuire via Flickr

            Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it? Basically, this is just tomato soup with a little extra added to it. To make the eyeballs, get yourself some of those bocconcini balls that are 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. Use a small paring knife to hollow them out, and then pop a couple of pimento-stuffed eyeballs into the cavities. When you serve the soup, float the cheesy eyeballs in it so they’ll stare at whoever’s digging in.

            Other Eyeball Snacks

            On that same note, you can carve away at a lychee or longan fruit to expose the dark inner pit to create interesting eyeballs, or you can pop capers into hard boiled quail eggs.

            Witch’s Hair Pasta

            Did you know that you can get gluten-free black bean pasta? I only found this out recently, and it’s bloody brilliant. The noodles are a deep grey colour, which is perfect for a Halloween dish. You can also get black rice noodles if you can’t get your hands on the black bean ones.

            As far as a recipe is concerned, just follow the directions on the black pasta package, and then top with your favourite sauce and vegetables. My personal favourite is a simple sauce of roasted eggplant and tomato, but you can can slather yours in vodka rosé sauce, a simple dressing of olive oil and garlic, or make a sea witch proud by covering the pasta in seafood and marinara sauce.

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            Shrunken Head Punch

            Peel some small apples, and then carve them to look like faces/shrunken heads. Float these in a large punch bowl that you’ve filled with apple cider, or your autumn drink of choice.

            Mummy Faces

            Mummy Faces

              Photo: Bradley H, via Flickr

              Take a whole-wheat flatbread, half an English muffin, a pita, or any other flat, round, bread-like substance that you’re fond of. Spread on something fabulous as a base, and decorate it with items that could conceivably be mummy-like, then devour.

              For savoury options, you can try the following:

              • Pizza sauce base, with sliced mushroom eyes and slices of mozzarella as bandages.
              • Hummus for the bottom layer, strips of grilled zucchini or eggplant, and olive slice eyes.

              For those with a sweet tooth, you can try these as well:

              • Tofutti (or low-fat goat cheese, cream cheese, etc.), with blueberries or halved cherries for eyes, and gobs of jam or jelly for colour.
              • Almond (or other nut) butter as a base, with strips of banana for bandages, and strawberry eyes.

              Bloody Gulp

              Frothy and reddish-pink, this juice is reminiscent of something you’d see on True Blood, but it’s fabulous for nourishing your own blood cells (as well as your liver, heart, and more.) Just put 2 medium carrots, 2 medium beets, and 2 large apples (peeled and cored) through your juicer. If you like, add 1/2 an inch of peeled ginger too. Run 1/4 cup of water through to get all the juice out, and serve over ice.

              Rice Ghosts or Spider Egg Sacks (Onigiri)

              Ghost Onigiri

                Photo: Mega, via Flickr

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                These are just onigiri rice balls stuffed with whatever you like, or even just plain sticky rice that’s been formed into spooky shapes. Just cook Japanese sushi rice according to the ingredients on the package. If you like, you can add a bit of mirin wine and/or rice vinegar for extra flavour. You can fill the onigiri with anything from egg salad or tuna to pickled vegetables or bean paste, pack the rice into shape by rolling it in plastic wrap, and then add eyes, fangs, etc. that you’ve created by cutting dry nori (seaweed sheets) into pieces.

                For a well-rounded bento lunch, add in some heirloom tomatoes in shades of black and red, some orange peppers carved into jack o’lanterns, and any other veggies you like.

                Ghoulish Globes

                Use a melon baller to scoop the flesh of honeydew melon into perfect little spheres, and then splash them with black vodka. Serve chilled.

                Screaming Rolls

                Screaming Pigs

                  Photo via Pinterest

                  This terror-inducing variation on “pigs in a blanket” doesn’t need to be filled with chemical-laden meat slurry sausages. You can create the same effect by stuffing half a crescent roll with a mixture of spinach, low-fat feta cheese and minced onions or spiced sweet potato wedges, or make sweet versions with jam or fruit. Here’s a tip: the original Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are vegan, so you can go wild creating all manner of cruelty-free screamy snacks. Just stick on some fake eyes with dabs of mustard or tofutti and a couple of poppy seeds to finish them off.

                  Spooktacular Quinoa Salad

                  Did you know that you can get black quinoa? Use it in your favourite quinoa recipe, or try a new one like this black quinoa salad with cherries, pistachios, and watercress.

                  Roasted Brain

                  Cauliflower Brain

                    Photo: Alvin Smith via Flickr

                    Preheat your oven to 400-450F, depending on how hot your oven tends to get. Remove the lower leaves and core from the cauliflower, and then place it hollowed-side down onto a greased baking sheet. Use a paring knife to remove a thin, straight slice from across the vegetable, making it look like a brain. Drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and about 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and roast it for 1 to 1.5 hours, until it’s fork-tender. Serve on a platter surrounded by pickled beets for a great, bloody effect.

                    What are some of your favourite Halloween recipes? Please feel free to share them with us!

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                    Catherine Winter

                    Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                    Last Updated on January 11, 2021

                    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                    Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

                    Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

                    1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

                    Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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                    2. Stress Relief

                    Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

                    3. Improved Sleep

                    Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

                    4. Appetite Control

                    Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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                    5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

                    When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

                    6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

                    Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

                    7. Mosquito Repellant

                    Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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                    8. Pain Relief

                    While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

                    9. The New Anti-Viral

                    Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

                    10. Improved Cognitive Function

                    Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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                    11. Money Saving

                    With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

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