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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 May 22, 2019

                    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                    There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                    One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                    In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                    Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                    1. Cat Camel Stretch

                    Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                    Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                    Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                    Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                    2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                    This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                    Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                    The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                    Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                    Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                    3. Jumping Jacks

                    Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                    Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                    4. Abductor Side Lifts

                    Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                    Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                    5. Balancing Table Pose

                    This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                    Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                    ablab

                      6. Leg Squats

                      Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                      Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                      The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                      7. Push Ups

                      You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                      An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                      Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                      This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                      8. Bicycle Crunches

                      There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                      Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                      9. Lunges

                      Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                      Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                      This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                      10. Bicep Curls

                      You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                      Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                      Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                      Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                      Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                      These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                      You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                      Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                      More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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