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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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                    Last Updated on November 20, 2018

                    10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

                    10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

                    A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

                    Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

                    1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

                    Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

                    If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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                    2. You put the cart before the horse.

                    “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

                    3. You don’t believe in yourself.

                    A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

                    4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

                    The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

                    5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

                    If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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                    6. You don’t enjoy the process.

                    Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

                    The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

                    7. You’re trying too hard.

                    Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

                    8. You don’t track your progress.

                    Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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                    9. You have no social support.

                    It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

                    10. You know your what but not your why.

                    The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

                    Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

                    Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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                    Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

                    Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

                    Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

                    • The more specific you can make your goal,
                    • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
                    • The more encouraged you’ll be,
                    • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

                    I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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