Greetings, readers! I've got a treat for you today: I'm focusing on healthier Halloween snacks for your holiday parties.
As adults, it is difficult to always snack well. Last Halloween, I provided some healthier vegan options compared to traditional Halloween candy. And let's face it...traditional Halloween candy isn't healthy. (With that said, I made some awesome peanut butter cups, peppermint patties and some others. Check out my Recipe Index under the "Truffles & Candy" section for more candy ideas!)
Today, my two recipes are even healthier, more natural, and less processed. Nuts.com is looking to bring you some healthy Halloween snacks. Although their name might be misleading, Nuts.com has more than just nuts -- they actually have a whole array of healthy foods, snacks, and ingredients for your eating pleasure. They even have an entire page devoted to vegan snacks!
One fact that I thought was interesting from their healthy snacks page was that "...women who reported two or more snacks per day had higher fruit and vegetable intakes compared to non-afternoon snackers." This is good to know because I enjoy snacks! The key is to choose ones that are good for your health and your waistline. I have two ready to go!
I chose these snacks because they are nut-based and nutrient-dense. No empty calories here! And just because something has nuts in it, some people associate it with fat. We need healthy, natural fats as much as we need fruits and vegetables in our diets. Healthy fat in moderation is key to a balanced diet.
I also created these snacks because everyone likes snacks that you can scoop up quickly. You can put them out in festive bowls or you can use cute cupcake liners as single serving containers -- they're perfect for your next party!
Sweet Halloween Snack: Coconut "Puppy Chow"
Growing up, I loved puppy chow, or officially called Muddy Buddies by Chex cereals. (If you're unfamiliar, puppy chow is a mix of peanut butter, chocolate, cereal, and powdered sugar. LOTS of powdered sugar.) No one, and I mean no one, needs that much sugar in your snack. Instead, I made this nut-based puppy chow that is still delicious, but packed with good antioxidants and healthy fats.
And you still get to swish it around in a bag. Isn't that half of the fun?!
Coconut Puppy Chow
1 1/2 c. peanuts, unsalted
1/4 tsp. sea salt
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 c. dark chocolate*
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla (learn more about infusing your own here)
2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, plus more as needed
*You can eliminate the sugar by making your own chocolate -- here's my recipe and it's very tasty and rich. By making your own chocolate and subbing out the peanuts for cashews, you can make this recipe paleo/primal too!
Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the salt, cinnamon, coconut oil, and vanilla. Once it is smooth, fold in the peanuts.
Fill a gallon plastic bag with your shredded coconut. Working in batches, spoon the chocolate-coated peanuts into the bag and shake the coconut over the peanuts.
Once they are coated, place the puppy chow on a piece of parchment paper to dry. Place it in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened.
My husband admitted to me -- he likes this version better than traditional puppy chow! Plus, if you make your own chocolate, it's sugar-free too.
Savory Halloween Snack: Roasted Rosemary Cashews
Okay, okay. I'll admit: I'm a little bit of a rosemary hater. Sometimes it's just too powerful. And it's quite distinct. My rosemary hatred changed when my husband and I were out to dinner one night and the restaurant served us rosemary cashews.
I. AM. HOOKED. NOW.
This is my recreation of this dish. The rosemary is subtle, but present and the roasted cashews are delicious in any case. In addition, this recipe couldn't be easier to make.
Roasted Rosemary Cashews
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 T. olive oil
2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 1/2 c. raw cashews
Using a mortar and pestle, grind up your rosemary leaves (slightly) to release some of the natural oils. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the "pestled" rosemary, salt, and olive oil -- allow it to steep in the bowl for at least 30 minutes prior to toasting the cashews.
In a medium-sized pan, dry toast your cashews over medium heat. You want to stir them regularly. You want them to be fragrant and slightly browned, like the picture below. This should take less than 10 minutes, especially if your pan is hot to begin with.
Stir the toasted cashews in with the rosemary and olive oil. The final flavor should be light taste of rosemary with a touch of sea salt. Yum!
Enjoy these recipes; almost all of your ingredients can be found at Nuts.com!